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The Bricks that Built the Houses Paperback – 9 Mar 2017

4.3 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks (9 Mar. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408857332
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408857335
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 2.7 x 13.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Wonderful (Lauren Laverne)

Soaring . Tempest's flair for language is tempered by her sense of rhythm and pace . Deeply affecting: cinematic in scope; touching in its empathic humanity . Tempest's voice - by turns raging and tender - never falters (New York Times)

This is a bold, bright, beguiling novel; a lustrous pageant that dazzles and grips . An irresistible, immersive snapshot of a changing world, delivered in woozy, staccato sentences . There's great pleasure to be taken from Tempest's debut . She may well be unstoppable (Sunday Telegraph)

One of the leading wordsmiths of our time . She turns her raw, observational skills in book form to the urban young growing up poor - sex, drugs and increasing poverty amid the looming threat of gentrification (Jon Snow)

It's hard not to be blown away by Kate Tempest . A stirring, post-Dickensian lens trained on London's lonely underbelly (Evening Standard)

This book is almost everything I hoped it would be. That is praise indeed, as I had high hopes ... As lyrical as it is gritty, and as devoted to (south-east) London as it is to humanity, with all its foibles (New Statesman)

Tempest has a knack for the devastating throwaway line - a skill-honed, no doubt, from years of rapping and spoken-word performances. Her work is rich with underlinable lines . Captivating (New Yorker)

Everything Kate tempest does comes from the same gnawing desire to tell stories and change the world ... The book covers come-ups, comedowns, gender identity, parents torn apart by activism and the brutal, beautiful face of survival against the odds ... Blistering **** (NME)

Explosive . Fresh and vivid visions of a familiar world . It recalls two other great, recent, experimental novels about being young: Jon McGregor's If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things and Eimear McBride's A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing. There's the same sense of daring and linguistic inventiveness, the same feeling of language pushed to its limits . It fairly flies off the page (Observer)

A story of accidental adventure and loss in what feels like London's boiling crucible of race, class and sexuality . This novel requires giving oneself over to its linguistic world . It seems not just to describe a contemporary world but chart the migratory and class movements that has led it to its current state (Andrew McMillan, Independent)

Angst-ridden lyricism captures the energy and loneliness of London life in this dizzying, genre-busting debut ... A remarkable piece of writing, filled with verbal echoes and half-rhymes ... [One reads] for the pinpoint evocation of a milieu, its texture and contours, all delivered with an intensely gathered and focused energy ... Transformative (Guardian)

The passion, pace and pulsing narrative of her novel is like an extended Arctic Monkeys track . London emerges as the beating heart, a melting pot of race, class, sexuality and drugs. Tempest is a clearly talented writer with a distinctive and engaging voice . Passionate and political (Irish Times)

Tempest is a worthy champion for a generation of disillusioned youth . Her lyrical talent comes through (Sunday Times)

Tempest's words really soar from the grime of London . Smart, lyrical observations of city life won me over . Tempest proves her witty, unique take on the world **** (Stylist)

Tempest is brilliant at capturing a distinctly contemporary state of mind, one hollowed out by drugs, ennui and too many late nights, but also one bursting with frustrated feeling and desire. She has a poetic sensibility that feels physically hewn from London's unloved corners ... Her writing has a startling, unmediated freshness reminiscent of Jack Kerouac ... Full of beauty (Metro)

Her characters sing . This is yet another impressive achievement for Tempest, and one which leaves this Generation Xer understanding the woes of millennials much better (Scotland on Sunday)

A novel of discontentment, rage and good intentions . Tempest sharpens her tongue to good effect (The Times)

A startling debut novel . The call-to-arms urgency with which she writes about the issues affecting her generation - from social prejudice and unemployment to modern love and selfies - has earned her comparisons to the Beat poets (Vogue)

A whirlwind journey through modern city life ... You'll be gripped from start to finish (Elle)

There's plenty of inspiration and perspiration in the literary world, but Kate Tempest's sense of urgency is rare ... Tempest does come across as an enemy of beige prose . She depicts their interior worlds as roiling; the intensity of their inner lives explodes on the page (National Post)

Tempest portrays the lives of generations of Londoners with an unflinching but sympathetic eye (Big Issue)

A lager-stained, rain-soaked love letter to London . Flows like a prose poem about drugs, dual carriageways and desire (Red)

A novel about youth and drugs and desire and dancers . It's also about the changing face of the capital city. About gentrification and its costs (Herald)

Tempest has a gift for making you feel you're walking on the edge of something: between text and sound, or between a great night and the worst one . Many bursts of lyrical prose, heavy and kaleidoscopic (Saturday Paper)

Tempest gets at foundations: If families are houses, then each family member is a cracked brick . This might be Tempest's first novel, but it's also poetry . By artfully intertwining the stories of people who are broken by the city they love, The Bricks That Built the Houses creates a complex narrative that rarely falters and eventually coheres into a strong and lyrical whole (The Millions)

Book Description

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

Award-winning poet and rapper Kate Tempest's electrifying debut novel takes us into the beating heart of the capital in this multi-generational tale of drugs, desire and belonging

*This book has been printed with two different cover designs. We are unable to accept requests for a specific cover. The different covers will be assigned to orders at random*

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Quite enjoyable but a little too self-conscious. Basically a book that likes to spend a long time in front of the mirror, so to speak.
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I didn't get on with this as narrative, nor as prose, nor even as poetic-prose. I can tell it's really well written - it just didn't grab me as a whole.

But about a quarter of the way in, maybe less, there is the best bit of dialogue I've ever read (Harry and Reggie). It's the most natural-seeming, the most empathetic, the most brilliantly distilled conversation. You might have to be British, and maybe know some Londoners, to really feel it. It's just this gem, worth buying the book for. It should probably turn up in creative writing classes.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An interesting read. I enjoyed her imagery. I liked the characters, they were very real, and many were very likeable. I felt the ending was a little weak, and the odd phrase a little laboured. Overall I did enjoy it and will read more of her work.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The circles close around each character and the interlocking of the circles strangles every one.. , you can see it coming but waiting and wondering how and when...page turning, gripping , loved it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An ordinary tale built up to be something extraordinary. I'm being generous giving it 3 stars. Could be much better.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kate Tempest is the great chronicler of contemporary London, she has a deep affection for her characters and few writers take us deep into their souls like she does.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Awesome debut from a young writer with a fantastic future ahead!

Highly recommended.

Cuts through the senses with amazing voices, whilst prodding at our comfortable views of civilization - as we sleep walk into a world of gentrification.

Best book I've read this year.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
More London than Hollywood which was a nice change.
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