Friday Black – Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Every now and then something catches my eye, I buy it and read it straight away. There is no rhyme nor reason. Friday Black is one such book. It is a book of short stories by a debut author and comes in at just under 200 pages. It is a very interesting little book of short stories, all are dark and all deal with current important issues, for example, racism, poverty, violence and a post nuclear war, apocalyptic world (hopefully not a pressing concern at the time of writing this!).  The difference with these stories over others is that they are told in the form of science fiction, an alternative reality or a supernatural basis. Probably the best comparison for them is with the TV series Black Mirror, which I love. Apparently there is a new four part series on Netflix this Christmas.  Can’t wait!

I know I don’t do spoilers but I want to try and explain the genre a little better. The story ‘Friday Black’ (of book title fame) is very clever. It looks at the ugly side of capitalism through the phenomenon of Black Friday in an American store but, and this is what I like, it is written as if it is a Hunger Games or zombie movie. Which in itself is a very apt metaphor and describes the madness and crowd mentality perfectly.

Short stories must be hard to write as the author needs to engage the reader right from the very start, fortunately, these stories manage to do that perfectly. I would like to say that I enjoyed every single story and I did to an extent but there are a couple that aren’t as strong as the others.

 I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this book and I haven’t been disappointed. I look forward to seeing more from Adjei-Brenyah as I think he has a lot to say and is saying it from a very clever, new angle. 

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