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" You know, you can be really quite subversive in popular fiction, which is capable of taking on big issues of politics, war, the rise and fall of commercial dynasties. "
" Don't try to write too much in a single session. One thousand words a day is quite enough. Stop after about four or five hours. "
" Writers and journalists tend to be simplistic about politics when, like all other areas of life, it's more complicated. "
" The financial markets tend to be just a backdrop for a novel, for a heist or something that isn't necessarily integral to it. On the whole, I don't think the financial world has been well served by novels. "
" You find out what you think by talking to yourself. "
" Cicero most reminds me of Harold Wilson. Both men knew how to keep the show on the road. "
" If you go back, 'The Great Gatsby' would be a portrait of the rich and fortune made by business. "
" Storytelling has a narcotic power. "
" Politics is never a victory, it's just the remorseless grinding forward of events. "
" For me, as I suspect for most people, there comes a point where you have enough. If you've got £20 million, why keep going until you've got £100 million or £1,000 million? Does anyone need another vast yacht or private jet or a house full of gold? "
" You can't ever win the war on crime, or the war on terror. You can't repeal human nature. "
" History is what we bring to it, not just the events themselves, but how we interpret those events. "
" I used to love politics. I can't say I do any more. All the fun has gone out of it. Each side is engaged in this trench warfare of managerialism. They're all too scared to say anything that might make them appear something other than completely bland. "
" I think a lot of us feel, when we look at the Dow Jones plunging, alienated - you do feel as if we're in the grip of some alien force that slipped human control. "
" The financial world is at the cutting edge of high technology. "
" First comes an idea. Then, characters begin to evolve out of the landscape of that idea. And then, finally, characters dominate: plot is simply a function of what these people might do or be. Everything has to flow from their personalities; otherwise it will not be emotionally engaging, or plausible. "
" My literary career was a fluke. Utterly unexpected. "
" If one tries to think about history, it seems to me - it's like looking at a range of mountains. And the first time you see them, they look one way. But then time changes, the pattern of light shifts. Maybe you've moved slightly, your perspective has changed. The mountains are the same, but they look very different. "
" Leaders today are isolated by phalanxes of body guards. It's profoundly undemocratic, the way they have used terrorism as a means to protect themselves. "
" One gains a double benefit in writing about the past, conjuring up how things might have been, and at the same time acquiring a different perspective on the present. "
" There's nothing more interesting than the details of someone's life. "
" I see myself as the literary equivalent of a skilled lathe-operator, or a basket-weaver; a potter, maybe: I make mildly diverting objects that people want to buy. "
" Unlike the Holocaust, Stalin's murders are forgotten: dust blowing in the wind. "
" I write as well as I can. I'm a journalist at heart, so it's the story that matters. "
" Cut your manuscript ruthlessly but never throw anything away: it's amazing how often a discarded scene or description, which wouldn't fit in one place, will work perfectly later. "
" Within reason, I can write what I like and spend as long doing it as is necessary. That is a luxury beyond price. "
" My father left school at 14, my mother at 13. My father was clever and well-read. He took a newspaper, always watched the news, discussed it all the time. "
" I think it's very, very hard not to go slightly crazy if you're in the top in politics - especially if you're there for a long time. "
" I am sure future historians will say the biggest and most astonishing change in politics has been the embracing of all the tenets of Thatcherism by the party of Keir Hardie: trade union legislation, Europe, the replacement of Trident, 10 per cent tax for people who have made millions from their companies. "
" It implies a slight failure as a writer that you are reduced to being a ghostwriter for the money. "
" I think that whenever a nation feels itself to be at is zenith, it starts to feel a creeping sense of anxiety. "