Disnaeland

By D.D. Johnston

Category: Fiction, SciFi

Formats available: Hardback, Ebook

Pages: 352pp

Publication date: 07/07/22

ISBN-13: 9781909954533

‘From the cunning pun of its title onward, Disnaeland is a scabrous treat.’ – The Financial Times

‘Poignant and powerful… gripping, funny and hopeful.’ – The Times

‘Wildly imaginative.’ – Scotland on Sunday

‘A powerful, vivid, witty, compassionate page-turner.’ – Rob Newman

 

What if the end of the world is the best thing that’s never happened to us? Disnaeland is a heartbreaking wonder of a book that tells of a community building a new world in the ruins of the old.

In the central Scottish town of Dundule, residents of the Busy Bee Flats – Donna and her eight-year old daughter, dour ex-miner Douglas, big Giorgio the chip shop fryer, young Tam and Mac in their drug dreams – struggle like everyone else. Then the lights go out. Winter, and it’s a global blackout. Now’s the choice. Go wild and raid the streets, or come together.

Mixing tenderness and broad comedy, Disnaeland draws us deep inside a community as it fights to build a new world in the ruins of the old. Starting with the deeply personal, Disnaeland goes on to shift to the visionary.

But there’s no paradise yet. Botched deals, armed survivalists and raids threaten to destroy progress. And the occasional screech of a fighter jet reminds them that the nuclear threat still looms…

‘A funny, grimy, edgy Scots take, containing passages of dark brilliance, on the collapse of late capitalist society.’ – James Robertson

‘A very funny black comedy. Like Mad Max written by Irvine Welsh but with the wit and warmth of Lissa Evans and the social satire of Sarah Cooper. A powerful, vivid, witty, compassionate page-turner. Brilliant. Unlike most dystopian fiction, this is a uniquely hopeful and uplifting novel. DD Johnston finds hope in the human capacity for love and renewal even after the apocalyptic collapse in the bleakest of places. He shows how the breakdown of one society can open the way for a better one to emerge. An awesome achievement.’ – Rob Newman

Reviews

Donna’s cat is dead, her eight-year-old daughter Ava reckons she can run the house better than she can, and to cap it all, right in the middle of her online CBT class (the only thing standing between her and the drink), the power goes out, not just in her flat but all over the fictional Scottish town of Dundule.
We have visited this grim pebble-dashed town before, in DD Johnston’s 2011 novel Peace, Love & Petrol Bombs, but our visit this time — rendered in mild and serviceable Scots dialect — is more poignant and powerful.
We’re here for the end of the world — Donna and her daughter, her neighbours and miscellaneous hangers-on bundle into her grim little flat (chippie owner Giorgio, the original Lord of the Fries; Marjorie the Jehovah’s Witness; the Black Douglas, dourest handyman in all Scotland), pressed together like penguins for warmth, only “penguins dinnae tell stories aboot a pal that got gangrene in his eyes. And penguins dinnae say, ower and ower again, ‘Body heat or no body heat, it’ll make no difference. One by one, we’re aw gaunae die in the dark.’ ”
The crisis is real, as nations fall out and civil authority collapses, and so is the violence meted out by the inept blades of Young Mental Westbridge, Dundule’s very own street gang. But ordinary human decency will keep peeking through. Kieran the building manager, Donna’s off-on boyfriend, insists it’s every man for himself now, as the snow squalls gather and the food supplies dwindle. Almost the moment he’s spoken, though, he finds he can’t get Donna out of his head. Little by little, a new community emerges in this gripping, funny and hopeful tale.

- The Times - Simon Ings

DD Johnston’s Disnaeland, a comedic dystopia set in a small Scottish town, is all profanity and colloquial dialect. When civilisation collapses, a community struggles to unite and rebuild. Bringing light to a dark world is no mean feat, but the characters in the novel do just that, and so does the author. From the cunning pun of its title onward, Disnaeland is a scabrous treat.

- The Financial Times - James Lovegrove

Disnaeland has verve and intelligence - I hope he writes more like it. D.D. Johnston's novel is wildly imaginative.

- Scotland on Sunday - Stuart Kelly

D.D. Johnston

‘D.D. JOHNSTON, one of this country’s most principled socialist novelists, is also one of the most versatile and talented around.’ – The Morning Star. ‘Bringing light to a dark world’ – The Financial Times D.D. Johnston was born in Central Scotland in the dying breaths of the 70s. A shy child obsessed with sport, in adolescence he was distinguished only by his late development and his acute Seborrhoeic dermatitis. Lacking any discernible talents, he transformed himself into an anti-social wee ned, got himself stabbed, and set a Scottish record for …