Twenty-two-year-old Oscar is a lost cause. He roams central London, looking for love and distraction. But this isn't quite Bright Lights, Big City: Oscar is gay but feels disconnected from London's gay scene. He is naive and rootless, an emotionally stunted young man who lives in upscale Kensington with his foster mother, novelist Charlotte Fontaine. But all of this changes when he meets Tim, Charlotte's 3--something literary agent with whom Oscar becomes hopelessly infatuated. While he struggles to understand Tim's politics and his rejection of religion, Oscar's developing friendship with Tim affects a profound change in the young man, making him want to understand the world and his place in it.
Disbanded Kingdom is a brilliantly written 21st-century coming-of-age story, set against the emotive backdrop of the United Kingdom's breakaway from the European Union and its threatened rupture with Scotland.
Mr. Loizou demonstrates a talent for prose without purpose. The examination of a young man’s thoughts as he encounters unremarkable events, such as unrequited love, gratitude to a guardian, and regret at never really having lived, is merely a writing exercise and not a novel. The main character lives almost entirely in his head while only demonstrating he is physically alive on the few occasions that his mind overloads. There is little joy among his thoughts and a bounty of melancholy. The boy is like an “emo” Hamlet [intentionally redundant] who struts and frets upon his mind’s stage, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. “Disbanded Kingdom” wants to be much more than it is. It includes big conversations about politics and religion that creates heat and no light. In the end, the reader is left with several well-turned sentences, a few crumbs of ideas, and sad characters that don’t do anything meaningful. Why would anyone want to write about sad characters where nothing much happens? This book is the question: if a tree falls in the forest but no one is around to hear it ...
Now that I’ve finished listening to this book I actually miss having Oscar, Tim, Bella and Charlotte in my life. This book utterly captures London and the Brexit atmosphere. I will definitely be buying the physical book once it’s published in June... about 10 copies so I can pass them on to all and sundry.