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Mr Toppit

Elton, Charles

1,317 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0670917818 / ISBN 13: 9780670917815
Published by Viking, London, UK, 2009
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Charles E. Pate (Owens Cross Roads, AL, U.S.A.)

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Book is signed and dated. DJ is protected by a mylar sleeve. All books are shipped stoutly boxed. Language: eng Language: eng. Bookseller Inventory # 000232

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Mr Toppit

Publisher: Viking, London, UK

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition..

About this title

Synopsis:

And out of the Darkwood Mr Toppit comes, and he comes not for you, or for me, but for all of us... When the author of The Hayseed Chronicles, Arthur Hayman, is mown down by a concrete truck in Soho, his legacy passes to his widow, Martha, and her children - the fragile Rachel, and Luke, reluctantly immortalised as Luke Hayseed, the central character of his father's books. But others want their share, particularly Laurie, who has a mysterious agenda of her own that changes all their lives. For buried deep in the books lie secrets which threaten to be revealed as the family begins to crumble under the heavy burden of their inheritance. Spanning several decades, from the heyday of the British film industry after the war to the cut-throat world of show business in Los Angeles, Mr Toppit is a riveting tale of the unexpected effects of sudden fame and fortune. Not since Jonathan Coe's What a Carve Up! has a novel managed to capture a family and a society to such wonderfully funny and painful effect.

Review:

A Letter to Readers from Charles Elton

Charles Elton worked as a designer and editor in publishing before becoming a literary agent. Since 1991 he has worked in television and for the past ten years has been the executive producer in drama at ITV. Among his productions are the Oscar-nominated short Syrup, The Railway Children, Andrew Davies’s adaptation of Northanger Abbey, and the recent series Time of Your Life, all produced in association with WGBH Boston's Masterpiece Theater.

Dear Reader,

Fifteen years ago I began writing Mr. Toppit when I was a literary agent representing the estate of A.A. Milne, author of Winnie-the-Pooh. I learned the story of Milne’s son, Christopher Robin Milne, who grew to hate the fame his father's books brought him. To reshape that idea in a modern context was the single idea that was the genesis of my novel.

During the years I spent writing, another phenomenon occurred in the world of children's book publishing that made Winnie-the-Pooh's fame seem parochial: Harry Potter. Suddenly, my idea of a modern series of children's stories that take over the world did not seem so far-fetched. What had originally been conceived as a small story about my boy hero, Luke Hayman, suddenly made famous by his dead father's books widened into both an examination of the mechanics of fame and a strange journey towards a literary tipping point that has devastating consequences for the characters in my book.

Mr. Toppit was published by Viking/Penguin in England last year and has been very successful and received an enormous amount of media interest, helped by being one of the Richard and Judy Summer Reads (the UK equivalent of the Oprah Book Club). It is being published in the US by Other Press and I wanted to explain why this means so much to me.

Although I only had the sketchiest notion of where Mr. Toppit was going to go when I started writing it, the one thing I was certain of was that the children’s books inside my novel would first become famous in America. I began to follow the story of a radio presenter named Laurie Clow, from her sad childhood in Los Alamos to her dysfunctional life in Modesto, California, and the trip she makes to England where she collides with Luke and his family and becomes the catalyst that changes all of their lives. What happens in America is crucial to the plot of my book, and its publication completes the strange circle that started 15 years ago as I began writing.

I really hope you like the book and thank you in advance for all your support.

Best,

Charles Elton

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