the wanderer returns
(PT enjoys a refreshing glass of Tiger minutes before talking to a packed-out crowd at the National Library, last thursday.)
Crazy week man. On Thursday I spent half a day with Paul Theroux, author of Saint Jack, who was in town as part of his research for a 'sequel' to his famous travel-book The Great Railway Bazaar. In 1973 he came back to Singapore for a few days and promised he'd never return - but here he was larger than life and in very good spirits.
My official account of our time together was published two days later in TODAY newspaper, and you can get the pdf of the article here, or check a text version here.
There was much I didn't or couldn't include in the article - because we did speak in some detail about Saint Jack, the book and the movie. It made me really wish I'd done a phone interview with him for my book, rather than email exchange. In person he is irrepressibly expansive, frank, funny and full of insights and information. Watching him with other press and public it's clear that he has the same smooth-as-silk people skills as the main character from Saint Jack.
He told me that Frank Sinatra was also considered to play the part of Jack Flowers at one point, which sounds likely... Theroux himself was flown out to Bogdanovich's house in Bel Air to work on the script for a week, and he has quite a few good stories about the director and Cybill Shepherd...but I guess I should keep these for a second edition.
To others he said lovely things about my book, but mano-a-mano he told me I'd done "quite a good job", which I think is high praise indeed.
I'll post more pics from the day at a later date.
ALSO: Read an interview with me on the Singapore National Library book blog. Thanks Sarah.