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2020

Kenneth Steven

  • Original Title: 2020
  • Publication date: May 2017
  • Publisher: Saraband
  • Country: GB
  • 240 print pages
  • Drama

Information

  • Epoch: Historical
  • Time Period: 21st century
  • Location setting: United Kingdom
  • Themes: PEOPLE facing life, Death, Facing failure, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Manipulation, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Inequality, Racism, Terrorism, Power, Fanaticism, War and other conflicts, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Social relations, Social climbing, Intolerance

Pitch

In the tradition of 1984 and IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE, 2020 is a timely dystopian novel about a country divided, a terrorist attack, and a populist leader who promises he alone is the solution.

Comments

Longlisted for the 2019 Portico Prize

Kenneth Steven is a British poet, novelist and children's writer. His BBC Radio 4 documentary on the island of St Kilda won him a Sony Award. His novels include THE WELL OF THE NORTH WIND (2016) and BENEATH THE ICE (2016). His picture books are translated into 16 languages and have won a number of literary awards.

Summary

In the tradition of 1984 and IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE, 2020 is a timely dystopian novel about a country divided, a terrorist attack, and a populist leader who promises he alone is the solution.

In 2020, Britain is at a breaking point. Years of economic turmoil, bitter debates over immigration, anger at the political elites, and fears about the future have created a maelstrom, a dis-United Kingdom, with citizens tempted to find easy answers in demagoguery and isolationism. The country is a bomb waiting to explode. Then it does.

A major terrorist attack targets a sleeper train traveling between Edinburgh and London, leaving a staggering number of dead and wounded. Investigators soon identify the culprits as a radicalized group of young British Muslims. Horrific images from the attack and speculation by the media fan worries about further terrorist acts and the danger of an enemy within. In the aftermath, two far right organizations join to create a new radical group called White Rose, promising to stand up for English values. An unproven leader vows that he can fix the nation. As the nightmare unfolds, a myriad of voices - from across the social and political spectrum - offer wildly differing perspectives on the chaotic events... and unexpectedly reveal modern Britain’s soul with 20/20 acuity.

go further

  • Author’s biography

    Kenneth Steven is a British poet, novelist and children's writer who has published some 25 books. His BBC Radio 4 documentary on the island of St Kilda won him a Sony Award. His novels include THE WELL OF THE NORTH WIND (2016) and BENEATH THE ICE (2016). His picture books are translated into 16 languages and have won a number of literary awards.