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The Dirty South. Alex Wheatle

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  84 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Brixton, 20 years after the race riots. Bricky teenager Dennis Huggins drifts into the easy, dangerous life of the shotta - or drug dealer - and discovers that, hard as the struggle for respect on the streets is, the struggle for love is harder still.
Paperback, 214 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by Serpent's Tail (first published 2008)
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n* Dalal
I read this book for Final Draft, and I'm looking forward to interviewing the author. Alex Wheatle was part of the Brixton uprisings, and it seems like his life was pretty rough in his childhood.

The Dirty South's protagonist Dennis walks a fine line between the Brixton his generation knows-- drug-ridden, dangerous, apathetic -- and his parents' Brixton: rebellious, political, where Black people stood together against the cops and as a community, no matter what.

Dennis knows more than his friends
Okay so this short British gem deals with life as a black Brixtonian boy in a multicultural, extremely diverse and deeply religious community where he struggles to stay out of trouble, find love and make his parents proud..He fails at most of them LOL but its a proper good time reading his colorful slang, burn anyone who thinks its kinda silly :) So Dennis is just a normal kid surprisingly living with both of his parents that passes in school without excelling like his overacheiving Lisa Simpson ...more
Meredith M
Sep 28, 2016 Meredith M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I concur: this is a British gem.

I wandered past this book in the library, came back and inspected it and returned again to borrow it. I moved to London this year and lived initially in Lambeth, about a 20 minute walk from Brixton High Street. The area is being gentrified - champagne + fromage and the Village are no longer being picketed - but there is still something gritty about it, still an undercurrent impenetrable to me. It is still dirty, too - chicken bones on the road and on the buses. I
Feb 16, 2010 Phobos rated it liked it
Shelves: urban, england, london
Decent book about Jamaican youths in the Brixton neighbourhood of London. It's a pretty interesting read about a subculture that doesn't get too much attention in Canada. The teenagers get involved in drug dealing (only marijuana) and contend with other gangs.

Not a bad read. Alex Wheatle gives a pretty convincing voice to the youth of Brixton.
I'm a bit biased cos my fave is east of acre lane, but this a good read, which I devoured in a day! The story is compelling and the characters credible, I just felt there could have been that bit more plot-wise. But there isn't that much of this stuff out there nowadays, and it's great to read how all the strands of the other books come together in this, Wheatle's 6th novel.
Jul 16, 2010 Martinxo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2010
Enjoyed this slice of young Black Brixton life.

Well written though the story itself could have done with a little trimming, found myself skimming a little towards the end. Nevertheless, Wheatle is a good writer and one I'll be checking out.
Apr 14, 2009 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Valerie Harewood
Excellent as always.
Oct 25, 2009 Kathleen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
recommended by chris cleave
Aug 30, 2012 Chantel rated it it was amazing
loved this book. mainly because i know the area and could visualise all the goings-on in the book. really enjoyed it.
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‘One of the most exciting writers of the black urban experience’ The Times

Alex Alphonso Wheatle MBE (3 January 1963) is an award winning black British novelist of Jamaican heritage and has been described as one of the UK’s most exciting writers.
Wheatle spent much of his childhood in a Surrey children's home. At sixteen he was a founder member of the Crucial Rocker sound system and his DJ name was
More about Alex Wheatle...

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