The Guns of Brixton is a mutt, bred from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Pulp Fiction, The Sweeney, and the Carry On films. All of this could have been a mushy stew, but Brazill has such a way with words and structure that this is all its own thing. It’s funny, as his books always are, extremely silly, but utterly engaging.
It starts with Big Jim and his accidental killing of Half-pint Harry. They head off to a robbery wearing women’s clothes. Lynne and George have some work boredom to alleviate, and the priest has issues to discuss over food.
After a near car crash, one character, Richard, is about to call the cops when the other car’s inhabitant puts a gun to his head and forces him to drive them away:
“Shit, thought Richard, as he heard the approaching sirens screaming in the distance, why the hell not? It couldn’t be any worse than Camilla’s party.”
Here’s a bunch of criminals and other dodgy characters who revel in their strange, comical lives, and they drag you through their grim lives with a smile smudged across your face.
There’s a whole bunch of viewpoints in the novella, all living disconnected lives from each other. How do they come together? Comically, that’s how.
Brazill’s novella isn’t a massive read, but it’s a good ‘un.
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