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This report is taken from PN Review 184, Volume 35 Number 2, November - December 2008.

CB Editions Charles Boyle

I am not good with money, and sometimes downright bad. In Italy last year I managed to run into the sea with my wallet in my swimming trunks containing over £200 and my credit card: there are now some wealthy crabs in Puglia. Also in the wallet was my ticket for the mid-stay car park at Stansted, so after wandering around sections J and K for an hour with my wife and children in the drizzle and the dark, and eventually finding the car in G, we didn't get home until around 3 a.m.

Among the junk mail on the doormat were two unrelated envelopes. One contained a polite rejection from an agent to whom I'd sent a novella: try another agent, she suggested (but life is short). The other contained a cheque for £2,000, left to me by a much-loved uncle who had died earlier in the year (he reached the age of a hundred, then relaxed). Seven hours later I was talking to man called Chris in the offices of a small book-bindery off Bollo Lane in Chiswick, round the corner from the council waste and recycling dump. They do rebinding for libraries, and binding of students' theses, but printing goes on in that building too and - this was important - they are local, so that within ten minutes of leaving my desk I can be talking to them, face to face, and handling paper samples. I gave Chris some random numbers (page extents, ...


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