Barnaby Smith reviews 'The Bricks that Built the Houses' by Kate Tempest

Barnaby Smith reviews 'The Bricks that Built the Houses' by Kate Tempest

The Bricks that Built the Houses

by by Kate Tempest

Bloomsbury $27.99 pb, 399 pp, 9781408857311

Kate Tempest's début is the expansion of a story she threaded through her 2014 album of protest hip-hop, Everybody Down. In its transformation to novel form it has become part love story, part state of the nation, part existential treatise. This much-admired spoken-word artist's venture into prose is a compelling attempt at capturing the restlessness and anger of disenfranchised 'millenials' (Tempest was born in 1985), yet it is also surprisingly unimaginative in its style, and frustratingly tangential.

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Barnaby Smith

Barnaby Smith

Barnaby Smith is a writer, critic, poet and musician currently based in northern New South Wales. His has written for Rolling Stone, the ABC, The Guardian, The Lifted Brow, The Quietus, Art GuideSoutherly, Cordite, Best Australian Poems and many others. In 2018 he won the Scarlett Award for art writing. 

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