Eighteen years to drink, 17 years to drive, 16 years to have sex - but what about the age limit for taking part in a revolution?

James Miller's new fictional book, Lost Boys, puts that age of consent closer to 12.

They are children from Notting Hill, Earl's Court and Chelsea, but unlike typical trouble-makers, these are kids from the 'right' side of the tracks.

Growing up among the white-pillared mansions, they are the sons of influential bankers and policy-makers who steer our nation's economy.

Extract from Lost Boys:

...They live in a grand villa in one of the most desirable streets in Notting Hill, usual west London chic, sugar-white stucco, flower boxes, perfectly clipped topiary, a phalanx of BMWs and Porsches and Range Rovers up and down the street...

But between their fathers' long working hours and the party-planning of their mothers, the children are spared little attention. It's the predicament of the novel's central character,12-year-old Timothy Dashwood. He is the son of Susan and Arthur Dashwood, yet he and his little brother are raised by Veca, the Portuguese au pair. A promising yet unpopular student at Royal Brompton College, Timothy's dreams are captivated by an imaginary friend.

Extract from Lost Boys:

...We are now officially conducting a missing-person inquiry.'Inspector Grant paused and scratched his chin, letting his words settle a little. Thomas Anderson. 3-F.From the year above. Timothy had never spoken to the boy, but he thought he knew what he looked like...

Newspaper headlines are soon emblazoned "Mystery of the Brompton Boys" as more and more children disappear. Most alarming to police and parents alikeis that rather than kidnappings, these missing children appear to be running away. Timothy's imaginary friend appears to be speaking to more than just him. This foreign voice has somehow become part of the collective conscience, a seductive voice, luring innocents away from the misguided lifestyles of their parents.

Extract from Lost Boys:

...We thought the young had a stake in our society.We thought they loved the world we had created. Maybe we were wrong...

The mystery that unfolds is a damning criticism of overprivileged society, under-pinned by Britain's invasion of Iraq, penned by 32-year-old Londoner James Miller. An Oxford graduate in English literature, he says that it was his dream to become a writer for as long as he can remember.

Encouraged by critical acritical from Time Out for his early short stories, his first two attempts at a novel, however, written between 22 and 26 years of age, failed to find a publisher. "I was desperately disheartened," James says of his literary trials. "Without writing I don't feel like I exist, yet there's a fine line between a writer and someone who scribbles stuff no-one wants to read."

Extract from Lost Boys:

...He found it almost impossible to imagine his son in a place like this, their little boy, alone in such a world, and after all they had done to try and protect him...

Now celebrated as a literary sensation, James' publishers have already offered him an advance on his second novel, due in 2010.

"I'm pleased all the hard work has come to fruition, no matter what happens I can take this success to my grave," James says.

But despite the hype, his lifestyle of 'no pension, no savings and no security' has no signs of changing.

"It's a slight consequence of working in the arts, but I tried a money-job in advertising and they fired me pretty quickly."

Extract from Lost Boys:

...The transcript show him saying over and over, how he was sick of the world and that they were going to find a better one... I have statements from the others, saying how this boy would help them find the way...

Not that he wasn't capable, it was just a case of disinterest. James' father is an accountant who commutes into London from Kent, but his footsteps weren't for the following.

Now living in Whitechapel and teaching American Literature to undergraduates at King's College London, James was initially inspired to write Lost Boys when giving private tuition lessons to well-to-do Notting Hill types like the Dashwoods.

"It lead me to write a short story based on Peter Pan," he says. "The original book by J.M. Barry is nothing like the Disney version. It's a weird, dark and sad story of disenchanted boys who try to escape their life and follow a strange fascination for the exotic."

Then came the second layer, the politics of the West and Iraq. "I was protesting before anyone had called a march. It was clear the war was based on lies," James says with pride.

"Politicians and the media engineer our reality,but there's nothing more powerful than when young people become politicised and fight for their beliefs." And as the Lost Boys prove, nothing more damaging to those in power than living in a world abandoned by their children.

Extract from Lost Boys:

...It's all locked up inside, the derangements and the broken dreams, the buried promises of this Western civilisation - all those dark contradictions, the sly hypocrisies and the violent double standards. And one day, what then, when there is nothing else left to do but to go and renounce all this? To join them, out there, to join with the suffering and the wretched...

Will you be one of the converted?

Lost Boys, by James Miller (published by Little, Brown) is available in all good book stores for £12.99. For more see or see James introduce the novel at