John Kampfner Revealed
About John Kampfner
What is your birthdate?:12/27
Previous occupations:none: I've only ever been a trouble maker
Favorite job:causing trouble
High school and/or college:very conventional: Westminster and Oxford
Name of your favorite composer or music artist?:Mozart
Favorite television show:Desperate Housewives (first two series)
- Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
- A. A restless rattler of cages
- Q. What is your motto or maxim?
- A. Always challenge those in power
- Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
- A. Making meals for my intrepid wife and adorable children; watching Chelsea from my season ticket perch, and, naturally, investigative journalism
- Q. What’s your greatest fear?
- A. Submitting to conventional wisdoms
- Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
- A. Diving in the Great Barrier Reef
- Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
- A. Robin Hood and/or Robin Cook
- Q. Which living person do you most admire?
- A. Barack Obama
- Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
- A. controlled menace
- Q. What do you regret most?
- A. not becoming a barrister
- Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
- A. fast-track training as a barrister
- Q. What is your greatest achievement?
- A. turning around the New Statesman
- Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
- A. being too confrontational
- Q. What’s your best quality?
- A. being gregarious
- Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
- A. Penelope Cruz's personal assistant
- Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
- A. being forthright and candid
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
- A. Pechorin in Lermontov's "Hero of Our Time"
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
- A. Pechorin
- Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
- A. Leon Trotsky: Are you sure you want to go to Mexico?
- Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
- A. People being rude to check out assistants in supermarkets
- Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
- A. Playing tennis
- Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
- A. The law
- Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
- A. integrity, originality and decency
- Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
- A. Lindt chocolate elephants
- Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
- A. Aria from Don Carlos; Hit me by Ian Dury; Because the Night by Patti Smith; Stand By Me by Ben E King; God Save the Queen by the Sex Pistols
On Books and Writing
- Q. Who are your favorite authors?
- A. Fyodor Dostoyevsky; Haruki Murakami; Anthony Beevor
- Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
- A. Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk
Natasha's Dance by Orlando Figes
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
- Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
- A. any of the above
- Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
- A. organise your day, never dawdle
- Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
- A. He's ruffled some feathers
- Q. How did you come to write Freedom For Sale?
- A. I wanted to answer a question that had been bothering me, and galvanizing me, for some time: why is it that so many people around the world, including people I know and respect, appear willing to trade certain liberties in return for the promise of either prosperity or security?