A striking debut set on a West London council estate. This is a collection of short stories about regular men grappling with masculinity.
'Halls' stories show that even in zero-hour, austerity-battered Britain, the tenderness and warmth of human connection exists. The Quarry is, in the end, a testament to this messy truth - how love, hate, hope and fear have always lived on the same street' GLEN BROWN, author of Ironopolis
You can see it in them; all that anger inside, it's toxic. Throw some drink into it and everything bubbles over. People say that they never see it coming, the swing of the fist that kicks it all off, but I can tell.
In these interconnected short stories, we meet the men living on the Quarry Lane estate in west London. These are men at work, at the pub, at home, with their families, lovers and friends. Men grappling with addiction, sexuality and the corrosive effects of toxic masculinity.
From a bouncer at the local nightclub, to a postman returning to the streets of his youth, and a young man thinking of all the things he'd say and do to the father who left him behind, this startling debut reveals the complex inner lives of individuals whose voices are too often non-existent in fiction. Powerful and impressive, The Quarry marks the arrival of a bold new voice.
Halls weaves a chorus of voices that don't shy away from the ugliness of contemporary deprivation - the casual racism, the violence and addiction - but this refusal to romanticise or rose-tint is where the book's power lies. In following these flawed, multifaceted characters as their lives obliquely intersect, we're forced to reckon with a section of our society that is frequently denounced as hopeless, but is actually anything but. Halls' stories show that even in zero-hour, austerity-battered Britain, the tenderness and warmth of human connection exists. The Quarry is, in the end, a testament to this messy truth - how love, hate, hope and fear have always lived on the same street
Ben Halls is a London-based writer and journalist. He worked in pubs, off licences and several minimum wage jobs before deciding to return to school to pursue his passion for writing. In 2014 Ben completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College in Boston, MA, and completed his Master of Fine Arts at Kingston University in 2016. The Quarry is his debut novel.