No Gray Areas … The Autobiography of Stuart Hopkins
Stuart Hopkins is truly a real-life ‘Piano Man.” In his autobiography, No Gray Areas, Hopkins writes of his life experiences as an international hotel pianist. It is indeed quite a story, and one that will tug at your heartstrings.
From his early childhood years living with a distant, abusive father and his alcoholic mother to working as a pianist in some of the finest hotels in Southeast Asia, Stuart Hopkin’s life story runs the complete gamut from wondrous and magnificent experiences to seeing first hand some of the worst tragedy, heartbreak, and sadness life can send our way. Beginning with his first paid gig at age fifteen at the Broom Grange Hotel near his home to gigs on ships and international hotels, and through several near brushes with death, No Gray Areas, tells the fascinating tales of human interaction, some hilarious and some tragic.
Thailand Tsunami of 2004
In his autobiography, Hopkins tells the tale of working at a hotel in Phuket, Thailand during the Tsunami of 2004. He writes about families comforting each other in the hotel lobby bar,. These people are just happy to still be together after such a disaster. Guests were comforting complete strangers. Members of the hotel staff were hugging and crying with guests. The author writes, “The most heartbreaking thing I saw were those guests who’d come to Thailand with their loved ones. Many who would be traveling home next to an empty seat.”
Hopkins survived the tragic Tsunami in Thailand as well as three months spent in a brutal Thai prison on false charges of fraud. He writes of having a beer in a ship’s bar with the ghost of his long dead brother. In addition, he tells of breaking a long-standing 30-year soloing record at Norwich Flying School. These are just a few of the stories readers of this compelling autobiography will enjoy.
I recommend this book.