Brixton Rock

Brixton Rock by Alex Wheatle

Brixton Rock

Set against the backdrop of the Brixton race riots in London in the 1980s, this novel tells a story of overcoming obstacles from a teen's perspective. Brenton Brown, a 16-year-old mixed-race youth, has lived in a children's home all his life and is haunted by the absence of his mother. Complications arise, however, when he finally meets his mother and then falls dangerously in love with his half-sister. Killer Terry Flynn also scars Brenton's life and leaves him wanting revenge. Through it all, this determined teen is driven to pursue education and recognize his true self in the midst of chaos.

'Alex Wheatle will be a great writer, hints of great stuff to come. Look out for the next one but definitely read this narrative, it's pacey; witty; his characters real and recognisable. This is a very promising debut' Times

The story trundles along energetically but the novel’s real strength lies in the dialogue. Wheatle gives us a fascinating snapshot of black English in the early eighties’ Daily Telegraph

'Alex Wheatle's narrative is pacey; witty; his characters real and recognisable.' Linton Kwesi Johnson

'Alex Wheatle’s Brixton Rock has initiated the debate on how it feels to be a mixed race Briton.' New Statesman

'Sharp-edged and sardonically funny, Brixton Rock is Graham Greene for the hip-hop generation - a strong and quirky debut by Alex Wheatle.' Crime Time

'Wheatle has a powerful subject which he made into a Brighton Rock for contemporary England, a story about the inner life of a wounded social outcast who is redeemed while being a criminal.' World Literature Today

'A great debut novel. Really, really exciting story… Alex Wheatle will be a great writer…brilliant ending.' Greater London Radio

'...powerful debut ...a real page turner. The mystery and intrigue just keeps on coming as the suspense builds to an explosive ending.' The Big Issue

'A powerful first novel… the very best book I have read so far this year…extremely explosive…beautifully descriptive passages which are in a commendable and original style…if you are not thrilled by the book and moved to tears by the final denouncement, you have no right to call yourself a book lover.' Borough News

'…an excellent debut… Wheatle's choice of chapter headings reads like a classic late seventies reggae collection… his prose too is liberally sprinkled with knowing references to Marley lyrics,…you're going to love this.' Echoes Magazine

'Brixton Rock is a funny fast-paced read and shows that Wheatle has definite promise.' Touch

Price £: 
6.99
eBook
Published: 
02 Jan 1999
ISBN: 
9781901969016
Available from:
Brixton Rock by Alex Wheatle

Brixton Rock

Set against the backdrop of the Brixton race riots in London in the 1980s, this novel tells a story of overcoming obstacles from a teen's perspective. Brenton Brown, a 16-year-old mixed-race youth, has lived in a children's home all his life and is haunted by the absence of his mother. Complications arise, however, when he finally meets his mother and then falls dangerously in love with his half-sister. Killer Terry Flynn also scars Brenton's life and leaves him wanting revenge. Through it all, this determined teen is driven to pursue education and recognize his true self in the midst of chaos.

'Alex Wheatle will be a great writer, hints of great stuff to come. Look out for the next one but definitely read this narrative, it's pacey; witty; his characters real and recognisable. This is a very promising debut' Times

The story trundles along energetically but the novel’s real strength lies in the dialogue. Wheatle gives us a fascinating snapshot of black English in the early eighties’ Daily Telegraph

'Alex Wheatle's narrative is pacey; witty; his characters real and recognisable.' Linton Kwesi Johnson

'Alex Wheatle’s Brixton Rock has initiated the debate on how it feels to be a mixed race Briton.' New Statesman

'Sharp-edged and sardonically funny, Brixton Rock is Graham Greene for the hip-hop generation - a strong and quirky debut by Alex Wheatle.' Crime Time

'Wheatle has a powerful subject which he made into a Brighton Rock for contemporary England, a story about the inner life of a wounded social outcast who is redeemed while being a criminal.' World Literature Today

'A great debut novel. Really, really exciting story… Alex Wheatle will be a great writer…brilliant ending.' Greater London Radio

'...powerful debut ...a real page turner. The mystery and intrigue just keeps on coming as the suspense builds to an explosive ending.' The Big Issue

'A powerful first novel… the very best book I have read so far this year…extremely explosive…beautifully descriptive passages which are in a commendable and original style…if you are not thrilled by the book and moved to tears by the final denouncement, you have no right to call yourself a book lover.' Borough News

'…an excellent debut… Wheatle's choice of chapter headings reads like a classic late seventies reggae collection… his prose too is liberally sprinkled with knowing references to Marley lyrics,…you're going to love this.' Echoes Magazine

'Brixton Rock is a funny fast-paced read and shows that Wheatle has definite promise.' Touch

Price £: 
7.99
Paperback
Published: 
01 Jan 2004
ISBN: 
9781901969153
Available from:

About the author

  • Alex Wheatle

    Alex Wheatle

    Born in 1963 to Jamaican parents living in Brixton, Alex Wheatle spent most of his childhood in a Surrey children's home. He returned to Brixton in 1977 where he founded the Crucial Rocker sound system and performed his own songs and lyrics under the name of Yardman Irie. He spent a short stint in prison following the Brixton uprising in 1981. Following his release from prison he continued to write poems and lyrics and became known as the Brixton Bard. Alex's first novel, Brixton Rock, was published to critical acclaim in 1999. Five more novels, East of Acre Lane, The Seven Sisters, Island Songs, Checkers and The Dirty South followed, all highly praised. His books are on school reading lists and Alex takes part in Black History Month every year, working with Booktrust and the Children's Discovery Centre to promote reading. He is representing English PEN, and tours the country with his one-man show, Uprising. He teaches in various places, including Lambeth College, holds workshops in prisons and is frequently invited to schools to speak to students, inspiring a passion for literature with his own story. He was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for services to literature in 2008. A favourite of reading groups and libraries, he is the UK's most read Black British author. He is working on a non-fiction book about Black Britain and on Young Adult novels.

    Titles by Alex Wheatle

    Brenton Brown by Alex Wheatle
    Brixton Rock by Alex Wheatle
    Home Boys by Alex Wheatle