"My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income."
Back in the days when dinosaurs roamed the streets—before I got sense and became a writer—and eventually a Best Selling author (a story with more twists and turns than the average thriller—though with rather more sex, I’m glad to say) I had a colleague called Charles Gerard who had once shared a house with Errol Flynn in Hollywood. He said that Flynn’s advice to him after he had moved in was not to sell the furniture because the house and its furniture were only rented.
The ever charming and promiscuous Errol Flynn (who well justified the expression “in like Flynn”) starred in one of the first movies I saw—which was CAPTAIN BLOOD from the book by Rafael Sabatini.
The movie featured a hanging—a scene that left a vivid impression on me at the age of four or five—and, perhaps a harbinger of the real hanging I came across decades later which inspired my first book, GAMES OF THE HANGMAN. Everything, as they say, is connected—and, in my experience, it really is—though sometimes in very strange ways.
I must write more about Charles some other time. He wasn’t a genuinely wild man like Flynn, but he had the habit of getting into extraordinary situations—and of getting out of them through luck and charm. He also defined sophisticated and was one of the best guides to Europe you could imagine. If Charles recommended a hotel or a restaurant, if would always be outstanding—and normally unusual in some detail. All in all, he was a delightful man. That said, I was never quite sure what he did in the company—and I knew him for years—and I’m far from certain that anyone else did—but whatever it was or wasn’t, I am certain he did it with style.
Back to crazy architecture. Great architecture absolutely fascinates me—and reminds me yet again of just how wonderful the world could be if we put more effort into creativity and human potential—and a great deal less into the excesses of consumerism. I’m particularly turned on by modern architecture—when it works—and am profoundly depressed when it doesn’t.
My favorite architect is Frank Gehry who has been conducting a highly successful campaign against the straight line and the predictable;e for years—and who produces some truly jaw-dropping work.
The above is a proposed plan for the Battersea Power Station site in London and is by Gehry Partners and Foster + Partners
ALL BOOKS BY RAFAEL SABATINI INLUDING THE CHRONICLES OF CAPTAIN BLOOD
High adventure at its best.