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Who They Was

 12.00

by Gabriel Krauze

‘Magnificent in its relentless intensity and searing honesty, this is a new voice arriving fully formed and raring to go’ Booker Prize judges 2020

It is exceptional’ Candice Carty-Williams, author of Queenie

A wild ride from the very first page. An astonishing telling of a young man’s search for belonging, caught between a life of crime with his London gang and hopes for his academic future’ Douglas Stuart, author of Shuggie Bain

Who They Was

This life is like being in an ocean. Some people keep swimming towards the bottom. Some people touch the bottom with one foot, or even both, and then push themselves off it to get back up to the top, where you can breathe. Others get to the bottom and decide they want to stay there. I don’t want to get to the bottom because I’m already drowning.

This is a story of a London you won’t find in any guidebooks.

This is a story about what it’s like to exist in the moment, about boys too eager to become men, growing up in the hidden war zones of big cities – and the girls trying to make it their own way.

This is a story of reputations made and lost, of violence and vengeance – and never counting the cost.

This is a story of concrete towers and blank eyed windows, of endless nights in police stations and prison cells, of brotherhood and betrayal.

This is about the boredom, the rush, the despair, the fear and the hope.

This is about what’s left behind.

About the Author

Gabriel Krauze grew up in London in a Polish family and was drawn to a life of crime and gangs from an early age. Now in his thirties he has left that world behind and is recapturing his life through writing. He has published short stories in Vice. Who They Was is his first novel.

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Weight 0.2 kg
Dimensions 12.7 × 2.0 × 19.8 cm

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