Hot on the heels of the excellent Heathenish, The Way We Came In tells the story of brothers trying to make ends meet after one is released from prison. How do they do this? They both get jobs at the local store packing groceries, right? Wrong! Drugs, poor decisions lie at the centre of this fine tale in which we have twin brothers who will do anything to pay the rent. At around one hours reading, The Way We Came In is a meagre investment of your time but it’s certainly a worthy one, especially if you like gritty fiction. It’s a story of poverty, brotherly love and day-to-day survival at street level.
When I was reading this, I felt as if The Way We Came In was like a literary version of the classic gangsta movie Menace II Society or something along those lines. This is high-quality fiction, folks. Losack writes with a clinical, sharp prose style and the story has a raw feel to it. Whilst only a short tale there is heavy emotional reader involvement with the small cast. The writing suggests Losack knows what he is talking about too and I feel it’s important for a writer telling this sort of story to convince. Kelby does so here in spades. The Way We Came In is very conversational in the way it’s written and it works really, really well, almost as if you’re privy to a series of deeply personal thoughts and exchanges between two people.
I know Kelby is a huge hip-hop fan and this really comes across in his writing. There is an incredible flow to the narrative as he effortlessly switches between perspectives; it’s very well done indeed. I enjoyed Kelby’s previous book, Heathenish a lot, but I think this is even better. This book could be a sleeper for a few best of lists come the end of 2018. Get on it before folk start jumping on the bandwagon.
5/5 extra value meals from the Grim Reader
Pick up a copy from here.
When you have finished reading this perhaps listen to…
Cloud 9 by Nine: Nine’s second album released in August 1996 is a gritty slice of gangsta rap. Nine sounds like he chews gravel instead of tobacco, but when he bangs out tunes such as 4 Chicken Wings and Rice, We Play 4 Keeps and Jon Doe, who cares? This is a gritty, dirty, rough-sounding album and I bloody love it. The perfect accompaniment to The Way We Came In.