Brighton rock

(Penguin twentieth-century classics)

Paperback, 247 pages

English language

Published Feb. 5, 1943 by Penguin.


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4 stars (2 reviews)

An atmospheric crime thriller featuring a teenage sociopath intent on becoming the underworld boss of Brighton. Having murdered a man who had betrayed his gang the young gangster Pinky Brown tries to covers his tracks but circumstances never seem to go his way and he becomes ever more desperate, even going so far as to marry a young girl who witnessed the shooting, it being the law at that time that a man’s wife could not be forced to testify against him.

19 editions

Bleak and devastating

4 stars

Brutal psychological portraits of people we are not meant to love. A gang war with no glamour or illusions on either side. We begin to sympathize eventually with a somewhat pathetic and naive middle-aged woman, who lives for simple pleasures and takes no shame in lust. If virtue is to found in this world at all, she is the one who possesses it, and it gives her the strength she needs.

I found this a bit inaccessible, full of obscure-to-me midcentury British gangster slang, but well worth the effort.

avatar for marcuslowx

rated it

4 stars


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