Interview, Review

Review: Kingdom By Russ Litten

0 270

By Jacqueline Grima

“My name is Alistair Kingdom and I was born a ghost…”

In one of Her Majesty’s prisons, warders are suddenly astounded to discover they have gained an extra inmate.  As chaos ensues, the prison is put into lockdown and the stranger escorted to a Separation and Care Unit, where, through the course of one night, he tells his story to the person he calls ‘Mr Listener’.  So begins Hull writer Russ Litten’s novel, Kingdom: part prison drama, part fantasy, part ghost story.

In flashback, Alistair Kingdom wakes up one morning in a dilapidated house with no idea of who he is or how he got there.  It is only when he embarks on a journey to find answers that he realises his interaction with the world, and the people in it, isn’t quite as he remembers.  Alistair can see others but they can’t see him.  He can move from one place to another simply by thinking.  In other words, Alistair is a ghost: “I’m talking about a proper ghost here…A spirit…An invisible presence floating in the land of the living.”

On the way to finding out what happened to him, Alistair meets a variety of colourful characters, both dead and alive, and becomes particularly attached to a group of young housemates whose home provides a refuge for him.  Not intent to simply be an onlooker, ghostly Alistair soon finds a way of becoming involved with, and even bettering, his friends’ lives, his interaction with them eventually leading him to answer the many questions he has about his own.

Kingdom is a gritty, urban tail of life in the city, the isolated and lost Alistair showing exactly how lonely life ‘on the outside’, with no means of communication, can be.  This highly original novel, however, is also a magical tale that will surprise, sadden but, also, inspire its readers. As we join Alistair on his journey, not only around the city, but, also, towards the discovery of who he once was, we laugh and cry along with him, become attached to his friends, jeer at his enemies. Ghostly, uplifting, mysterious and different, Kingdom is certainly worth a read.

Kingdom is available now from Wrecking Ball Press and Amazon.

About the author / 

aAh!

aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More News Stories:

  • Opinion: “Our real legacy at university is the friends we make along the way”

    We all prioritise different things in life: our relationships, academic achievement, and financial success. While these can be great catalysts for short and long-term goals, making us resilient,  fixating on these goals can become overwhelming, even detrimental. Focusing on what we feel we have to achieve can make it easy to lose sight of the…

  • Reading and Leeds Festival 2024: The best bands to see this year

    Featured image: Georgina Hurdsfield Overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of choice on offer at this year’s Reading and Leeds Festival? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. We’ve trawled the lineups to bring you a cluster of acts to watch on the August bank holiday weekend. From jungle to riotous punk, there’s a bounty of brilliant bands…

  • Film Review: The Idea of You – A sappy feel-good rom-com

    Featured image: PA Media In this sappy, heart-warming rom-com, two lovers meet at Coachella as Solène (Anne Hathaway) takes her daughter to a meet and greet at the Californian music festival. Known for her iconic roles in The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and The Princess Diaries (2001), Hathaway plays the role of a 40-year-old divorcee…

  • Travel: Tips for multi-country trips abroad while keeping your bank account happy

    Featured image: Georgia Pearson The summer break from university is approaching and conversations about travel plans can be heard across campus. But with the cost of living at a high, students and young people are looking for cheaper ways to travel this summer. Travelling to multiple countries during one trip can be a budget-friendly way…