High John The Conqueror by Jim Younger
In Jim Younger's brilliantly original first novel, he takes us to London, but not quite the one we know. The King of England has converted to Roman Catholicism, along with his sons, and has abdicated in favour of his brother, now known as Andy One. Sickened by years of corrupt and incompetent presidents, the United States has petitioned Andy One to resume sovereignty over America. In England, the government of Christian Coalition Socialists has been ousted in a coup d'etat. The survivors have gone underground, led by High John the Conqueror, chief of the Flagellants, a squad of paramilitary sadomasochists. To escape arrest and execution, High John (real name Organ McWhinny) fakes his own death and disappears, so successfully that his son Lingus, a boy in his mid teens, believes him to be dead. Motherless and fatherless, Lingus takes to the streets...Resolute and cheerful in adversity, Lingus tells his story with huge comic gusto. We watch him stagger to manhood, encumbered by a carnival crew of grotesques amid the epochal political and religious upheavals of his time. "High John the Conqueror" is a dark comedy, written at the Devil's dictation.