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After graduating from Oxford University with a degree in French and German and with an MBA from INSEAD I spent fifteen years criss-crossing Europe and the Middle East for an American bank. In the mid 70’s I was posted to Greece. When we were transferred we left an old stone house on the island of Evia, which we go back to every year.
My fortieth birthday present to myself was to quit salaried employment. The main reason was to write full time. I reviewed the modern French novel and then science fiction for the TLS. Published works include three comic novels - “Sail or Return”, “The Monogamist,” “Thanks, Eddie!” - and the best-selling guide to European cultures “Mind Your Manners,” currently in its third edition and available in twenty languages. “Management Mole” was about going back as a temp in the back offices of the kind of organisation I used to manage.
Meanwhile I tried my hand at various entrepreneurial ventures. An attempt to establish a franchised chain of baked potato restaurants in Moscow came to an end when the Russian Mafia became interested. I had more success with INBIO Ltd, which imports Russian biotechnology for environmental protection and with a project to control the spread of water hyacinth on Tanzania‘s Lake Victoria. These ventures resulted in books such as “It's All Greek To Me!” and “I was a Potato Oligarch.”
I now write full time again. When I am not at the keyboard I sing and play the baglama, a miniature bouzouki, in a Greek band in London. I love to travel, especially around the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Journeys have inspired “The Sultan's Organ” and “For Love of Helen.” And of course whatever I am doing I read whenever I can - in print and on Kindle.
on Jan. 11, 2012 :
This appears to be one of those books that having read the beginning, the middle and the end one still hasn't the faintest idea why it was written.
Certainly not a Regency in the classic sense but it does have stereotypes and a hero? who travels round Europe in what appears to be in either a drunken or drugged haze.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)