“Maybe the individual was never important. It just wasn’t quite as obvious as it is now.”
This is a manifesto for fury, for escape, for individual revolt, it is the story of four kids from highly unstable homes in one of the bleakest regions in England, the deindustrialised north-west. Rochdale is a town devoid of hope, a town in which poverty, violence and abuse are part of daily life, a place where kids have to grow up too quickly. The only thing that binds together the angry, martial-arts- obsessed Don(atella); the traumatised Polish boy Peter; the albino girl Karen; and Hannah, an or- phan from Liverpool, is their hatred of their lived reality, their love of grime (or GRM) – the music style that has replaced punk as the music of the angry and dispossessed – and their determination to get revenge on the people responsible for their misery.
»GRM Brainfuck” isn‘t just a dystopia or a novel about so- ciety today. It is a literary emergency operation at the open heart of our present.«
Their thirst for revenge leads them to London, where they encounter degenerate conservatives, conspiracy theorists, programmers vacillating between megalomania and impotence, cynical secret agents, Chinese power brokers, algorithms that have developed a life of their own, and multitudes of losers who spend their days reliving their own pathetic pasts by means of virtual reality. But what started out as a hit squad turns into a makeshift family as the four kids attempt, with limited success, to create a home for themselves in an abandoned factory on the city’s outskirts.
Berg imagines post-Brexit Britain, asking the question at the heart of contemporary European society: What will climate change, artificial intelli- gence, the rise of the far-right, and the inexorable expansion of surveillance lead to? GRM Brainfuck explores our near-future and dissects the state of the world. Precisely and relentlessly.
Welcome to the world of Grime.