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One night a boy who comes to be called Thomas Parry is taken from his family, caught up in a comprehensive unraveling of what had been a united kingdom. Reacting to their country’s inexorable decline into consumerism, turpitude, racism, and violence, the powers that be establish four independent republics based on the perceived nature of the citizens assigned to each. These new partitions are reinforced with concrete barricades and razor wire.

Renamed, relocated, and granted favored status, Thomas enjoys one success after another until, working as a devoted civil servant, he suddenly falls out of the system entirely.
Divided Kingdom begins with the main character, 8 years old, rousted out of his bed the night the kingdom (a parallel sort of Britain gone to misery and chaos) is divided into quarters based on the four humours in a last ditch attempt to salvage society. Hustled off to a reeducation facility, Thomas Perry is eventually transferred to a family still grieving over the loss of their wife/mother in the Red "sanguine" quarter, where he gradually moves up the political ladder within the ministry responsible for assignments/transfers. The book really starts going when he is sent to a conference in another quarter. There, in a club called the Bathyscope (it reminded me somewhat of Steppenwolf's theater), he sees images/scenes that drive him to skip out on his responsibilities and began a border-crossing trek that will eventually bring him to all four quarters.
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  • Seller location: Christchurch City, Canterbury, NZ

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