The Reprobates is a black comedy drama story written by Benjamin Grose and published in 2022. It is a fast-paced story about a popular nightclub and its importance in the lives of its staff and customers. The story is full of dark humor and drama.
The story narrates the day-to-day incidents taking place in the once-lively night club Munks which is now slowly crippling down and struggling to survive in the streets of Urban England.
Narrated from the point of view of the Club’s manager, the story reflects the early days of Grose’s life when he used to work in a nightclub. The story is a reflection on society and the negativity which we have either disregarded or accepted as normal.
Book Review: The Reprobates by Benjamin Grose
The term ‘reprobation’ in Christian theology refers to a doctrine that asserts the possibility of a person rejecting the gospel to such an extent that God, in turn, rejects them and curses their conscience. The title of the story, The Reprobates is a hyperbolic representation of society.
The story points out the most prevalent and damaging issues like alcoholism and substance abuse and the environment surrounding that in our society, and the fact that it has become so normal to live in such conditions for some people who are living and breathing it like air.
The story is set in a falling nightclub named Munks, situated on the streets of England. Set in the year 2011, the story shows how the once lively and flourishing Munk is slowly crippling down due to a change in power, ownership, and administration. With its bursting pipes, poorly conditioned toilets, and lost ownership of the sound system, it is a constant struggle to keep the place alive.
The manager of the night club who was once just a bartender in the same place narrates the whole story of how the night changed over time, and its day-to-day happenings, after three years of his tenure in this position.
He depicts each and every character at the nightclub, from the bartender, other employees, his co-workers, management people, and performers to the daily customers and other individuals that tend to show up at the club from time to time.
The nightclub is falling apart and the new management, in order to save its image, is causing even more damage by doing experiments like changing it into a cafe for the day and just a “live music venue” at night.
Due to the change in the positions and the shifts, workers as old as 7 to 10 years of association with the club are leaving their job, the water pipes are bursting, the sound system’s ownership is gone, the customer ratio is declining and the manager who himself is troubled by his chainsmoking habits is living on borrowed time with his constantly increasing health issues.
The Reprobates is a painstakingly evocative story and realistic about the rampant alcoholism and such normalization of substance abuse. The portrayal of the pain and struggle in society is disturbing and eye-opening at the same time.
The author uses the narration technique throughout the entire story, from the manager’s perspective, who remains unnamed throughout. The story is a combination of the various incidents at the nightclub. The author uses character/location studies to narrate the story, but the story doesn’t have a continuous storyline to connect the events and give a solid narrative, which sometimes might make it feel a bit boring and out of place.
The story is all about dark humor, absurd jokes, and weirdity. The overall vibe of the story is funny and absurd and it has the capability to make you laugh and self-assess yourself and society at the same time.
|Vowelor Review: A story full of dark humor and madness|
that deeply reflects on society with laughter.
Reasons to add this book to your TBR
Many people love to go clubbing to celebrate their happiness. Some like to go there to forget their sadness, stress, and struggles, get drunk and all bumped up while others go there to themselves and spend some time with themselves. The common thing here is alcoholism, substance abuse, and what it does to people.
This novel shows the reality of what goes on in a nightclub, how people behave under the influence, and how they behave to feel that influence, it shows the life of the employees who work there. It shows what an unhealthy and miserable life these people start to lead without even realizing it.
Benjamin’s The Reprobates will make you reflect on society with laughter, while it will make laugh through its humor, it will also make you question the way we as an individual and in society function at the very same time.
About the Author: Benjamin Grose
Benjamin Grose is an author from London having a Master’s degree in Creative Writing. He works as a service designer, but writing has always been a vital part of his life since he was young. He has written numerous short stories, novels, and articles.
His debut book, The Rebrobates, was inspired by his student days working in a nightclub. It was here that he witnessed a lost generation at play. Ben currently lives in Wiltshire with his partner and their family. He is part of the Bath Spa Creative Writing Alumni.
This review was written by one of the Vowelor’s book review team members – Shubhangi Shreya. She is a multipotentialite. She is a curious head who is always eager to learn new things.
Shubhangi is a graphic designer and an aspiring journalist. In her free time, she loves to discover new books and stories to add to her collection.