Brighton Funk is a coming-of-age love story set in Brighton in the 1970s, the debut novel from Nofel Nawras. Naseem, or Naz, is a young boy deeply troubled by the world around him. His relationship with his father is practically non-existent. The book opens in the middle of an argument between the young boy and his father, and their relationship only deteriorates from there.
Naz is obsessed with the negative aspects of life, he spends most of his time reading books to escape the drudgery of his existence. He is disappointed in the words and deeds of those around him, as he believes they are all participating in one big lie: that the world is a nice place. The only time the gloom lifts from Naz is when he goes to the disco with his friend Johnny.
It is at this disco where Naz meets Abigail who he becomes immediately infatuated with. What follows is an account of their romance and how it contrasts with the other aspects of Naz’s life. She inspires him to try to be a better person, to reconnect with his friends and to follow his dream of writing.
This novel is an intense tale of a relatable and tumultuous period in anyone’s life, the passage from childhood to becoming an adult. Frequently vulgar and obsessed with bodily functions, the prose can be off-putting at times but at its core this is a charming, at times too honest, love story.