Almost a decade after the much acclaimed ‘Myth’, here, at last, is the sequel that many people have been awaiting. Beginning as the last book ends, ‘The Keeper’ takes us on a decade-spanning journey with faces old and new, and encounters of more than just the fishing kind.
Once again, Keith has drawn from real life, so the main characters are a melange of personalities that we have all met, either on the bankside, or elsewhere, and as usual, fact is always more colourful than fiction.
This isn’t just a book about fishing, although that has always been the thread that stitches everything together. The span has broadened here, and once again reflects what we see but sometimes fail to recognize. The changing of the seasons; the constant battle for survival – both animal and human survival; the many and varied characters and personalities we encounter in our lives, and who inevitably mould us into who we eventually become. But there always the fish –
Small fish; to enchant a young boy with his first encounter.
Big fish; that bring smiles and adulation to the most seasoned of anglers.
And the fish of dreams – those mythical creatures that exist on the periphery of vision, and hope; legends that are tantalisingly out of reach, but if you could just stretch that little bit further…..
All the characters, above and below the water line, face major changes and, as Old Ted is all too well aware, only the strong will survive.
Young Smiffy has to learn to adjust to life in the country, after having spent his first dozen years in the confines of boarding schools or his parents’ Chelsea home. But maybe an equally young Neil (Posh) Becks can help with that adjustment, and show Smiffy the wonders that Mother Nature has laid before them.
Stan strides from The Myth into The Keeper full of confidence, but his world is soon tipped upside down and he, also, has to readjust and re-learn if he is to move forward. Fortunately, his old buddies, Rhodie, Sid and Buzz are on hand to assist, if only to ensure that their future is secured as well.
Then there’s Old Ted. His is the wisdom of the trees, the knowledge of a true countryman. His history is mysterious, and its memory both grieves and soothes him, but his goal is simple – to ensure that everyone survives. But, as he knows too well, that outcome is never quite certain.
This isn’t ‘Son of Myth’, this is the Myth’s big brother, and he’s got an attitude. In short, this is life, pretty much as we all know it – and then some.
We’ve put a small number of Sooz Lane’s wonderful illustrations in here, to give a feel of the beauty of the hardback. There’s not a lot more to say, really, apart from the 120,000 words that follow, so I’ll let them do the talking and hope that they say just what I want them to.
… Welcome to the world of Old Ted – The Keeper.
'A truly fantastic, exhilarating read. Every time I picked it up it excited me and touched a place in my own adventurous heart. I could relate to it on just about every level, if only the world we lived in were more like that, it's there, but most don't see it. Of course, I'm a ruffy tuffy soldier, not of Ted's ilk mind, but still, there was no evidence of any lump in my throat!' - Carl Bullock.
About Keith Jenkins
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Published October 5, 2011
by Freebird Publishing.
Literature & Fiction, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Sports & Outdoors.