Inside Information – What Makes Stop the World, I Want to Get On New and Special?

By Ian D Smith

My novel is back on Authonomy @ after six months rest and a new title. At its peak in 2012, it reached #26 with 100 backers. So what’s making it so popular?

It’s accessible and entertaining – literary fiction in media res.

It offers escapism, optimism and humour. On the road with the new, dead-beat generation. Wild, crazy, funny, and original.

The ingenious plot. Roland Bamber’s demands for money force four friends to flee London in an old Ford Transit. They surface on a container ship, the Jolly Condor, bound for Sicily. Unfortunately, someone has secretly cut them into a deal with Bamber, and unbeknown to them, they’re carrying heroin.

Sense of drama. Something is always going to happen in Stop the World, I Want to Get On. Jules and Damian set up a mobile disco, and impress the ship’s captain, although he jettisons them in Sicily where they’re met by armed La Guardia who discover the heroin.

Action. They escape and head for a bar where Bamber ambushes them. Surviving the ambush, they secure a gig at a naturist camp, where they meet more London escapees, and a CIA agent, Zendrowski, who’s investigating drug trafficking. He loses patience with the lack of evidence and abandons them … in the desert.

Disparate locations. An England international soccer pro, Nathan Ryan, rescues them and signs them up for his sports bar, Golden Balls, in Spain. Their gear is destroyed when England lose to Germany in the World Cup Final, and they return to London, and their old pub, the Marquis of Queensbury, which is being refurbished as a gastro-pub. They discover the basement is full of Bamber’s counterfeiting equipment. On the Marquis opening night, Bamber looms carrying an automatic rifle.

Metaphor. Suki wants to hug the socio-economic ‘tiger’. But tigers bite back, and escape from Hackney kicks off with the megalomaniacal captain of the Jolly Condor, a ship apparently sailing into oblivion. The antidote to Ayn Rand perhaps?

Humanity. It’s a positive novel about the future, friendship and personal revolutions instigated by ourselves. In a fast-moving style, Stop the World, I Want to Get On captures a struggle to make sense of the world, to survive apathy, to make space to think and seize the potential of the future. Confident, positive, uplifting work. It’s also ambitious and funny.