We were told some time ago by an impeccable source of the following — and revealing — exchange:
The Guardian newspaper, concerned that one of their regular Country Diarists, Jim Perrin, was now terminally ill, sent someone to Ariège where the author had taken a property for the sake of his health. (‘Taken’? Well, we were later made aware by one who sadly had been involved, that there was large degree of skulduggery in the transaction… ) The Guardian visitor was to write an obituary for the dying man, in expectation of his impending demise from the Terminal Lung Cancer with which, he said, he had been diagnosed in 2007. He had informed the whole world of his condition and, in the most particular medical detail, of his Brave Battle. (Writing of it in a book; in newspaper articles and in climbing magazines; appearing at literary festivals and being interviewed on the radio.* So, you see, we are not gratuitously exaggerating… ) Continue reading
We have discussed, for the most part, Jim Perrin’s book West — the book, his publisher later told us, ‘he should never have written’… But he, no doubt testing the water, first wrote his lies about our sister in The Climbing Essays, before transposing the entire first chapter, with added embellishments, into West. We say ’embellishments’ — they are lies, and lies of a profoundly vile nature. Unfortunately we were unaware of that earlier book’s existence; it was only when we discovered West and did further research that we read The Climbing Essays. Had we known we would have taken action earlier; if a solicitor’s letter had been sent to the publisher of the first book Jim Perrin’s worst excesses in his second (at least as far as our sister was concerned) might have been curtailed. He was however clearly quite taken with his notion of ‘his triad of tragedy’ — going so far as to invent ‘Terminal Lung Cancer’ for his third element, in West.
In the introduction to The Climbing Essays these words were used:
‘And what has distinguished him perhaps above all is his immense lack of ego. “I am not hubristic.” Jim writes, and if anyone else wrote this we would not believe them, for to deny one’s egotism is usually to demonstrate one’s egotism. But with Jim it is true’…
In similar vein the following description of Jim Perrin was posted after the ‘Tremfest’ 2014 event: ‘Jim’s style is very charming and intimate. He’s a relaxed, humble man.’
Sadly these comments are so very wide of the mark — although they do help to illustrate why so many people who, at first taken in by his charm, have been so completely hoodwinked by Jim Perrin’s undoubted guile: there are those who have discovered all too soon that his ‘charm’ is illusory…