After his staff head to Barrow-In- Furness to rename it Birdseye, the legacy of a recent tragedy hanging over them, he wakes alone in a mysterious hospital.
It is where no one is permitted to speak and the nurses only want him to write his story.
While deciphering original identities is an amusing distraction — Lingua Franca is based in Stella Artois, formerly Milton Keynes — the novel’s paper-thin characterisation and jumbled narration struggle to maintain attention.
Lingua Franca is a bundle of interesting concepts: the importance of names and language; class and culture clashes; the true worth of prostituting history for success.
Unfortunately, it’s just not that interesting a story.