1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $34.35

Buy for $34.35

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Bloomsbury presents Who They Was by Gabriel Krauze, read by Gabriel Krauze.

Longlisted for the Booker Prize.

An astonishing, visceral autobiographical novel about a young man straddling two cultures: the university where he is studying English literature and the disregarded world of London gang warfare.

The unforgettable narrator of this compelling, thought-provoking debut goes by two names in his two worlds. At the university he attends, he’s Gabriel, a seemingly ordinary, partying student learning about morality at a distance. But in his life outside the classroom, he’s Snoopz, a hard-living member of London’s gangs, well-acquainted with drugs, guns, stabbings, and robbery. Navigating these sides of himself, dealing with loving parents at the same time as treacherous, endangering friends and the looming threat of prison, he is forced to come to terms with who he really is and the life he's chosen for himself. 

In a distinct, lyrical urban slang all his own, author Gabriel Krauze brings to vivid life the underworld of his city and the destructive impact of toxic masculinity. Who They Was is a disturbing yet tender and perspective-altering account of the thrill of violence and the trauma it leaves behind. It is the story of inner cities everywhere, and of the lost boys who must find themselves in their tower blocks.

©2020 Gabriel Krauze (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"A wild ride from the very first page. An astonishing telling of a young man’s search for belonging, caught between a life of crime with his London gang and hopes for his academic future." (Douglas Stuart)

"It is exceptional." (Candice Carty-Williams, author of Queenie)

"Magnificent in its relentless intensity and searing honesty, this is a new voice arriving fully formed and raring to go." (Booker Prize 2020 judges)

More from the same

Author

Narrator

What listeners say about Who They Was

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    38
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    40
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Worth a Listen

I love it when the author reads their own work, especially when it’s semi-or actual autobiographical. I imagine it’s much better to have this particular novel read to you rather than read it yourself because of all the British slang. You get the accent and the melodic flow of the language by having it read to you. While it was very interesting and entertaining, it lacked plotting or much depth in my opinion. The end sentence was also very jarring….I thought my audible had malfunctioned. I’m sure there will be much criticism of a white man appropriating British-Jamaican/Afro culture….I’m not sure how I feel about that because his story feels genuine.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

just listen

The most compelling book I've listened to in a long time. a fabulous description of the modern London crime world.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well done Mylar Krauze.

Krause is an excellent writer pulling no punches in a straightforward telling of his trajectory into adulthood. Things were what they were, and I admire Krauze for his unapologetic memoir. Enlightenment isn’t always teddy bears and unicorns, but perhaps a clear-eyed view of how things are. That’s what this book relays.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this book

Loved this book even for the things in it that were disturbing and scary. Why do people do some horrible things? Well, walk about 10 miles in their shoes and you might get an idea. This is what great writing is for.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a bad childhood

difficult to start
accent and vinacular speech
worth the effort
amazing recovery
would like to know the next