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Divided Kingdom Paperback – July 11, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From The New Yorker
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The premise of the story isn't all that plausible. The fact that it is barely explored in any pragmatic/realistic sense leads one to think it isn't meant to be seen as particularly plausible anyway. Much as Parry does in the Bathyscope. the reader is being taken on a dreamlike experience and shouldn't look for the nuts and bolts dystopia of an Orwell or Bradbury.
And dreamlike it is, as Parry moves among the various citizens of each quarter, encountering a wide variety of character types, including the mysterious White People, those who can't be assigned a humour (they don't seem to gravitate towards one) and who move in speechless, nomadic packs.
Kingdom is a hard novel to pin down. As mentioned, it doesn't work at all on a pragmatic dystopic level as nothing of how the societies function or not is ever really explored. And for me, it only worked hit and miss on the more surreal level.Read more ›
Each mini-Britain will be segregated by personality type. Every citizen is assessed and assigned to one of four personality types based on the ancient concept of the four humors: Choleric (yellow), melancholic (green), phlegmatic (blue) and sanguine (red). `Sanguine' people, who are optimistic and even-tempered, must reside in the Red Quarter. `Phlegmatics' are passive and compassionate and tend to let life carry them along like a leaf floating on a stream. They are assigned to the Blue Quarter. `Cholerics' are aggressive, Type-A people assigned to live in the Yellow Quarter, `Melancholics' are introspective and pessimistic, and must live in the Green Quarter. The great rearrangement is planned under great secrecy and the people of Britain wake up one morning to see that the military is supervising the forced shipment of every citizen to their assigned quarter.
As the story opens eight-year old protagonist, Thomas Parry, is snatched from his parents home and placed in a school pending his transfer to the red section. Thomas is placed with a family whose wife/mother has been forcibly sent to another quarter. Thomas adjusts well, on the surface at least, to the great rearrangement.Read more ›
In this brave new world, a child was separated from his parents, renamed Thomas Perry and placed within the sanguine quarter. The lad moves in with a grieving adult whose spouse was sent to another sector. Years later, a grown-up Thomas works undercover for the government. However a revelation hits him to learn who he really is instead of a state socially engineered output. He obsesses over this and decides he should start by seeking to find his biological parents. Taking one tiny step on that path let alone a journey means risking all he holds "dear" because if caught he will be reprocessed to insure he never undermines the state again.
DIVIDED KINGDOM is a fabulous science fiction thriller that starts off with an incredible well written premise that will grip the audience, especially as Thomas has his revelation and begins his quest into a strange underworld. Ironically the deep story line slows down whenever the action is ratcheted up focusing on Thomas faces potential exposure and death from his clandestine peers. The hero is terrific as he serves as the focus of a social experiment that may seem off the wall, but not as far out in a red and blue world as one would think. Rupert Thomson provides an intriguing look at the future.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've read a few chapters of this book before and really wanted to finish it. Seeing it this cheap, it was a no-brainer to pick it up.Published on February 24, 2014 by Kyle
This book was recommended to me recently by a helpful gentleman in Waterstones. We'd embarked upon a discussion of favourite authors when I went to pick up a copy of Kurt... Read morePublished on July 25, 2011 by S. J. Sutton
This novel is different from the novels of Thomson I have read.
It's narrated by the main character, Thomas Parry (Michael Micklewright before The Rearrangement), and so... Read more
I heard about Divided Kingdom by Rupert Thomson on one of my favorite book podcasts - Books on the Nightstand (which is now a weekly podcast, by the way!! Read morePublished on July 25, 2009 by lawliss
You will be deeply disappointed, if you picked this book up expecting an interesting science fiction thriller that explores the future of grouping personalities together, as I... Read morePublished on June 25, 2008 by Leong Z. Yi
I'm shocked and disappointed by how few reviews have been written of this novel. Thomson has created an interesting premise and pulled through with the kind of dystopian novel... Read morePublished on January 7, 2006 by S
I thoroughly enjoyed this book about a future "United Kingdom" that has become divided. Imagine a world where everyone is sorted by which medieval "humour" they fit into -- all... Read morePublished on September 15, 2005 by Amazon Customer
It's a quest book, with a disappointing result that leaves all sorts of questions you'd been persevering to get answered, unanswered. Read morePublished on August 1, 2005 by Jack Burnett