Jonathan Nicholas - Author
Jonathan Nicholas - Author
Early reviews of 'Oz - A Hitchhiker's Australian Anthology.'
***** Another hilarious, harrowing adventure from the master of zero-star travel 14 July 2014
By Mark Myers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This time, Nicholas takes us on a decidedly unpackaged tour through Australia. The trip begins and ends with his eking out a living selling execrable paintings for fifty dollars and up (but not up by much). A Brit, he learns that he can't get his foot in the door, thanks to Aussies' anti-English prejudice. But then he adopts a Queensland accent, and begins making a hundred or two every night.
When he's not haunting suburban streets as an art hustler, Nicholas hitchhikes thousands of miles around the country, depending on the kindness of strangers and old friends for his survival. Even with his uncanny ability to inspire people to help him and his surprisingly good luck, though, he sometimes gets himself into desperate straits. At one point he runs out of food and money. But as an illegal alien (his visa expires, but he stays), "I couldn't ask for help from the authorities in case they checked my immigration status."
There are transcendent moments, too. Stretched out in the uncovered part of a utility vehicle at night, he writes, "As we streaked across remote central Queensland on the Flinders Highway the view suddenly snatched the breath from my lungs as though I'd fallen into an icy lake. In the spectacular midnight wilderness the stars of the Southern Cross amongst the other billions in the clear sky above seemed to touch the ground all around us."
Let's not forget romance. There's plenty of it, though it's usually unconsummated, and in one case, unwelcome, when the author slips away from a burly Aussie who insistently invites him for drinks, with a promise good times afterward in the galoot's room. But the real romance is the author's love affair with Australia. Read this book, and you'll fall in love too.
***** Sit back and enjoy the ride! 28 July 2014
By Harry Milkman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nearly everyone of my generation (growing up in the US in the 60s and 70s) dreamt of strapping on a backpack and hitchhiking across Europe. Jonathan Nicholas, having grown up in the UK during that time, and already having spent time as a kibbutz volunteer in Israel, did just that, but across the vast continent of Australia. He didn't seem to have any particular plan, but carried phone numbers and addresses of a few Australian friends, hoping to reconnect. He soon overstayed his tourist visa, exhausted his funds, and needed to find work to survive. He found success selling paintings door-to-door in middle class neighborhoods.
Yet he still wanted to explore the far reaches of the continent, and hitchhiked his way across thousands of miles. He waits (sometimes for hours) in searing heat and soaking rain, rides with a variety of interesting and quirky drivers, and pitches his tent wherever he can. He's often hungry and lonely along the way, but always manages to survive, make new friends, and have a generally good time.
His narrative is brutally honest, revealing things about himself that other writers might choose to conceal. The level of detail he can still share decades after the original events is a testament to his discipline of recording everything in his diaries.
The subtitle notes that the book is an "anthology," so don't expect a full unbroken narrative, or a plot. It is a collection of vignettes in chronological order, which together relate what he experienced over the course of a year. It is a highly enjoyable and entertaining book which conveys what it's like to survive on your own in a completely foreign environment, the purpose of which was nothing more than the experience itself.
By Jonah462 on 22 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
As I am travelling to Australia soon I thought I could get some useful travel tips from this book. The only tip I actually did get is, DO NOT use this as a travel guide, unless you want to end up destitute and living on cold baked beans!! Of course, it was never written as such and I never expected it to be. It was a very personal, frank and humorous record of a young mans travels around this vast continent. How the author managed to survive on virtually nothing is testament to his determination and some good fortune too. Once I started to read it, I found it difficult to put down and even laughed out loud to myself at certain parts. Thoroughly enjoyable book which I would recommend to anyone. Just don't follow the same path as Jonathan if you travel to Oz and I'm sure you'll be fine...
Reviews of: 'The Tragic Romance of Africa'
5.0 out of 5 stars
***** Superb what a story
21 Oct 2013
By Jack Paxton
Format:Kindle Edition
Just finished reading this book, it should be a film it's got everything, humour love and tragedy. This is the third book I have read by the same author and all true stories, the ending to the tragic romance will leave you in tears or fighting them back. Thank you Dennis Hubbard for sharing your story - brilliantly written by Jonathan yet again
5.0 out of 5 stars
***** Thrilling, beautiful insight to another world now lost
27 Nov 2013
By TheDJsWifeinFrance
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
The Tragic Romance of Africa: A True Adventure
This book was such a lovely read and brought wonderful insight to another place and time that is probably lost now forever. To read a true account written with heartfelt and genuine honesty was delightful - what a treat. The descriptions of Africa were superb. I was left wondering about other adventures that I suspect the author has encountered in his lifetime.... encore!
I just finished reading "The tragic romance of Africa".
The last few chapters were read through welled up eyes and I struggled to focus on the words.
The adventures were amazing....
The trip to Africa was so graphic and well described. The innocence of a young man and how he was fooled by a con man yet continued trusting people throughout and if he hadn't, he may not have had the experiences he did later on in the book. I experienced an 8 hour journey from Punjab to Delhi in 43degree weather. The bath that evening is probably the most refreshing i ever had! I remember drinking many litres of water and not needing a piss in all that time and a long time thereafter!
The friendship between Dennis and Fred was heartwarming and i felt comforted that Dennis had him there. Fred sounds like he was the weaker of the two but it seemed that Dennis was stronger with him..... They were both lovable individually and more so when they discovered things together. saying that... I was horrified when Fred needed a piss in the car, I would have used my rifle on him! Fred was seemingly never meant to go any further in Dennis's life.... He was perhaps an earth angel that was there to see Dennis through his time in Africa. I wonder if he was ever a real life being.
I loved the way a young grumpy teenager became a beautiful loveable young lady and the chapter of the piano was moving and touched the soul. The description of her hands, her eyes and the every move between them felt real and stirred feelings and memories of new love.
I have finished reading a second book of yours feeling gutted that it doesn't go on..
Thanks to Dennis for sharing his memories... Its very hard re-living things, i know. Without him having to go through that re-living process, i and many others would not have the opportunity to immerse in his story and understand the intensity of the many adventures that he and Fred experienced.
Five stars again...
Sukhi
KIBBUTZ VIRGIN
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Amazon (UK) customer reviews of 'Kibbutz Virgin':
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 27 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Kibbutz Virgin (Kindle Edition) 5 stars does not do this book justice, the descriptive style of this author makes you feel like you were there on the Kibbutz with him. only took me three nights to read the book, needless to say i was tired for work, but it was worth it and i would do it again. in fact i do plan on doing it again, I have a paper copy and a Kindle Copy so that this story goes with me everywhere
5.0 out of 5 stars Coming of age in a foreign land, 24 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Kibbutz Virgin: A British Teenager's Account of Six Months Living on a Kibbutz in Israel (Paperback) This book works at a couple of different levels, part travelogue, part coming-of-age story.
Jonathan's easy-going writing style takes a boy of 18 and deposits him far from home in an Israeli kibbutz, where he finds his feet, his first true love, and ultimately himself. The chapters are bite-sized, so the book can be picked up and put down at will, in fact it's probably the best way to read it rather than be overwhelmed by each of the young Jonathan's experiences. The sights, smells and sounds are brought to life, in fact the prog rock soundtrack would make a great accompaniment to the book!
There are the inevitable highs and lows of young adulthood, the setting adds an evocative backdrop to the story and the whole experience is neatly bracketed by a trip to the cinema, seen through very different eyes.
The obvious audience for this book will be those who worked in Israel themselves and can relate directly to the experience. As someone who never did, I found it equally interesting in its own right.
5.0 out of 5 stars Toda roba!!, 10 Jun 2013
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(REAL NAME)
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This review is from: Kibbutz Virgin: A British Teenager's Account of Six Months Living on a Kibbutz in Israel (Paperback) I am not a very keen reader. I get bored easily when I read and always manage to find a reason why I "can't" read! This book changed my attitude, probably for good. It was gripping and very well written. I read it in three days because I didnt want to put it down. At the end I sat fighting my tears back. I felt like it was the end of an adventure that I had very much become a part of, and I miss it still a week later.
I personally particulary liked the way the book was split in small chapters. I like to think of the chapters like mini size choc bars. I read each chapter and sat back to reflect on each one. I felt like I was there with the author. His writing is powerful and I found myself experiencing and relishing his every emotion, it was an educational journey.
I can't wait to read more from this author.
I would defintiely recommend this book.
Jonathan..... Toda Roba!!! for letting us enjoy your adventure with you!!
Brilliant read!, 10 May 2013
By
Pamela - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kibbutz Virgin (Kindle Edition)
There is a nice & natural, narrative flow to this story and it is a very accurate account of what life on a kibbutz is like as a volunteer. Spontaneous parties in rooms, paraffin heaters & toast, friday nights at the moadon... it's how it all went. The story is a huge trip down memory lane for anyone who has ever been to a kibbutz. The author's observations of this beautiful and complex country are well described. The love story is written in a lovely way too and nicely intertwines with the rest of the book. The song Wish You Were Here will never be the same again! Brilliant read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Read, 6 May 2013
By
LC - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kibbutz Virgin (Kindle Edition)
I received this book as a gift - on opening it I thought 'Ooh lovely...... what is a 'Kibbutz'?!
How glad am I that I read this book. Not only is it very detailed and informative, it is also very moving. I had some laugh out loud moments and also shed the odd tear.
What a wonderful account from the author who has obviously lived and breathed this experience. After reading this book, I feel I have gained a great deal of knowledge on something that I knew nothing about and I am looking forward to reading future publications by this author.
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Engaging Read, 25 April 2013
By
Gideon - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kibbutz Virgin (Kindle Edition)
Prior to picking this book up I'd never even heard of a Kibbutz, now I feel like I've lived in one. The style of writing is engaging and brings the whole experience to life. The memories must have been very vivid as the author wrote this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Memories, 24 April 2013
By
Fletch - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kibbutz Virgin (Kindle Edition)
I loved reading and remembering. I bought two copies and gave one to friend who I met on Dafna 21 years ago, I've now known her half my life!
Great read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 25 Mar 2013
By Jack paxton - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Kibbutz Virgin (Kindle Edition)
I read this book while on a flight to Mexico from England and I will certainly read it again ,couldn't, put it down what a marvellous experience for someone so young .great book well done Jonathan. Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 24 Mar 2013
By H. Mcfarlane - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) This review is from: Kibbutz Virgin (Kindle Edition)
Great read. Really gets into life on a kibbutz, with a good story and characters you care about as the book progresses. Recommended. Help other customers find the most
Average Customer Review
5.0 out of 5 stars (6 customer reviews)
5.0 out of 5 stars Kibbutz memories, 24 Feb 2013
By
scottross - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kibbutz Virgin (Kindle Edition)
An excellent read which vividly brought memories flooding back.so much of the authors experiences reminded me of my own.thoroughly enjoyable and a good read for anyone considering kibbutz .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bring a bucket and spade. Don't forget the flack jacket!, 23 Feb 2013
By
Winston Bugle - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kibbutz Virgin: A British Teenager's Account of Six Months Living on a Kibbutz in Israel (Paperback)
It would be true to say that I came across this author in the most unusual of manners but I am glad I did. I wouldn't normally read this sort of thing - memoirs for me have to be military or police based rather than travel - but this is set in a war theatre which adds an interesting variable to an unusual `holiday' and it's good to read other things once in a while.
The pictures of the settings and people are painted well within the writing. At times I pictured myself right there in the authors shoes, I felt his emotion and imagined myself joining in with the laughs and camaraderie. I could feel the fear and uncertainty when military attacks were launched: this book is set in Israel and it would be true to say that their neighbours are not very 'neighbourly'.
Like the author (many years ago), I knew nothing of what a kibbutz was until I read his account. I would say that even though this account is based in the late 70s, if you are considering going to work and stay in a kibbutz then this is a must read and even if you are not, this is an interesting and informative account of a subject that does not seem to be well covered by literature.
Excellent read and I would (and will) recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very true!, 18 Jan 2013
By
P. COOPER (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
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This review is from: Kibbutz Virgin (Kindle Edition)
Kibbutz Virgin has been a thoroughly good read and I couldn't put it down until I finished it!
It captures the essence of kibbutz life for a volunteer and will induce nostalgic yearnings for anyone who spent time on any kibbutz.
Whether you have visited yourself or are just generally interested, I recommend this book both as an invaluable insight into that life but also as a personal life-changing story.
Thank you!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kibbutz Virgin, 27 Dec 2012
By
Polly - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kibbutz Virgin (Kindle Edition)
To anyone who ever was a volunteer on the kibbutz and wanted to re live some of the funny, touching and drunken moments this is a must!! Great, honest and nostalgic account by a young 18 year old English boy. Thank you for keeping a diary and sharing it with us.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN EXCELLENT READ, 24 Dec 2012
By
mdp (france) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kibbutz Virgin (Kindle Edition)
This is a most interesting and well-written book, certainly one of the few I will doubtless read again soon. The author who is clearly well informed and articulate, writes about his personal experiences as only one who has "been there" can.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone who enjoys true-life adventure.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read, 21 Dec 2012
By
gaffa - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kibbutz Virgin (Kindle Edition)
I have always thought that what makes a good writer is an ability to convey a passion for what is written about; this author certainly does not disappoint. Although not having been to Israel myself, 'Kibbutz Virgin' sparked many nostalgic memories of first adventures and first love in my own life. This is a remarkable story of a young man's first freedom into the big wide world: a humbling read. Thank you Jonathan!
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Amazon (US) customer reviews of 'Kibbutz Virgin':
A kibbutz story, May 11, 2013
By
veneresssa - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kibbutz Virgin (Kindle Edition)
Great book & wonderful story of a young man's journey to an unknown place in Israel. The author manages to engage the reader in everyday life & his descriptive recount to minor details is amazing.
Thanks Jonathan :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Story, May 8, 2013
By
Colleen Jane - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kibbutz Virgin (Paperback)
I spent time on a kibbutz in the late 70's and this book captures that experience brilliantly. Life on a kibbutz is so unique -- eating meals with often dozens of other people, working at sometimes menial jobs (like in the kitchen, peeling kilos of onions, loading the dishwasher) side by side with people from around the world. Buying up cheap grog and cigarettes in the Kibbutz shop, in preparation for partying (which was often). Learning about the Israeli outlook on life from the people themselves. Making life-long friendships. This book covers it all and the illustrations help bring the experience to life. I don't know if young people still undertake to travel in Israel and stay on a kibbutz, but I often cite it as one of the best journeys I've ever taken and Kibbutz Virgin would be my number one choice as a "travel guide" for anyone setting out to do just that.Kibbutz Virgin
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4.0 out of 5 stars Attention all former kibbutz volunteers!, March 15, 2013
By
Stephen Butler - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kibbutz Virgin (Kindle Edition)
Having spent 2 years on kibbutzim in the early 80s this book brings back all of those small detailed memories;; the kibbutz food, the long nights of work, the friends we met and the experience of living the great social experiment in one of the most fascinating countries in the world. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unmissable if you were ever a kibbutz volunteer!, January 6, 2013
By
Caroline Morgan (South Africa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kibbutz Virgin (Kindle Edition)
You'll love this book if you ever volunteered on a kibbutz, especially during the late 1970s to mid 80s.
The author kept detailed journals, from the time he first approached a UK "kibbutz representative office" to his flight, navigating Tel Aviv bus station, arrival on Kibbutz Dafna, and the daily life of a volunteer.
Regardless of which kibbutz you know, you'll recognise the characters, the daily routine, the factory, the Friday night parties, the dishwasher machine, the indestructable Duralex glasses used for piped soda water or hot tea...
It's one big flashback, rich in wonderful memories and hilarious detail.
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Amazon (Germany) customer reviews of 'Kibbutz Virgin':
4.0 von 5 Sternen
1 Rezension
4.0 von 5 Sternen
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
4.0 von 5 Sternen Kein eindeutiges Urteil 2. März 2013
Von Franz
Format:Kindle Edition|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Das tägliche "Saufen" unter den Voluntairen erweckt einen falschen Eindruck, und wird der Wirklichkeit nicht gerecht (es sei denn, Kibbutz Dafne liegt in Nord-Europa). Die geschilderten Eindrücke vom Leben in der Kibbutz-Gemeinschaft ist nach meinen Erfahrungen schon sehr oberflächlich und auf Weniges reduziert. Andrerseits besitzt die Liebesgeschichte zwischen N. und C. rührende Passagen, die zum wiederholten Lesen anregen. Interessant fand ich, dass das Sammeln von Vorgängen in "Dafne" über den Roman von Leon Uris "Exodus" erfolgt zu einem sehr späten Zeitpunkt der Erzählung.
Schließlich möchte man wissen, wie der zweite Aufenthalt im Kibbutz Dafne verlief. Wohl ganz anders als beim Erstenmal, vermute ich. Und warum?
'Goodreads' customer reviews:
Kibbutz Virgin: A British Teenager's Account of Six Months Living on a Kibbutz in Israel. by Jonathan Nicholas
Rate this book
1 of 5 stars2 of 5 stars3 of 5 stars4 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars
Kibbutz Virgin: A British Teenager's Account of Six Months Living on a Kibbutz in Israel. by Jonathan Nicholas
by Jonathan Nicholas
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 · rating details · 2 ratings · 2 reviews
Paperback
Published August 1st 2012 by Troubador Publishing
May 11, 2013 Renata SG rated it 4 of 5 stars
Great book & wonderful recount of a persons journey into the unknown ...
Great depth of description & although I had no idea what a
kibbutz was, I know understand & can appreciate the lifestyle that these people experienced.
 Well done Jonathan.
Randy Wolf
Jan 01, 2013 Randy Wolf rated it 4 of 5 stars
Great reminisces for anyone who spent time as a kibbutz vollie.
Caroline Morgan
Jan 13, 2013 Caroline Morgan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Really a great read, loved every minute of it! :)
The ending reminded me of the battle I had (and I guess any long-term volunteer had) with "re-entry" into their previous life.

'Who'd be a copper?'

Goodreads:
Early Amazon UK reviews of 'Who'd be a copper?'
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Contact

If you have always wanted to ask me something, now is the time to go for it!
JonathanNicholas-Author@virginmedia.com

News                                 Steve Cherry will be attending several locations across the country for book signing events. Dates and locations to follow.                                                                Nov 2018 -  'Cherry Picking' is now available for pre-order on Amazon and other internet retailers.                                                            Aug 2018 - 'Cherry Picking - Life between the Sticks' has been taken on by traditional publisher The Book Guild and will be released on 28th Feb 2019                                                                               June 2018: Jonathan has now completed the manuscript for the new book 'Cherry Picking - Life between the Sticks' working with Steve Cherry, former goalkeeper with Derby County, Walsall, Plymouth Argyle & Notts County, about his football career.  Hopefully released later in 2018/early 2019.                                                                                          September 2017:  'Active' released under the fiction writing pen name of Dan Hastings.                                                                                                                                                                June 2016: 'Who'd be a Copper?' Shortlisted by Writing Magazine Best Self-Published Book 2016.                                                                                                                                                                             

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Jonathan Nicholas- Author