Jeff Hopkins gift pack

978-1-925529-15-9, 978-1-925529-16-6, 978-1-925529-17-3, 978-1-925529-18-0, 978-1-925529-19-7, 978-1-925595-01-7, 978-1-925529-20-3
  • $129.95
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The Jeff Hopkins gift pack will keep the more mature adults entertained for hours as it delivers an enjoyable range of stories from the Australian-flavoured themes of Artifice and The Spiv, through to historical muses in Gnarl and Impressment, with dashes of coming-of-age, intrigue and international travel sprinkled between.

1. Artifice: An Ingenious Expedient

It is 1974 and Fiona Beaumont is escaping from a failed relationship and a career in the art world that has stalled. She makes a spur of the moment decision to change direction and interacts with two generations from two very different families.

The Mitchells, a service family who are constantly on the move, end up in Munich in Germany where Deutronics, a multi national electronics corporation, provides them with a lifestyle of which they could hardly have dreamed.

The Robertsons from the western districts of Victoria have farmed at Casterton for four generations but their landholding future is uncertain as their only son, Tim, has a prodigious artistic talent and seems destined not to be a farmer following in his father's footsteps.

Then there is Jeremy, a "golden boy," the Mitchells' eldest son whose sexual dawning, desires, and denials cause him to discover a different self. He wants to "bite off big chunks of life, chew them up, and spit out the distasteful bits."

Slowly creeping into the consciousness of Tim, Fiona, and Jeremy is the influence of a 16th century Italian painter called Caravaggio. For all its participants life has it crossroads and culs-de-sac, some get left behind, but most go on to foster a new generation of players.

BOOK DETAILS

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches (15.24 x 22.86 cm)

Page count: 208

Internal pages: B&W

2. Benedict Lovelace and the Travelling Show

Benedict Lovelace engages 19-year-old Tommy Turkin to do some rat catching, renovations, and recruiting for his bold new 'project'. Minnie Dix joins Tommy to provide some much-needed domestic help for his expanding troupe, which numbers ten when Johnny Sharp arrives. Tommy Turkin's 'Golden Boys' train hard, swim well, and learn a host of new skills in Old Fremantle without really knowing what their role is going to be.

Christmas and New Year bring further surprises, and at the end of January, 1898 the Travelling Show, expanded by Silas Appleyard and his 'Gospel Group', head for the West Australian goldfields. As they progress town by town towards Kalgoorlie, not everyone in the 'unofficial gold capital' of Australia looks forward to their arrival.

Michael Doyle and 'Old Man' Casey anticipate the problems that Benedict Lovelace and Travelling Show may bring. They try to enlist the help of the goldfields policeman, Sergeant O'Malley, and his assistant Constable Thompson, with limited success.

A blind boy, Jimmy Gimmick, and his guide dog, Sam, further complicate matters, which race to a conclusion involving deception and death.

Will this spell the end for the Master Showman, Benedict Lovelace, and his troupe, or does he still have some tricks up his sleeve?

BOOK DETAILS

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches (15.24 x 22.86 cm)

Page count: 220

Internal pages: B&W

3. Gnarl: A Sword and Sandals Allegory

Generis, the son of the Lord Genet of the City State in the north is selected as a human sacrifice. His father is ruled by the legend and the lore and cannot prevent the death of his only son. However, with the help of the Lady Siliqua he does manage to secure a line of succession. When a grandson is born he survives by a miracle after he presented twisted in the breech position, with the umbilical cord knotted around his neck. As a consequence he is given the name Gnarl.

The Lord Genet fosters his grandson, Gnarl, out to a fisherman, Cuanzo, and his wife, Sheidel, and the boy has an idyllic childhood. His days are filled with fishing, swimming, diving, and exploring the limestone coast in the fishing village close to the port that serves the City State. Sheidel educates him and inspires him with stories of the legends of the past.

At age twelve Gnarl must do four years military service and those years prove to be challenging, dangerous, and in the end totally devastating. He shares the four years of training with a boy called Kyler, who "only ever wanted to be a baker." Gnarl and Kyler's daring adventures takes them to the Khalif's City in the south where they gain work and vital knowledge that could prove of crucial importance to the survival of their own City State in the north. The Khalif encounters and spares Pevan, and commissions him to perform a dangerous task, which ultimately affects Gnarl's own future.

With courage, determination, and considerable strategic skill, Gnarl and Kyler fight their way through challenging trials, and eventually Gnarl gains some sense of justice for the dead father he never knew.

BOOK DETAILS

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches (15.24 x 22.86 cm)

Page count: 212

Internal pages: B&W

4. Impressment: Managers, Actors and Impressed Boys

In 1597 Queen Elizabeth I signed a Royal warrant giving theatre managers Henry Evans, Nathaniel Giles and their deputy, James Robinson authority to 'impress' boys to be actors in the second Blackfriars Theatre. In reality it was kidnapping against which there were no laws in Elizabethan England. As a result two of the greatest boy players of the age, Nathan Field and Salomon Pavy, suffered 'impressment'.

The setting up of the new indoor theatre ushers a cavalcade of characters into the former Dominican Priory. It takes two more decades for all the mysteries of the ill-fated Blackfriars Theatre to be solved.

It is a theatrical traverse through the final years of Elizabeth's reign and the first part of the 17th century. The history is fascinating, and the tale, which proves both comic and tragic, will seem far more strange than fiction ever could be.

BOOK DETAILS

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches (15.24 x 22.86 cm)

Page count: 212

Internal pages: B&W

5. Reflections: A Story of Friendship

It is the 25th April 1919 and Captain Christopher Murphy has been invited back to his old school, Guildale College, to deliver an address in the first year of peace after The Great War. When he arrives at East Guildale railway station, which is adjacent to the school, a flood of memories come rushing back. Captain Murphy's reflections go back to 1908; his final year at Guildale College Preparatory School and Stephen Lamont appears for the first time. Life during that year at the 'Prep.' is retraced and a tragedy, from which a great friendship grows, is recalled. 1909 - 1913 in the Guildale College Senior School is a series of vignettes. Each one is based on a year in the school life of the five main characters.

During 1917, some of the boys from Guildale College reappear as young men facing the horrors of trench warfare at Fleurbaix on the Western Front. Captain Murphy faces a personal crisis, but an old association helps him. Captain Murphy's reverie on East Guildale railway station is interrupted, as it is time for the commemoration service. His reflections have helped him crystallise his thoughts on duty, dreams and friendship, but most importantly on the significance of this Service of Remembrance. He now knows what he must say and with renewed confidence, he walks up to the school to deliver his address.

BOOK DETAILS

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches (15.24 x 22.86 cm)

Page count: 212

Internal pages: B&W

6. Rocking Horse Rider

The result when two lives collide unexpectedly cannot be predicted. It might prove a catastrophe, or possibly a catalyst.

Twenty-two year old architectural intern, Rawden Phillips, has had all the benefits that nature and nurture could bestow, but he is lost. Australian heiress, Olivia Summer-Hayes, who should be running a Corporate Empire, is running away and has started making rash decisions. Suzanne Read has been commissioned to help find them both.

Half a world away Richard Barrington, a man with a fascinating personal history, is trying to juggle long-standing loyalties with the control of a conglomerate of companies.

Played out against a background of three of the world’s most iconic cities: London, Paris and Sydney, Rocking Horse Rider is a galaxy of glittering personalities searching for identity and acceptance.

BOOK DETAILS

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches (15.24 x 22.86 cm)

Page count: 254

Internal pages: B&W

7. The Spiv: The Robbie Sparrow Story

A retired sports' journalist who we come to know only by his nickname, 'Lumpy', decides to tell the life story of one of his earliest and most interesting friends, Robbie Sparrow. The writer is caught in a dilemma; should he 'tell it like it was', or sanitise a life for a more palatable product. After consultation with the subject of the proposed book, 'Lumpy' finally decides to recount the story 'warts and all'.

So we share Robbie's naughty, and sometimes wicked childhood, his adventurous and experimental teenage years, and the early part of his working life, which sees him fishing commercially up and down the West Australian coast. The last fishing trip results in a period of incarceration in Fremantle Gaol.

Called up for National Service, Robbie subsequently does a year-long tour of duty in Vietnam. Upon his return he retreats to a bush block in the great southern of Western Australia. 'Lumpy' helps his friend develop the block and build his house, and meets Angela for the first time. Then with commitments at two America's Cups, 'Lumpy' and Robbie lose touch.

When there is a 'twitch on the thread' everything has changed, and not for the better. A previous 'gentlemen's agreement' between Robbie and Cliff Birmingham, honoured years before, is now paid back in spades, and Robbie Sparrow has some 'golden years', and a positive influence on some young lives. 'Lumpy' gets an ending to his book, but it really wasn't the one he wanted.

BOOK DETAILS

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches (15.24 x 22.86 cm)

Page count: 194

Internal pages: B&W