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Dreams of Gold Paperback – 2 Jan 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Long Island Press (2 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0954596048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954596040
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,188,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am the author of a number of novels, memoirs and non-fiction books but most people will know me as the author of The Cancer Survivor's Bible and other cancer related books: Cancer? Don't Panic! and The Amazing Cancer Kid.

As for the single volume entitled Cancer: The Complete Recovery Guide - this is out of date and has been replaced by The Cancer Survivor's Bible - I have taken the title and given it to the 8 volume series of books published as Cancer: The Complete Recovery Guides (Books 1-8) which contain the same information as The Cancer Survivor's Bible but broken up into Kindle size books. I have a website supporting the cancer books at www.fightingcancer.com

The Amazing Cancer Kid is 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 book that provides key insights that will help you think about cancer in a helpful way - the subtitle is Take control of YOUR cancer journey.

I also lived for eight years with my profoundly disabled 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, war-time collaborator, CIA agent, political prisoner and more (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 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.

In addition to my writing work I have founded two charities for families with a mentally handicapped or disabled child, set up a language school in Macau, and helped organize cycle tours in China.

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
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Rose TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
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 By Brett H TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
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 Andie Davidson on 23 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
If the 2012 Olympics doesn't fill you with excitement (or even if it does and you didn't get the tickets you wanted) - and whether you're traveling to watch, or traveling to get away, take this book! I shall never see a pink Rolls Royce the same way again either! Great characters, unpredictable action, and an outcome you probably won't have predicted at all well (sign of a good book) - are all carried along with the pace of a film script. It isn't often that so many characters can hold your attention and actually all work together, let alone take you around the globe and back to a farmhouse. There is more than a touch of the absurd, but the idea that sparks all the activity is an interesting one in itself. Most of all it's good fun and very well written, so will also be ideal for holidays and get-aways and forgetting economic gloom.

Highly recommended, and available for Kindle too, which is handy.
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By tallpete33 TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
To be honest I found this a rather chaotic and disjointed read. Far too many disparate and stereotypical characters thrown together in a very loose plot to stage their own games but ultimately save the official Olympics. It was only the final chapter that gave it some meaning as the motley crew of athletes that had travelled (or escaped) from far and wide achieved their wish in taking part in London 2012 but the journey there as far as the book was concerned was a bizarre and pretty confusing one.

Tom Sharpe was one of the authors Chamberlain is compared to on the back cover but this is wishful thinking on the publisher's part and this has "tries-too-hard-to-be-funny" first book written all over it. If anything it does remind me of Sharpe's excellent Riotous Assembly but that is a forty year old book that would be a slightly uncomfortable read in this "more enlightened" day and age and Dreams of Gold has that trait at times. Making a joke out of an attempted terrorist bombing at the Games' opening ceremony (even if it is to win a bet) doesn't sit too well either.

Just makes the podium with a generous three stars (a bronze) for the happy ending.
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