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Hood Rat

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  85 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In Moss Side, Manchester, Anders Svensson is on the trail of drug baron Merlin and his lieutenant Flow, a man so dangerous his type is said to appear only once in a decade. Svensson himself is a renegade detective with a network of informants second to none - mainly the girlfriends of gang members, who come to him for protection. Among the housing estates of Glasgow, the c ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Picador USA (first published June 27th 2011)
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It's an over-used cliche that non-fiction crime books "grip like a thriller", but this one lives up to it, albeit a gritty, British sink-estate, left-leaning account of gangland Manchester, London and Glasgow. The gangs depicted are a long way from the world of the Krays or the Guy Ritchie fantasies of the big screen. The lives portrayed here are on the lowest rung of the ladder, the hoodies who deal, push and scrabble at the bottom end of the drug food chain trying to find their next fix within ...more
Hood Rat gave an insight into parts of society that I haven't experienced myself and that was valuable, however through most of the book, I couldn't identify the motivation for telling these stories of British gangsters... at times it seemed as if the author was trying to shock the reader, at times it seemed as if he was saying 'look how bad these kids are', and by the conclusion, there seemed to be more of an empathy with them. Personally, I would have found the book more interesting and useful ...more
The Book Nazi
There are some graphic stories in Hood Rat revolving around the activities of gangs and those who try to stop them, in London, Glasgow and Manchester. A challenging read, put together in a chronological order. Drugs, Prostitution, Pimping it's all included in here. The Author vividly portrays a world where drugs hook adolescents into gangs where they develop a gang mentality where living for the moment and earning respect from other gang members is all they look for. An amazing read if you are a ...more
a page-turner of a tour of the lowest side of british culture. some errors, e.g. west mercia police are not in lancashire, house music isn't rap music. but generally a great work of research, so long as you are happy to read in a novelistic, unverified present tense style. london and manchester sections accorded with what's described in national news media, glasgow section still seemed shocking to me in its dystopia, though also the most hopeful part of the book. i'd love to know how much is new ...more
This book is written in a narrative style, but based on real events.

It's visceral and certainly not for the faint hearted. The tales of brutality come thick and fast.

The stories start in Manchester, then transfer to London, and finally Glasgow.

The stories vary, but the underlying theme is the same. Children from deprived backgrounds end up finding gang life offers them more.

Worst book I have ever written. No great development of the characters. Moves over time spans very rapidly. Only the story of pilgrim is interesting - the book should have surrounded him.
Jon Watts
Excellently written account of gang life on the sink estates of Great Britian in the 21st Century. Although quite challenging and even depressing in places it ends with a message of hope for the future of the discarded youth of our inner cities.
James Koppert
brutal reality of UK gangs. very sad reading and shows how our poor are being duped into a cycle of violence
A new mystery by a writer who compares with Val McDermid, Peter James and Ian Rankin would be a cause for celebration! So let’s start celebrating! The only difference is that the 3 stories in this book are all true. Written in a narrative nonfiction style by crime reporter Gavin Knight we live the lives of crooks and coppers in Manchester, London and Glasgow, follow their actions and their interactions and wait to find out who will live, who will die and who will end up in prison. A must read fo ...more
Rebecca Johnson
It took me a while to get used to the writing style but once I did, it brought these tragic stories to life. The post-riots afterword in my edition was especially poignant. Tells the horror stories of British inner city ganglands from every perspective, with no glory. Definitely worth a read.

Journalist Gavin Knight reports an unflinching frontline view of those on the margins of society and these glimpses are not made of the pretty. Gruelling stuff, this real life, isn't it. Most of the behaviours discussed here are down to social conditioning so it was refreshing to have a look at how the Bostonian System is dealing with similar impacting.

The reader is Siobhan Redmond.

Produced by Jill Waters A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.
Peter Grimsdale
Exellent read. Great authority and insight yet it rips along.
Louise Shore
You think maybe because you are working class that you are streetwise and know what's occurring on our streets. Until you read this.
Paul Servini
Factual account. Excerpts. Interesting insight into individual fates and what some people are trying to do to help.
pretty hardcore about gangs in manchester, london and glasgow
Another insight into the inner city scum.
Donna marked it as to-read
Nov 07, 2015
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Nov 03, 2015
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