From the age of five, John Fraser was driven to excel in schoolwork and exams. At 18, he was partially free - though alas, no longer in London - to identify his two lifelong interests, writing extravagant fictions and playing the horn.
Teaching and research are cushioned ways of staying at school, and doing schoolwork. They were an unsatisfactory compromise which took him back to Cambridge, then Leicester and Canada. Research bought him observation time in Italy, France, North America, many parts of the USSR, and other places which appear in his novels and novellas. His interest in Marxism, Italian and soviet, though productive, seemed of little relevance in a Canadian university, and in the 1980s he invalided himself out to Italy.
He now lives in a gritty isolated village twenty kilometres from Rome, from where he has toured as a horn soloist, and continues to write his novels.