Mark Hopton’s an outsider obsessed with Manchester music. He knows the dates, facts, band members, lyrics, histories and places. He can join them in complicated webs of association because he knows the secret: everything’s connected. Music’s his escape into a better world.
Oh man, he needs that escape. His dad’s in prison, his psycho brother’s only one step away, and they’re twisting his melons trying to make him risk his freedom by smuggling drugs. It ain’t easy saying no when family and their shady contacts can be bone-breakingly persuasive. Heaven knows he’s miserable now.
The summer sun does bring one ray of light: he secretly admires Samantha, a beautiful Welsh girl at work. Watching her is like listening to music, it strengthens him, she’s his wonderwall of true faith. He’s happy with that. Love is fool’s gold.
Meanwhile, Samantha’s been caught up in a hedonistic lifestyle of cigarettes and alcohol with the 24 hour party people but now she’s had it up to here with Mancunians. Cheaters, weirdos and two-faced scummers, the lot of ’em. When the drugs don’t work it’s time to grow up but no-one’s going to take her for granted again. Don’t look back in anger? Screw that. She’s never been one to walk away.
2000 Tunes is a meditation on life, family, friends, growing up, and following your dreams.
Note: this book is an optional partner to Cold Fusion 2000. Both are gentle love stories about growing up.
Book Length: 634 pages / 138,000 words
ISBNs: Print 978-1-326-27483-2
Background: Manchester Music posts (and a breakdown of the songs and bands); Manchester Music Overview 1976 – 1998; Frequently Asked Questions
"I started to read it and was so impressed I decided this was going to be my holiday reading. Not just any holiday, it was to be my honeymoon reading. I'm not sure what the guests around the pool thought when I gave myself an asthma attack laughing at one passage - it is safe to say I will never be able to look at my aunt Myfanwy with a straight face. [...] Brilliantly written, it engages from the start. The dialogue has a 'real' feel and it is as if the characters are people I know. I love the music references at the start of each chapter (I'm the right age to remember). It has become one of my all time top five reads."
-- Jen, Goodreads. (21st August 2016)
"I loved it. Karl Drinkwater has done a great job of capturing a time and place incredibly well. The characters are well written and relatable. [...] I will be seeking out Karl Drinkwater's other books and would urge anyone reading this to do likewise."
-- Full review. (7th February 2016)
"Dialogue that nails the metre and manic exuberance of the Manc tongue. Perfectly realised rudderless 20-somethings stuck in empty jobs and flats. A dash of magic realism [...] Manchester music holds this book together as it holds Mark's life together. But dig deeper into this seeming love letter to the Manchester music scene and starts to read like an obituary. All the good music gone. The Hacienda closed. The Conti faded, captured here before the lights go out for the last time a year later. Mark makes endless connections between the music he loves [...] But these patterns form a web as sticky as that woven by his family that fixes him in the past so he can't see the future. He is 'Lost in music'"
-- Full review. (31st January 2016)
"All good books have a magic moment - not the one that grabs you, that's the job of covers and blurbs, but the moment that hooks you in and turns a 1 chapter fling into a full-on commitment. 2000 Tunes - Karl Drinkwater's lovesong to Manchester, music and the madness of families - did that with a simple line about Manchester's iconic music venue The Hacienda: "It had been a surprisingly small place compared to its size in his memory." It was like someone had defined far too many of my conversations since 1982. When he followed that with a description of Manchester that captured the city's accent and its crazy contradictions and echoed the musical beat that runs through the novel - "Carrier bags and kicked-in teeth, short skirts in winter, tall tales with bitter, a brew and a lager, shaved heads and shopping on red brick and grit, endless suburb houses, long roads and alleys, gorillas and galleries, Salford scallies" - this music fan's soul was caught. Drinkwater positions the novel as being about music - the famous Madchester sound - and it is, but it is much more than that. This is a novel about families and how they trap, or save, you; it's also about relationships and the inarticulate nature of love. Music-obsessed Mark Hopton and Welsh Valley girl-made-good Samantha are trying to create lives that will at least let them glimpse the stars - Drinkwater lets them stumble and doesn't accept cliched pathways, his characters are far too real for that. I couldn't put it down, I want to know what happens next - if there really is a light that never goes out..."
-- Catherine Hokin. (26th August 2015)
"One thing about Karl Drinkwater is that he never disappoints and 2000 Tunes is Classic Karl. Reading this well-written and detailed novel we are drawn into a world in Manchester, UK that is certainly new to me. Music references, personal and work relationships mixed with various levels of lifestyles-this book has it all. I embraced it fully. I was especially taken with the characters Mark and Sam. Mark uses his vast knowledge of the local music scene to emotionally carry him through the rough times. I liked the way Mark gradually started changing his appearance to change his life and Sam had a few changes on the go also. Did their story end in the way I hoped it would? You'll have to read 2000 Tunes to find out! Our author doesn't pander to the expected. Expect surprises. 2000 Tunes is a novel whose characters and situations will stay with you long after you have finished reading it."
-- Full review. (31st July 2015)