BRAT

A Ghost Story

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Buy on Amazon Buy on Waterstones.com
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

1
To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add kindle@netgalley.com as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 14 Aug 2024 | Archive Date 6 Jun 2024

Talking about this book? Use #BRAT #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Description

‘Full of dark, deadpan humour, Brat is a raucous story of the messy, messed-up business of living, dying and having a family.’ Financial Times

 
A moving coming-of-age family story’ Observer
 
 

'Iconic', Radio 1

I was in the waiting room. Then I was in the examination
room.

 
Gabriel’s skin is falling off.
 
His dad is dead.
 
He owes his editor a novel.
 
His girlfriend won’t answer his calls.
 
Tasked by his horribly well-adjusted brother with clearing out the family home for sale, Gabriel’s sanity quickly begins to unravel. His parents’ old manuscripts appear to change each time he reads them. A bizarre home video hints at long-buried secrets. And there’s a hideous man in the garden.

Disquieting and hilarious, taut yet lyrical, blisteringly-paced but formally inventive, Brat is a mediation on grief, art and love that will leave you altered, breathless and desperate for more. 
 
From a stunningly original new talent, this is a debut novel unlike anything you have read before. 

‘This original, clever story is brilliant on grief, madness and creativity. It’s beautifully written, hilarious and heart-breaking. I raced through it.’ Daily Mail

‘For readers looking for something that will grip you from start to finish, Brat is sure to be your breath of fresh air. The novel crackles with gothic horror, deadpan humor, and a damning sense of alienation that you won’t soon shake.’ Chicago Review of Books
 
‘Smith's picaresque first novel is told from the perspective of Gabriel, a writer struggling with numerous issues . . . a deeply gothic work that never quite settles the reader in a certain world as Gabriel’s foibles, ghostly visions, and uncertainties filter every moment. Written in short, clipped chapters and featuring uproarious dialogue (especially with Gabriel's brother), this is a darkly comic and brilliantly unusual debut.’ Booklist

‘[Smith's] dialogue shines . . . Readers who appreciate the morbidly funny and the just plain morbid will find a lot to love in these pages. A weird and darkly funny novel from a writer to watch.’ Kirkus
 
‘It's a book about loss and the anxiety of the modern age, tinged with humor and deep insight that will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.’ Town & Country

'Gabriel Smith has written a truly unique and surprising book. He is the rarest thing: a distinctive stylist on the line and structure level. Brat is so strange and so funny. I laughed a lot while reading.' Rachel Connolly, author of Lazy City

'Messy with glitched realities and body horror, Brat breathes the same thrillingly claustrophobic air as Inland Empire and Ubik. It’s a skin-shedding ouroboros of grief and laughter, and the most brain-melting British debut I’ve read in ages.' Ed Park, author of Same Bed Different Dreams
 
'Gabriel Smith’s prose is like if Joan Didion and Shirley Jackson took Xanax and used the internet. Brat is a sharp, eerie, confident debut about grief, memory, art, and so much more. Smith is a major new talent.' Jordan Castro, author of The Novelist
 
'Gabriel Smith’s jauntily creepy and hilarious tale of a grief-stalked scapegrace’s sloughing-off and regeneration of selves in the filial murk of a moldering homestead is a Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man for a new, quaking generation. Brat will unnerve and seduce you.' Garielle Lutz, author of Worsted

'Smith's picaresque first novel is told from the perspective of Gabriel, a writer struggling with numerous issues . . . a deeply gothic work that never quite settles the reader in a certain world as Gabriel’s foibles, ghostly visions, and uncertainties filter every moment. Written in short, clipped chapters and featuring uproarious dialogue (especially with Gabriel's brother), this is a darkly comic and brilliantly unusual debut.' Booklist

'[Smith's] dialogue shines . . . Readers who appreciate the morbidly funny and the just plain morbid will find a lot to love in these pages. A weird and darkly funny novel from a writer to watch.' Kirkus

 

‘Full of dark, deadpan humour, Brat is a raucous story of the messy, messed-up business of living, dying and having a family.’ Financial Times

 
A moving coming-of-age family story’ Observer
 
 

...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781398525313
PRICE £16.99 (GBP)
PAGES 336

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)
Send to Kindle (PDF)
Download (PDF)

Average rating from 26 members


Featured Reviews

Gabriel is struggling. His father has passed away, he hasn't started his new novel yet, and his skin is peeling off. He is falling apart mentally and physically. Brat is an extremely well written book, sometimes horror, sometimes comedy, sometimes both. It is not afraid to take risks in telling the story and letting the reader figure out what's real and what is not.

Was this review helpful?

“When someone dies it becomes a competition to be in charge of the history of that person. People want their memory to be the real one.”

Gabriel Smith’s debut novel is about a man who loses his father and is struggling with his his passing. Along with trying to cope with this grief he has broken up with his girlfriend, he has failed to write his second novel that he has promised is almost finished and his skin has been peeling off in sheets. He’s living in his childhood home so he can clear it out for it to be sold. However the house is also falling apart.

This novel was not what I had expected. It’s main focus is on the character of Gabriel and how he is coping with his life that is seemingly falling apart. Told mainly through his perspective, his struggles with grief are explored through his unusual experiences. His family is full of creatives and he soon discovers his mother and father’s manuscripts and VHS tapes where they appear to change everytime he goes back to them. This indicate to his brother that he is losing his mind.

The author makes great work in intensifying Gabriel’s emotions through the unravelling of his mind. The imagery of his skin peeling isn’t the only instance of horror in this story. The way the manuscripts are read and the VHS tape is played with the visions and strange people he sees, that sense of losing ones sanity intensifies.

At times it became more than just a horror or ghost story, there are several parts of dark humour that helped explain the dynamics of the family and the course Gabriel is on before he realises what is happening to him.

An interesting and entertaining novel a lot of you would enjoy.

Was this review helpful?

I started this one last night and haven't quite finished it yet, but HAD to jump on to say that this is my favourite book of 2024... and will probably stay my favourite for the rest of the year 😉. I'm obsessed (and will leave a full review soon).

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: