> Skip to content
Read an extract
Play sample
  • Published: 6 August 2023
  • ISBN: 9781787303942
  • Imprint: Harvill Secker
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $55.00

Chain-Gang All-Stars




'America's new Hunger Games' Sunday Times

FIGHT FOR FREEDOM. FIGHT FOR LOVE. WELCOME TO THE KILLING GROUND.

'America's new Hunger Games' Sunday Times

'So good. This one is from the heart' Stephen King

‘Brutal, thrilling, devastating and beautiful’ The Times

Enter a world where, livestreamed to millions, prisoners fight like gladiators for the ultimate prize: their freedom.

Fan-favourite female stars Loretta Thurwar and Hamara ‘Hurricane Staxxx’ Stacker are teammates and lovers. Thurwar is nearing the end of her time on the circuit, free in just a few matches, a fact she carries as heavily as her lethal hammer. But as protestors clash with the baying crowds and the programme’s corporate owners stack the odds against her – will the price be simply too high?

‘So compelling – right up to the final, fatal blow’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Vividly imaginative and startling’ Elle

‘The new maestro of dystopian lit’ Wired

  • Published: 6 August 2023
  • ISBN: 9781787303942
  • Imprint: Harvill Secker
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $55.00

About the author

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is the New York Times bestselling author of Friday Black. He is a National Book Foundation's '5 Under 35' honoree, a winner of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award and the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Award for Best First Book and the Dylan Thomas Prize, among many other accolades. Raised in Spring Valley, New York, he now lives in the Bronx.

Praise for Chain-Gang All-Stars

Defiant, awe-inspiring... Readers will be forever changed by this book.

Jessamine Chan, author of THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD MOTHERS

One of the most exciting young writers in America.

George Saunders, author of LINCOLN IN THE BARDO

[An] acclaimed master of our futuristic nightmares... While this is set in the future, it feels uncomfortably close to the present.

Oprah Daily

A searing debut with an unforgettable voice, Chain Gang All-Stars will force you to reevaluate what freedom in America really means.

Lit-Reactor

Beautiful and brutal, with a really furious social commentary underpinning it.

Bea Carvalho, Independent

Imagine The Hunger Games refashioned into a rowdy, profane, and indignant blues shout at full blast.

Kirkus

Like Orwell's 1984 and Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Adjei-Brenyah's book presents a dystopian vision so upsetting and illuminating that it should permanently shift our understanding of who we are and what we're capable of doing... Shockingly intimate and moving.

Washington Post

[A] blazing debut novel... Chain-Gang All-Stars is also a breathless dystopian thriller.

Lit Hub

A sort of The Hunger Games meets Gladiator meets WWE meets the modern private prison system.

Elle

A brutal, heart-wrenching story that feels so close to reality.

Cosmopolitan

You cannot applaud Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's debut novel without getting blood on your hands...

New York Times Book Review

Adjei-Brenyah's acerbic vision lands like a lightning bolt of truth.

Esquire

Magnificent. A radical interrogation of incarceration, racism, entertainment, the whole fabric of American injustice, as well as a pure fire page turner.

Max Porter, author of SHY

Deservedly acclaimed, Adjei-Brenyah is as commanding a storyteller as he is a world-builder.

Daily Mail

Grimly funny, epically violent and - at times - surprisingly tender. Quite the ride.

Marie Claire

Compelling... The range of different narrators provides a smart 360-degree perspective of the too-familiar society that demands murder for entertainment.

SFX

Criminally entertaining.

Guardian

A hugely imaginative read - the world-building is masterful... Unmissable.

Independent

We simply couldn't put it down... enthralling and engaging.

Leanne Fridd, The Times

Discover more

Article
Get ready for the debut novel that will leave you speechless

‘Chain-Gang All-Stars’ is shaping up to be one of the buzziest debuts of 2023. Learn more about it and see some of the rave reviews for Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s first novel.

Article
Your guide to the books and authors on this weekend's RN Big Weekend of Books

Tune into Radio National on Saturday 17 June and Sunday 18 June.

Article
A senior product manager shares the debut novel she's obsessing over

Taryn Burges waxes lyrical about her love for Chain-Gang All-Stars, one of the buzziest debuts of 2023.

Article
Add these 2023 books to your TBR list for a year of great reading

Check out the most anticipated books of 2023.