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The Little Mechanic

After nearly drowning, elderly fisherman Louis Paulhan decides to tell the story of his remarkable life. But with no one else to listen, can his legacy be entrusted to the young thief who saved him?

France 1957: American youth Jack Reeves doesn’t care for old people, but when he saves the life of Frenchman Louis Paulhan he finds himself drawn to the enigmatic 73-year-old. Transported by his stories to Belle Époque Paris, Jack begins to identify with young Louis, while seeking old Louis’s help in finding the father he lost in World War II. Louis, meanwhile, is finally able to let go of his son who died in a tragic accident 20 years before. But Jack harbours a secret that will break Louis’s heart, and threaten the new life he has glimpsed for himself.

Inspired by the real-life exploits of aviation pioneer Louis Paulhan (1883-1963) – a former circus acrobat and steamship sailor who for four months in 1910 was one of the most famous men in the world – The Little Mechanic is a work of Literary Fiction reminiscent of William Boyd’s Any Human Heart and Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins about a hero the world has forgotten, a youth it largely ignores and their journey together into a distant past, in search of adventure, identity and meaning. 

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Author feedback provided on excerpts of the work in progress.

An excerpt from Matt Jones’s debut novel The Little Mechanic (work in progress):




Matt Jones is an alumnus of Curtis Brown Creative’s Six-Month Novel-Writing Course and Mentoring Programme. His first novel, The Little Mechanic, is based on the remarkable life of French aviation pioneer Louis Paulhan. 


A member of the Society Of Authors (UK), he has written four travel guide books: Berlitz Pocket Guide Dubai, Berlitz Pocket Guide Qatar, Insight Pocket Guide Dubai and Dubai Insight Step by Step. He is also co-author of Insight Guide Oman & The UAE. His photography appears in all five books.


Matt Jones has written for numerous newspapers and magazines, including The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, Western Mail and South Wales Echo (United Kingdom); The South China Morning Post (Hong Kong); The Japan Times and The Daily Yomiuri (Japan); Khaleej Times and Gulf News (United Arab Emirates); BMW Magazine; Polo World; and NWA WorldTraveler, the in-flight magazine of U.S. carrier Northwest Airlines. As a public relations consultant, he has written advertorials for clients in Newsweek and Forbes.


A history with planes: Matt Jones earned his wings as an Air Cadet, qualifying for his Private Pilot’s Licence at the age of 17.



Matt Jones is based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

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