Mark Hopton is twenty-four, single, and obsessed with Manchester music. It’s his escape into a better world.

Oh man, he needs that escape. His psycho brother’s on his case and in his face, his dad’s in prison, and the local gangsters are twisting his melons to make him smuggle drugs. Heaven knows he’s miserable now.

His one true shining ray of hope is Samantha Rees, a gorgeous and chaotic Welsh woman who rocks his world. She is the only good thing about his dead-end job. However, Samantha is popular, living the 24 hour party people lifestyle, so Mark assumes she’d never be interested in a shy outsider like him.

But after a chance encounter leads to Mark and Samantha spending the day together in the city centre – such a perfect day – perhaps hope isn’t fool’s gold after all?

Buy E-book Now Other Formats

This is the second book in the Manchester Summer series.
It would be easy to consider this novel a romance, it certainly has all the best elements of one. The will they won’t they scenarios and the draw of life pulling them apart and together for example. But this really doesn’t do the book justice. The characters are beautifully layered and flawed, certainly not your usual romantic heroes that you would expect. There is a wonderful depth to them that the author has created as well as growth through the story, which doesn’t culminate until the end. But in equal measure this story is a literary work, utilising nostalgia and music from Manchester as a main character in the novel. Leading us through the arc of the character driven story with a fresh tune in every chapter. It only added a beautiful flavour and gave it a personal touch I hadn’t expected. Add to this the wonderful readability and you have a story that I highly recommend.
-- Sarah Northwood, Goodreads

It’s like taking a trip back in time, revisiting old friends and old haunts. I’ve never been to Manchester, but the way he pulls you into each setting, you feel like you’ve lived there yourself. The characters are so well written, so well developed, so realistic, that you feel as if you’re there with them, living their lives with them.
Sam and Mark are two completely different people, leading separate lives, the only thing in common is the place where they work. And the fact that they are two deeply vulnerable people, struggling to find their place in the world, despite everything that keeps knocking them down. We’re pulled into their lives right from the start, as Sam mourns the death of her grandmother, and Mark mourns the demise of The Hacienda, and walk beside them as their lives slowly entwine.
And there’s the music, which weaves itself around the threads of the story, evoking memories from those long-gone years. Even if you weren’t into the indie groups of the time, Mark’s passion (and the author’s) for his music gets into your soul.
The ending doesn’t disappoint either – not too long and dragged out, not so short it leaves you wanting more. It’s just perfect.
There are so many wonderful parts to this story, so many little scenes that keep popping into my head even after I’ve finished reading it, as if they’re my memories now, not something I read. It’s going to stay with me for a long time. Highly recommend!
-- Pink Quill Books

It is a gem of book, beautifully written [...] A book about life, love, opportunity lost, misinterpretations, social awkwardness, work relationships and the experiences of a few common folk. Highly recommend it.
-- KHB, Goodreads

I have a penchant for empathetic literature that casts outsiders as gentle heroes - and gangly protagonist Mark Hopton is a perfect example of such a character. When we first meet Mark he seems to jar with the world around him, but as Drinkwater peels away the layers of Mark's character, we get to know someone who is as caring and sensitive as he is socially awkward. It is impossible not to warm to him - and it's heartwarming to watch his workmates follow suit. At first, anything developing between Mark and Sam seems unlikely. But, again, Sam develops before us on the page - and the more we get to witness her fragility, the more obvious it becomes that Mark is just the sort of someone who could make her happy. As well as Mark and Sam, there are two other important characters in this book - music and Manchester - and Drinkwater does nostalgic justice to them both. It was like being back in the Manchester of my teens!
-- the dissociated voice, Amazon

The best literary novel I've read this year. 2000 Tunes is a subtly-crafted work for readers who enjoy characters with depth. [...] to label it a 'romance' would be a gross over-simplification. 2000 Tunes is so much more. It is a meandering, gentle tale about self-awakening, confidence, family and place. The characters are fantastically layered and nuanced - a joy to read about - but it's not until the end that the reader can truly say they understand their motivations. This makes for an intriguing and satisfying conclusion. The most accessible literary work I've read in a long time and book that deserves a wider audience. Read it.
-- Amy Kitcher, Amazon

An excellent book which captures the Manchester music scene at the start of the century so brilliantly. I adored all the music references. However there is much more to this book than music cultural references. The characters are so well developed and the story is engaging. A joy to read.
-- izzy here, Amazon

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

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'.
-- Jaimella Shaikh, Goodreads

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, Goodreads

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.
-- Patricia, Goodreads