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Chris High reviews Paul Southern


Paul Southern

Arrow Books
ISBN: 0-09-946119-6

Front cover of the book by Paul Southern: Brown Boys In Chocolate

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Life in the big city is harder on most than it is on others. In Paul Southern’s dark and deeply absorbing novel, Brown Boys In Chocolate, this truth has never been more clearly defined.

When Rafi Rafiq and Richard Armitage leave their flat on Thursdays their ambition stretches no further than their giros and the bookies. Bonded from birth, blood cousins through school, failures in the hereafter, they share everything: draw, food, fags, booze and vaginas, an unholy pentagram of sleaze. Nowhere Rafi leads is out of bounds. Till now. He gets them caught breaking into Manchester's first all-Asian brothel, Mohammed's Butt's notorious nach ghar, and they're faced with a simple choice: pay or die. But Richard's fallen in love - with Butt's favourite girl, Fari - and decides they have to save her. And, for Rafi, it gets worse. The Death Angel is back. 'Gorgeous George' Cotterel. On the lookout for starlets to play in his latest video nasty, George knows just the thing that will sell them. And just the way to get them. Brown boys in chocolate. When Rafi and Richard answer a ringing phone in Manley Park, the combination is far from their minds, but George has it all planned - and they find themselves wrestling, literally, for their lives.


Exquisitely defined, Brown Boys In Chocolate explores an area of society that is never explored by the media – that racism, like any other argument, has two sides – and that multi-culturalism is a long way off in the UK, no matter what the politicians try to say.
Intense in its message, this is no politically correct hat-doffing exercise towards what the author believes his readers want to hear. This is novel riddled with experiences, smacking of enough bitterness, greed and envy to make even the grittiest, dirtiest and greatest of novels about inner city crime shudder.

Paul Southern’s second outing, following the success of The Craze, is a tribute to the author’s self-belief that what he is saying is true and that all those who say different, are merely in hiding.

“The only true meaning in life is passion, and this site is a wonderful expression of that. Chris High is in love with the words and music that express it.”
Paul Southern 2006

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