petermorwood: (Default)
That word is "alive." Apparently.

I just discovered this on my website (yes, just... I really must start paying more attention to it, he said, not for the first time.)
Submitted by nickdiment on October 21, 2009 - 09:25.

Dear Mr Wormwood

I was interested to see your comments concerning my brother, Adam, on the link from Wikipedia which are, to be honest, verging on the libelous. Not that he would give a damn.

Adam was never in trouble with the Treasury. This is an accusation whipped up, we can only imagine, by the only person who might stand to gain in the unlikely event of McAlpine ever coming to the screen.

Succumbed to drugs! Really, why do you make this sort of guff up? Adam is well and lives in Kent.

Personally I think his books are crap and have not stood the test of time at all well. But then I'm not a author so what would I know?

Sincerely - Nicholas Diment
That's an interesting misspelling of my surname: shades of The Screwtape Letters and The Eiger Sanction, though not a major character in either.

The comment refers to my post last year (indeed linked on the Adam Diment Wikipedia page,) posted about a week before this follow-up.

Tonight I've taken another look at the entry on Another Nickel in the Machine; there are more comments since the last time, one that he's living in the Far East (which contradicts "Nicholas Diment", though Kent does get several mentions, so which of these authorities on Diment's whereabouts is the right one?) and a couple referring to marriage and children.

Getting away from the personal stuff to a topic I find more interesting, there are also suggestions about how to bring the books back through Print On Demand. This would be just the ticket, if the rights can get sorted out, because a lot of people besides myself seem to think they're not crap at all: here's one who not only enjoys them, but explains why. If PoD does happen, I'll definitely buy a set: my paperbacks are now better described as tatterbacks, and books don't get that way by being ignored.
petermorwood: (Default)
It's been a year (to the day!) since anyone posted a comment here.

Last time I thought to check on Diment information, I read a suggestion that he had settled in "rural England." Since his family were in farming (as were his hero Philip McAlpine's: certainly Think Inc. Chapter 2 hints at a rural background) I thought nothing more of it.

But now this:
Adam, now 66, is happy and well and living life to the full in far off places.
It's the only thing so far posted from an LJ account opened just today, an extract from a slightly fuller version of the same thing on the "Nickel" post shown below. According to the LJ Profile the poster is located in Thailand, so "far off places" indeed!

I wonder who [livejournal.com profile] huchi really is...

My immediate response was to put "Adam Diment" into Google in case there was anything more than the sparse information of last year. Not much more information, admittedly, but since January 11 of this year Diment at least has a Wikipedia entry (which lists this blog as one of its few external links...)

It also needs to link this, which fleshes out the rather skeletal information in my own post last year. Posted on August 1, I'm coming to it a bit late, but better later than never. The article includes photos which I've seen before - Philip McAlpine was Diment's Marty Stu, no doubt about it, and the one where he's in bed with a girl and a "Schmeisser" submachine-gun is an incident (and a paperback cover) from The Dolly Dolly Spy.

There are also facsimiles of two anonymous letters tipping off the Bank of England's Exchange Control Department about the currency swindle I mentioned. It's interesting that the typeface looks like both letters came from the same machine, and thus the same person - so was the swindle real and being reported by a "concerned citizen," or was it something more malicious? I find these more unpleasant than the two quoted examples of "sexism in writing," which (IMO, YMMV) are just the usual observations of a young man who appreciates good-looking girls with not much on. (There are entire industries based on that sort of appreciation...)

The comments include reminiscences from people who actually knew the man and confirm, unless you want to disbelieve them, that he was real, not a pseudonym or house-name. I've heard that before, and never gave it much credence for a reason obvious if you think about it. If "Adam Diment" was the house-name author for an ongoing series of Swinging-London spy thrillers, the series - still successful at the time, I believe - wouldn't have stopped so abruptly with Think Inc., especially with such an obvious hook for a sequel. The publisher would have assigned another writer to produce the next "Adam Diment" book at once.

If there really was a big fuss about his disappearance in 1971, then one comment's opinion that it was just a publicity stunt might bear consideration, but my memory (I was 15 at the time and may have missed something) was that Diment just stopped writing. After a couple more years I concluded there would be no more McAlpine books, and that was that. I just remain curious as to why.

As for A Nickel in the Machine, I didn't know it existed until today: a fascinating blog about the social history of 20th-century London. After seeing the Diment entry, and others which mention "Brilliant" Chang (see Watson's Snobbery With Violence) and that eerie, melancholy film The London Nobody Knows, I think it's something I'll enjoy.

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