Synopsis of ‘FM247: Radios In Motion’ by Rob Spooner:
“In dreams begin reminiscences” – Dr Ahmet Beradi, Consultant Psychiatrist (2000).
Lugwin Loggins, the DJ narrator of FM247: Radios In Motion, has been admitted to Speedwell Hospital, locked away in the hinterlands of Binfield State, following an acute psychotic episode. Lugwin is haunted by a dream from his childhood about the killing of the Albanian Civil Rights leader, Ramiz F. Kreshnik. Dr Beradi prescribes radio therapy as the method to unlock the meaning of this dream as part of Lugwin’s treatment of his schizo-affective disorder which has caused him to hear voices, including that of his inspirational DJ persona, ‘The Emperor.’
Lugwin sets out to compile his own pop chart, a playlist of 100 songs – his radio therapy – in an effort to grasp how his disjointed early life has affected his mental state. These 100 songs are set out as the chapters of the novel.
Lugwin is joined in this therapeutic process by another radio voice, that of his lost childhood friend, The Captain, whose own journey through the mental ill-health system informs Lugwin of the shared history that binds them together emotionally despite years of physical distance. Lugwin discovers that their history entwines a political dimension due to The Captain’s family connections to the Civil Rights campaign waged by the Albanian people of nearby Coney Island. Lugwin goes to Coney Island, which holds happy memories from his childhood, and discovers a link to his own family and ‘the struggles’ of the Albanian community there. A combination of circumstances lead to Lugwin’s suspicions of ‘dark ops’, including the use of hypno-programming, committed by shadowy operatives of the mainland State to neutralise the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and their armed offshoot, Brigada Shqiptare (the Albanian Brigade), and this forces Lugwin to consider how he can manage the ramifications of these seemingly paranoid thoughts in his ongoing efforts to protect his mental health.
On Lugwin’s return from Coney Island, the disappearance of his closest friend at Pier View Court and the sudden departure of Liza Radley, the occupational therapist who has supported him in his After Care programme, conspire to send Lugwin back into a clinical depression. Can Lugwin still make his dream of public service broadcasting a reality? And will ‘The Emperor’ play a part in this dream? Tune into ‘FM247: Radios In Motion’ to find out.