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Dreams of Gold [Paperback]

Jonathan Chamberlain
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 Jan 2012
A wild, zany - and very funny - romp as a motley crew of athletes save the London 2012 Olympics from the bizarre machinations of a crazed dictator. P G Wodehouse meets Tom Sharpe-with a dash of Spike Milligan! In this novel, set in Wales, the land of poets and sporting heroes, Rowan Jones, the up-and-coming Welsh poet, accidentally finds himself attracting a motley crew of disaffected athletes from all over the world to his eccentric farmhouse deep in the heart of Wales. From here they discover and brilliantly thwart the plans, and earn their place in Olympic history.

Product details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Long Island Press (2 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0954596048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954596040
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,721,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

My wife died of cancer - and also from the impacts of her treatments. Throughout her battle I read book after book but could not find any that gave me a simple overview of the situation I was facing or provided me with a comprehensive list of the options available to me and the benefits/drawbacks and evidence supporting them. So after my wife died I kept on researching and eventually wrote a number of books to rectify the situation - the current one being The Cancer Survivor's Bible. www.fightingcancer.com for details. This big book (550 pages)is supported by a quick summary of the alternative approaches called Cancer Recovery Guide: 15 alternative and complementary approaches. Additionally I have written The Amazing Cancer Kid - the true story of Connah Broom (if you want hope, this book gives it - sent home to die seven years ago with 11 tumours, he is alive and kicking today with only one. How did he do it? Read the book) and Cancer? Don't Panic!(a short but important ebook that provides key insights that will help you think about cancer in a helpful way

I also lived for eight years with my profoundly handicapped daughter, Stevie. She taught me everything valuable that I know - I have written a memoir of those years called Wordjazz for Stevie (why 'wordjazz'? Because there is an interplay of many themes in this short but not, I hope, slight book).

I have also written a memoir of a Chinese kung-fu fighting playboy (King Hui: the man who owned all the opium in Hong Kong. This is an important work of oral history and will deepen your understanding of the dynamics of Hong Kong.

My other Hong Kong book is Chinese Gods, an introduction to Chinese folk religion.

Finally I have written a couple of novels - The Alphabet of Vietnam (a reflection on war and violence and what happens when soldiers come home again) and Dreams of Gold, a comic take on the Olympic Games.

Product Description

From the Publisher

Heartwarming, surreal and very funny. This is the ideal companion read for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Ideal for teenagers and adults alike. This novel is not only funny - it raises fundamental questions about participation. But it does this so humorously you may not even notice.

From the Author

This was originally intended to be a film - I saw Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as two of the leading characters. The film script became even more surreal when I re-wrote it as a novel. I had a great deal of fun writing this and I hope you will have even more fun reading it.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Out of the Ordinary 9 Mar 2012
A bizarre distraction from the `real' Olympics, this is a story of dreams of great things and ignoring, if not quite overcoming, the politics of sport.

The book begins with Sebastian Coe asking the Olympics Committee to come up with an idea and the idea turns out to be a Poet Laureate of the Olympics and the man chosen is Rowan Jones from Wales. At the initial meeting which is full of journalists and television cameras, Rowan Jones thoughtlessly says a few careless words about the politics of the Olympics and this is immediately pounced on by the numerous journalists to the point that Lord Coe cannot believe what he is hearing and has the poet thrown out. From here on we meet a whole host of acrobatic and athletic characters with strange and wonderful names from far-flung places and who all have problems politically with the countries they come from. None of these people want to represent their countries but are so good in their field of athletics that they are willing or pushed into seeking out the poet who says that the Olympics should be open to all whether or not they have a country to represent. From meeting all these strange competitors we are on a roller-coaster ride of ridiculous hilarity until they all meet up in Wales looking for Rowan Jones the poet.

The story has a star studded cast, mainly Welsh, which includes Charlotte Church, Catherine Zeta Jones, Tom Jones, Steve Redgrave, Angela Murkel and Berlusconi which all add to the richness of the story. The ending is very fitting and the bombing of the Olympics, which has been everyone's fear, is averted.

The book has an acquired sense of humour, similar to Austin Powers, and the more you read it the more you `get it'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, Zany, but above all, Great Fun! 28 Feb 2012
The back cover describes Dreams of Gold as P G Wodehouse meets Tom Sharpe with a dash of Spike Milligan. Personally I would say there was a little Douglas Adams and a smidgen of Terry Pratchett in the mix too. However, this sort of analysis really does not do the author credit for producing a highly entertaining little book.

This very timely tale concerns a plot against the 2012 Olympics, and a group of ill matched characters who for various reasons will not be representing their countries. When Rowan Jones, a Welsh poet is appointed as poet laureate to the London Olympics, he quickly makes controversial statements which these various misfits find inspirational and head for Rowan and Bronwyn, his wife's, home.

It is one thing to write a page or two of witty and entertaining dialogue, but quite another to keep the ideas flowing for the duration of a book. This story is entertaining and amusing throughout, and at times extremely funny. I got through it in a day which reflects both the fact that I enjoyed it so much as well as it being quite short.

The characters were eccentric and memorable and anyone who reads this is not going to forget the likes of Anna, Solomon, Yoshi and Toshi and Jeremiah in a hurry. I do hope the author is able to come up with some more good ideas as I would be very happy to read more in this vein.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Nicola F (Nic) TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
*Full disclosure: The author sent me a copy of his novel in the hope that I would review it.*

It's 2012 and the Olympic Games are only six weeks away. Lord Coe however is rather disgruntled to see Tibetan monks caught up in demonstrations outside Westminster- wanting their countrymen to be allowed to compete in the games. As it turns out, they aren't the only disgruntled nation- there's a lot of discontent over the way the games are handled and who is allowed to participate. It is decided (on a complete whim) that a poet laureate will be appointed to keep the peace- to write inspirational poems about pain, glory and victory... but is a poet really enough to save the Olympic Games from impending disaster, or is he going to incite even more problems?

This comic novel is a topical, humorous look at the actual Olympics as well as a somewhat `fringe' Olympics unintentionally instigated, with funny stereotyped characterisations, apt cameos, nods to popular culture and a wacky plot-line.

From the immediate outset readers meet Welshman Rowan Jones (the poet) who is more than a bit melodramatic. The immediate impression is that he is full of delusions of grandeur about his `gift', but are his delusions actually going to be justified in the long term? In contrast we have Rowan Jones the Police Officer (no relation) who is most certainly not blessed with Rowan Jones (the poets) literary way of thinking, a Transcaucasian president with a grudge against the Olympics that he is *determined* to act upon and a whole host of other madcap, calamitous characters from an ex-Gulag jailbird to an Italian playboy swimmer.

I'm not a fan of sports (at all!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Take on the 2012 Olympics - Dreams of Gold 19 Feb 2012
By Alessi Lover TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Well you must have a 'Jones' in it set in Wales.

A funny take on the 2012 Olympics that does have you in stitches at times. Our youngest 10 had a read and he enjoyed it. Just hope he doesn't want to have one of our pigs in the kitchen like they have in the farmhouse snuggled up to the oven, otherwise we would never be able to cook again. Surely their's must have been a piglet. But the farm does play a centre part in this funny tale.

The characters are all so well described, some you can see as being 'real'. Where ever the writer gets his ideas of the characters well it would be a great place/places to visit. As you could be assured of fun antics I am sure.

This is one of those items to buy for a reminder of the 2012 Olympics, plus it does't cost as much as some tickets, and the amusement factor well worth it.
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