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The bricks that built the houses

The bricks that built the houses

Tempest, Kate, author

Young Londoners Becky, Harry and Leon are leaving the city in a fourth-hand Ford Cortina with a suitcase full of money. They are also leaving behind Pete, Becky's boyfriend, at his surprise birthday party. Moving back in time - and into the heart of London - The Bricks that Built the Houses explores a cross-section of contemporary urban life with a powerful moral microscope, giving us intimate stories of hidden lives, and showing us that good intentions don't always lead to the right decisions

Hardback, Book. English. General.
Published London: Bloomsbury Circus, 2016
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Statement of responsibility: Kate Tempest
ISBN: 1408857308, 9781408857304
Physical Description: 399 pages ; 23 cm
Subject: London (England) Fiction.

Author note

Kate Tempest was born in London in 1985. She has published two plays, Wasted and Hopelessly Devoted, and two collections of poetry, Everything Speaks in its Own Way and the acclaimed Hold Your Own. Her epic poem, Brand New Ancients, won the 2012 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. Her album Everybody Down was nominated for the 2014 Mercury Music Prize. She is a Next Generation Poet. The Bricks that Built the Houses is her first novel.



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