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Robert John Goddard
Seeheim-Jugenheim
So - who am I? I was born in Thames Ditton, Surrey, in 1952. I attended the local school until 1963, passed the 11 plus exam and went to Rutlish School, Wimbledon. I have a B.A. in History (1976), a Postgraduate Diploma in International Marketing (1990), and a Masters Degree in Education (1996). I have lived and worked in Italy, Portugal, Jordan and Germany. All of my novels contain elements of my experiences in these places. I currently live near Frankfurt with my German wife and 14-year-old son, Anton. I also have a 38-year-old son, Alexander, from my first marriage. I have written 6 novels and 2 novellas as well as several short stories and a book for university teachers entitled: "Teaching English for International Business." People frequently ask me what my books are about! That is a difficult one to answer but I often begin my reply by saying the books are not about me or my life and, to a certain extent, this is true. However, there are a number of themes that I come back to again and again. The first of these is how the past can impact on the present, and the second theme, perhaps related to the first, is the relationship between parents and children. Why is this? Perhaps because I have been fascinated by history as long as I can remember and that fascination remained intact even after studying the subject at university. History has not helped much in my academic career but it has clearly influenced me in more subtle ways that I only now recognise. When I am not writing, I do some teaching; I study German and keep fit by cycling and walking in the hills between Darmstadt and Heidelberg either alone or with my wife and son.
Recent Activity
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Life as a child was endless summer all the way until that night in 1985 because “that night” marked a point of change. He was happy for a while but the events of that evening returned to haunt him and later turned his life into a cold-north-wind-infested night. They were... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Thoughts and words
Book sales (mainly paperbacks) are going through the roof. Is it because of lockdown and/or Christmas coming? Or is it because of the covers that were done earlier this year? Or could it be a combination of the three? Perhaps people even like the books. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Thoughts and words
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A lot has happened to me since Monica posed for these pics I took of her while on a kibbutz in Israel in 1971. She was my "girlfriend" at the time, and I recently dug out these photos. They helped me look back on some good times. Why did I... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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“That place…I know it…” Half sleep, half words and utterances, and mouthed while Toni’s eyes flickered behind lids now closed to the perfumed darkness of the night. “Yes, that place…those people…I know them still…” And Toni woke with a start, lifted his mind from the dream and put it where... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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"Journey's End" - read the novel adaptation of this 1928 play in the 1960s, and found this film adaptation of a group of soldiers waiting for an attack (their journey's end) very powerful and so much more powerful than "1917." Anti-war films don't get much better or more haunting. The... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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The evening breeze was no cooler than that of the daytime but now the moon was shining in a darker shade of blue, and Venus was posturing in her own sky, inviting her audience to admire and enjoy her presence along with the conjured-up memories of moments from other warm... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2020 at Thoughts and words
Video of book club interview Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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You are invited to join us online for our October talk with author Robert John Goddard (Sunday October 25 at 6PM - Berlin time). Participants are welcome to join in as our guest will take questions posted via online chat. This event is part of the Book Club Bergstraße talk... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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About 30 years ago, I wrote a short story called "Porridge." The basis of the story emerged from questions I was asking myself at the time as to whether or not an individual's character remained fixed or changed over time Here is the opening paragraph. For Dick and I, the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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Yesterday, reflecting on relationships, I wrote that: "...shared reality is a perceived commonality of inner states, for example: feelings, beliefs and concerns. What this means is that two people are drawn to be friends or lovers because they see and share the same truth. Eventually, this shared reality becomes a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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I would not like to put an exact number on it, but it seems to me that the vast majority of popular songs are about love, happiness through love, break-up and loss. For example, look at the words of this Bill Withers song, "Ain't no Sunshine." Wonder this time where... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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Power, abuse of power and corruption are explored in literature on many different levels. From Robin Hood to Shakespeare's Macbeth and to Lord of the Flies, characters in books (and history) have been doing terrible things to acquire power, and worse things to keep it, and readers love to read... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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It has often struck me how much other types of art inspire my writing. A visit to a local picture gallery, for example, can send my imagination into overdrive. But, for me, the most inspirational of other artistic pursuits is photography - or to be more precise - the old... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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John Le Carre's 2001 novel, The Constant Gardener, is a story about political corruption and corporate greed. It is also one of my favourite novels, and I would argue that now is the time for more books that expose the rotten state of current politics. I urge this because it... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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Few writers would disagree that words form the basis for all the stories and ideas they want to communicate. However, word choices and the way in which writers put those words together can communicate ideas in a number of ways. The complete sentence tells much more than individual words describe... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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When we hear of people doing bad things, we tend to attach the label "evil" to them and condemn both perpetrator and action as being abnormal. But what if that is not true? What if we could all do evil things given the "right" circumstances? Basically, my question is this:... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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"I confess that I was completely bewildered by the conversation which I had with this extraordinary man. I am afraid that I am even yet hardly in a state to report it in such a way that it will affect others as it did me. Very likely the effect was... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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Can I do it? I am feeling a need to create. How do I know? Because I am prowling around the house or wandering over the hills and getting snippets of ideas which I write in my notebook. But what I want to do has no shape and no theme... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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Elena Ferrante's books seem to be making waves. I have read that she writes like a woman. What does it mean "write like a woman"? Do women create differently from men? Can't say I have given this any thought in the past. Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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Does the power of words come through their apparent simplicity? In an article written for The Guardian newspaper, the English poet, Alice Oswald, wrote that "...poetry is the great unsettler. It questions the established order of the mind. It is radical...it works at the roots of thinking." Her first book-length... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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I wonder if other writers forget what I have so easily forgotten. And it begs the question: If I have forgotten this, what do I remember? Why am I thinking about this at all? Well, somebody recently read several of my books and wanted some answers to questions she had.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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Fictional narratives and conspiracy theories are rather similar in that they usually involve clear causes and effects. In other words, there is a reason for everything and if the reason is not immediately apparent, it is because someone or a number of "someones" are deliberately hiding the truth for their... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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While out biking today, I met a couple of men I see regularly in my gym but to whom I have never spoken. I stopped to pass the time of day. As we talked about this and that, I noticed a narrowing of the eyes of one man and creases... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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If you take 2000 obituaries from the same international newspaper, what do you think the obituaries might tell you about the lives of the deceased? Lux Narayan, CEO and co-founder of Unmetric, a social media intelligence company based in New York and India, asked this very question and by examining... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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It seems to me that posting comments on Facebook, writing and sending emails and getting yourself tattooed have a couple of things in common. All three mark a moment in time - an angry email, a hurtful comment on your newsfeed or a late-night visit to a tattoo parlour that... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2020 at Thoughts and words