by Ian D Smith
Dear followers, here is the chapter-by-chapter synopsis of my novel Stop the World, I Want to Get On. Authonomy
Chapter 1. Stargazers
Hackney, East London, and Jules Jewell, the landlord of the old Marquis of Queensbury boozer, confronts a man called Sweetnam who’s demanding money.
Chapter 2. Camaraderie
Damian Bones demonstrates a new mobile Marquis and his ancient Shake Your Bones mobile disco to neighbours Suki Chen and Macy May, and Jules Jewell, who’s abandoned the Marquis.
Chapter 3. The Long Audition
They’re all forced to squash into Damian’s beat up Mark II Ford Transit when drug baron Roland Bamber appears behind the controls of a bulldozer. The speeding Ford gets them out of there, and they surface in Southampton docks, sealed inside a container that’s loaded onto a ship called the Jolly Condor. Concerned they might suffocate, Jules is distressed that Suki appears to have little thought for human life.
Chapter 4. Sophisticated Punters
Macy finds crates of model Mount Etnas bound for Sicily. They set up Damian’s mobile bar and the Shake Your Bones disco inside the container and impress Captain Stefano Giorgio, who announces that the newly-named Bar at the End of the Universe will be the SS Jolly Condor’s official on-board entertainment. Giorgio allocates the dining room for rehearsals, and takes a hands-on approach. The new ‘act’ starts to take shape, under the instruction of the increasingly unreasonable captain. They repeat their performance night-after-night, until Etna comes into sight.
Chapter 5. Gladiators
Giorgio confirms they won’t be retained for the return journey. Damian has a gig lined up, but when they leave the ship they’re met by armed La Guardia. The container is searched, and the model Etnas are found to contain heroin. In the ensuing mayhem, they escape into Palermo’s maze of back streets where they ask for directions to a gig from a Mafiosi who tells them to drive to Taormina. But there’s no gig in Taormina, and they’re ambushed by Roland Bamber who shoots at them. They escape back to Palermo in the damaged Ford, and after a struggle they choose to break away from Damian’s deals with Bamber forever.
Chapter 6. Strands of Gold
They join a ferry queue bound for Africa, and Jules start to feel he’s attracted to Suki. He meets an African touring impresario, Abraham Diabate who wants them to perform at his father’s hotel bar Der Spiegel. He gives them tickets for the Oceania, a ferry heading for Tunisia.
Chapter 7. Some Kind of Voodoo
On board the Oceania, they spot their relentless pursuer Roland Bamber. Jules barricades the cabin, but the others occupy all the bunks and Suki takes pity on him. On arrival in Tunis, they make a run for the Ford but it won’t start and has to be pushed into Tunis by crew members.
Chapter 8. Bump Start
Stranded in a Tunisian compound, time is running out for them. However, Abraham Diabate is last to leave the Oceania in a 1950s Duple Roadmaster, and he collects them and their gear.
Chapter 9. Sole Surviving Heartbeat
Diabate takes them on a journey across Africa to Banjul, and describes his recreational use of Khat, but Jules is convinced they’re being followed. Diabate delivers them to Der Spiegel, a male-only nudist colony. Macy and Suki are whisked away by tribeswomen, but inside Der Spiegel, they meet fellow-travellers Monty Blomqvist and Gripper, the Marquis diaspora, and they fill in for the absent women.
Chapter 10. Impresario of Nature
A serious amount of money persuades Damian to perform their ‘act’ naked to Abraham Diabate, his father, and three hundred naked Germans. But their ‘act’ is disrupted by dart frogs, and Monty, Gripper and Damian go on strike.
Chapter 11. Mojitos All Round
An American, Zendrowski, overhears their complaints and lures them into his stretch Humvee, reuniting them with Suki and Macy, traumatised after a bush fire trapped them in a mud hut, and Suki’s close encounter with a real tiger. They arrive at the American’s bar in Amsterdam, the Sleepeasy, but the manager, Dr Eigen, demands they audition. Zendrowski wants to know where the frogs are.
Chapter 12. Roll-Neck Sweaters
There’s been a misunderstanding about the frog content, and they fail the audition. However, Zendrowski is impressed that they evaded the infamous Bamber who is now on the run across Europe. Zendrowski suggests another bar, the Gridiron, in Baghdad.
Chapter 13. Smile and Look Pretty
Zendrowski takes them through high security into Baghdad’s Entertainment Green Zone. In the atmosphere-free US Army bar, Stefano Giorgio resurfaces demanding more, but they conquer their demons and win over the hostile crowd.
Chapter 14. Curtain Call
Against US Army regulations, Gripper serves alcohol to the troops, and a visiting Geordie soccer pro called Nathan Ryan. But Zendrowski discovers the alcohol, and they’re sacked. Zendrowski rushes them out of Baghdad, and a US Army platoon wrecks the Marquis equipment abandoning them in the desert.
Chapter 15. Bad Timing, Nothing More
They’re rescued by Nathan Ryan who is en-route to training for the forthcoming soccer World Cup. He lends them his bright yellow roadster, a time machine that takes them to the player’s bar, Golden Balls in Spain. He also replaces their equipment.
Chapter 16. Wrong Place, Wrong Time
But they arrive on the night of the live screening of the World Cup Final, England v Germany. Nathan Ryan misses the crucial penalty giving Germany victory, and the clientele take it out on the Marquis II. Jules acquires a grey box, the evening’s takings, from the Golden Balls manager, Mark Grand, who’s under attack. Suki displays her martial arts skills and they escape in the roadster, but with no gear. Damian has unfinished business in the UK. He wants custody of his son. On a traveller’s site in Slough, his ex, Molly Madrigali, tries to sell him the boy. Jules, Monty and Gripper watch the boy dumping pallets into a flooded gravel pit. It makes no sense, and despite possessing the Golden Balls takings, Damian reluctantly refuses Molly’s demands. The police descend on the site, and arrest Molly and Damian’s boy. They also recover model mount Etnas containing heroin from the flooded gravel pit. Incriminated, the Marquis team are forced to flee yet again.
Chapter 17. Going Underground
They return to the old Marquis in Hackney which is still standing. Dr Eigen, the former manager of the Sleepeasy, now owns it, and along with Abraham Diabate, they have plans to create a restaurant. Jules is banished to the basement and discovers Bamber’s old counterfeiting equipment. Damian’s boy drops into the basement to collect something, but Jules catches him and appears to strike a deal. Monty becomes more authoritative, and seems to know everything.
Chapter 18. Old Scores
The new Marquis restaurant opens with Gripper, Suki, Macy and Damian as waiters. A transformed Monty plays classical music on a new grand piano, and with all the food journalists and Michelin inspectors seated, Mark Grand and Nathan Ryan appear. They want their money, but Damian charms them into indulging in the Marquis. But Roland Bamber ambushes the place, raking it with automatic machine gun fire. He points the gun at Damian, but Gripper uses a weapon he liberated in Iraq and tasers him.