by Wes Brown

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Yorkshire writer Wes Brown’s debut novel, Shark, is a story about the dispossessed and how they get by.

Ex-soldier and violent deadbeat John Usher returns to his boyhood home of Leeds to find things have changed. His community has been unravelled by gang culture, ethnic tensions and hopelessness. Unable to sleep, his only consolation is drinking late into the night and playing pool by himself. That is, until an encounter with a hard right activist leads him into a twisted relationship of deceit, cuckoldry and hatred.

Check out an interview with the author, here.

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Acclaim For This Novel

“In Shark, Wes Brown writes with a kind of rhythmic Northern realism, catching the way we think, the way we talk, the way we act round here; he manages to make the North a marvellous place, a place where art can happen, where epic can feel comfortable…” Ian McMillan, poet and broadcaster.

“Brown’s writing is an alloy of hard Yorkshire vernacular and genuine creativity that propels the narrative forward, exposing the state of the nation. Often bleak and forceful, Shark successfully remains grounded in its characters, affirming our shared humanity in our base similarities. An exciting contemporary novel, important in both its exploration of now and of the human condition.” Jordan Phillips, Litro.

“Brown is a new generation Updike with the ability to capture the essence of a time and place comparable to Cartwright’s Heartland. Never has hard-fought alienation been rendered so tensely familiar and jaw-achingly hard to swallow.” Jo Brandon, The Cadaverine

“Here we have that rare artifact. A contemporary, regional, working class novel written with the ideas-based, language currency of the great transatlantic stylists: Updike, Bellow, DeLillo and Martin Amis. Wes Brown’s art is to match literary intensity to the northern pubs and pool halls, finding the story in a young man’s struggle to accommodate himself to the life he has been dealt, after service in Iraq, in a community divided and adfrift.” Danny Broderick, The Workroom.

Review at Litro

Review at Cadaverine

Review by Kate Wilson

Review by Lucy Williamson

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Filed in Books on April 1, 2012