Publication Date: 13/07/2023 ISBN: 9781787303942 Category: Tag:

Chain-Gang All-Stars

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication Date: 13/07/2023 ISBN: 9781787303942 Category: Tag:


Become the envy of all book lovers with your own Mr B’s sticker to show off where you do your shopping.


Mr B's review

A brutal depiction of exploitation in the US prison system, this close-to-home dystopia is a tale of survival while the whole world is watching. Viewed by millions, prisoners fight like gladiators for the ultimate prize: their freedom. This is The Hunger Games-meets-The Handmaid’s Tale with a huge amount of swagger and ferocity, but written with a distinct empathy and intellect that makes it one of the year’s most astonishing reads.



‘America’s new Hunger Games’ Sunday Times

‘So good. This one is from the heart’ Stephen King

‘Brutal, thrilling, devastating and beautiful’ The Times

Enter a world where, livestreamed to millions, prisoners fight like gladiators for the ultimate prize: their freedom.

Fan-favourite female stars Loretta Thurwar and Hamara ‘Hurricane Staxxx’ Stacker are teammates and lovers. Thurwar is nearing the end of her time on the circuit, free in just a few matches, a fact she carries as heavily as her lethal hammer. But as protestors clash with the baying crowds and the programme’s corporate owners stack the odds against her – will the price be simply too high?

‘So compelling – right up to the final, fatal blow’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Vividly imaginative and startling’ Elle

‘The new maestro of dystopian lit’ Wired

Publisher Review

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is one of the most exciting young writers in America. His work is urgent, engaging, wildly entertaining, formally bold and politically electrifying. Read one page, any page, and you’ll see what I mean. — George Saunders, author of LINCOLN IN THE BARDO A defiant, awe-inspiring novel that will be read, studied and celebrated for generations, Chain-Gang All-Stars leads with love. Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah writes with stunning compassion and moral clarity as he interrogates every facet of our carceral world and the American spectacle of violence, never losing sight of the human cost of systemic injustice. Readers will be forever changed by this book. — Jessamine Chan, author of THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD MOTHERS Makes explicit how the spirit erodes as the body becomes currency. Adjei-Brenyah writes sharply about the economy of spectacle and the fickle alchemy between futility and hope. — Raven Leilani, author of LUSTER Given how incredible his debut collection was and is, it is no surprise to me that Adjei-Brenyah’s debut novel is this extraordinary! Told with bold, muscular prose, this book is filled with surprising tenderness. Some of the best and most beautiful descriptions of action and violence I have ever read, which is not to say the book celebrates violence so much as it uses violence to explore American incarceration by imagining it as spectacle. As big as it is dazzling. Just wild how good and original this book is. A revelation! — Tommy Orange, author of THERE THERE Beautiful and brutal, with a really furious social commentary underpinning it. — Bea Carvalho * Independent, debut authors for 2023 * In a narrative world where the real is growingly more unbelievable than the make believe, Chain-Gang All-Stars is an uncanny, singular feat for literature. I’ve never read satire so bruising, so brolic, so tender and, really, so pitch-perfect. It’s nuts brilliant. Just read it! — Kiese Laymon, author of HEAVY: An American Memoir As vital as it is brutal. Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah illuminates darkness with the electricity of his prose. The massive weight of the subject is matched by the sheer scope of Adjei-Brenyah’s imagination. A startling, important novel that will inspire and inform many conversations. — Charles Yu, author of INTERIOR CHINATOWN Vividly imaginative and startling in its clarity of intent, Adjei-Brenyah’s Chain-Gang All-Stars is a sort of The Hunger Games meets Gladiator meets WWE meets the modern private prison system. * Elle * Adjei-Brenyah is…[an] acclaimed master of our futuristic nightmares…a keen observer of racial and socioeconomic disparities that result in a high number of Black people incarcerated. While this is set in the future, it feels uncomfortably close to the present. * Oprah Daily * With his sharp eye for satire and reverence for humanity, Adjei-Brenyah’s latest explores the exploitation, violence, and false promises of the prison industrial complex, capitalism, and the country itself. * The Millions * Adjei-Brenyah may have the buzziest book of the year . . . A ferocious attack on America’s for-profit prison systems. * Goodreads’ Most Anticipated Books of 2023 * A chillingly dystopian tale. * Culture Whisper * Chain-Gang All-Stars should pique your interest if titles like Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale are more your vibe. * The Week * A clear-eyed critique of our country’s prison system, along with the profit and racism inherent in them. * Salon * At once a kaleidoscopic, imaginative examination of America’s unjust prison system, and a fantasy-tinged spectacle, Chain-Gang All-Stars is likely to excite and provoke in equal measure. * Our Culture * A searing debut with an unforgettable voice, Chain Gang All-Stars will force you to reevaluate what freedom in America really means. * Lit-Reactor * It is an up-to-the-minute j’accuse that speaks to the eternal question of what it truly means to be free. And human. Imagine The Hunger Games refashioned into a rowdy, profane, and indignant blues shout at full blast. * Kirkus * Breathtaking and pulse-pounding… Both the political allegory and the edge-of-your-seat action work beautifully. Readers will be wowed. * Publishers Weekly *

Find this book on the following lists

Book experts at your service

What are you looking for?

A recommendation
Something specific
  • Mr B's Recommendation Station
  • Fill in the three questions below, along with your name and email address, and our book experts will be in touch soon with their personal recommendations

  • I'm after something specific
  • Tell us about the book, author or subject you're looking for, along with your name and email address and our book experts will be in touch as soon as possible