Release date: 3rd December 2024
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Jumbo: The coming of age of a Jewish boy
About the Book:
This is a story about a boy called Ray who, as a result of his greed and lust for life, became Jumbo both in size and in name. Ray was born into a Jewish family in Perth, Western Australia, shortly after World War II; a family living in a suburban house at a time of growing affluence and cultural change. The story follows Ray as his family relocates from the protective confines of the local Jewish community, as his own connections to the religion and to that community begin to falter.
Ray is a loner by choice, a shrewd boy who knows how to create shortcuts to reduce his effort, and a watcher of life who fancies that he doesn’t miss much. He does have both natural and learned attributes that will help him later in life and others that will create hurdles for him.
Told wistfully and with wry humour in a series of linked anecdotes, the story is one of a loss of faith, a discovery of selfhood, and one of adventures and misadventures, from boyhood to the beginning of an adult life. As his own life approaches its late stage, as a strategy for avoiding total erasure, this tale is an attempt to add aspects of Ray’s humble life to that great ocean of experience and learning that fills bookshelves of libraries and provides witness to the process and struggles of being human.
About the Author:
Geoffrey London is addicted to film and is also a keen reader of all sorts of books, including graphic novels. Jumbo began as a graphic novel, with illustrations planned to take a major role in the narrative. But, in the making, text became the dominant part of the telling, with the illustrations assuming a more static and supportive role. London has not written fiction before. Nor has he previously attempted to illustrate a book, in this instance, based on photographs and memory. In his previous life he was an architect, an academic, and a public servant.