Kindle Edition è Granta 123 PDF Þ

Kindle Edition è Granta 123 PDF Þ


Granta 123 [PDF / Epub] ✍ Granta 123 ☁ John Freeman – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk For three consecutive decades Granta has foreseen the brilliant careers of the British literary scene showcasing an array of talent that included Martin Amis Pat Barker Julian Barnes Kazuo Ishiguro Ia For three consecutive decades Granta has foreseen the brilliant careers of the British literary scene showcasing an array of talent that included Martin Amis Pat Barker Julian Barnes Kazuo Ishiguro Ian McEwan Salman Rushdie Rose Tremain Alan Hollinghurst AL Kennedy Will Self Helen Simpson Jeanette Winterson David Mitchell and Zadie SmithHere in a collection of new work by twenty writers is the future of literature in Britain Granta’s fourth BEST OF YOUNG BRITISH NOVELISTSThe ListNaomi AldermanTahmima AnamNed BeaumanJenni FaganAdam FouldsXiaolu GuoSarah HallSteven HallJoanna KavennaBenjamin MarkovitsNadifa MohamedHelen OyeyemiRoss RaisinSunjeev SahotaTaiye SelasiKamila ShamsieZadie SmithDavid SzalayAdam ThirlwellEvie Wyld.

  • Kindle Edition
  • 256 pages
  • Granta 123
  • John Freeman
  • English
  • 04 October 2016

About the Author: John Freeman

Note There is than one author in the Goodreads database with this nameJohn Freeman is an award winning writer and book critic who has written for numerous publications including The New Yorker The New York Times Book Review The Los Angeles Times The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal Freeman won the James Patterson Pageturner Award for his work as the president of the National.



10 thoughts on “Granta 123

  1. Antonomasia Antonomasia says:

    I started this with a fairly long standing exasperation with the sameyness of modern literary fiction – but having recently loved works by Nicola Barker and Edward St Aubyn among others I knew it wasn't all a lost cause Anyway I'd long set great store by the Granta lists I'm probably not the only person on Goodreads who as a teenager had ambitious daydreams of being one of the writers on it That's definitely not to be now as I would be well over the age limit in 2023 even if I were suddenly somehow able to do the whole 'writing a very good novel' thing This being Best of Young British Novelists and a group of them which would look great on any employer's diversity stats I looked forward to hearing a lot of very different views of life in Britain But don't read this collection especially the first half of it for that Half consciously I was expecting the stories here regardless of the writers' other work to fill a remit like that of the BFI 100 “culturally British” including all the many cultures experiences that could mean in the second decade of the twenty first century Many of the stories – or rather excerpts from unpublished novels which make up the majority of pieces are set abroad featuring characters who've never lived in the UK These would have been interesting if they were fewer in number but it rarely felt like what these authors had in common was a country as well as an age even if there can be said to be a common theme of dislocation This article gives a considered view of the un Britishness of the collection I wished it was like our version of the modern American literature its author describes And in the words of a literary blogthe double fact of not being responsible for the gifts of half of these and not being able to hold on to the other who have emigrated must say bad things about our literary culture Previous BYBN collections featured stories commissioned for them; this time the rules had changed writers could submit bits of works in progress and 17 out of 20 have done so here which makes this a less enjoyable read but reflects well on the three authors who do have original stories Naomi Alderman Taiye Selasi and Ross Raisin less so on the rest especially those who would have known they were strong candidates The excerpts also have the cynical commercialism of effectively making people pay to take in a large number of trailers for forthcoming productsThese writers have great diversity ethnically and there is a majority of women among them Many black asian women than men though But almost all either live in London or have a degree from a Golden Triangle university and in most cases both apply The majority went to Oxford even the Cantabs could claim to be an oppressed minority here A terribly narrow selection from the point of view of British regional and educational diversity; none without degrees and few without ualifications in creative writing – though at least we're not uite at the stage of the US and their MFA mafia Philip Hensher in the Spectator says there is a lack of mention of sexual minorities as far as I know there aren't any I wonder to any extent if this is part of the very modernity of it because among young liberal people it's not something one necessarily needs to make a point about now; there may be people who don't actively label themselves and are on a scale which can slide this way and that Ned Beauman's writing always seems to include some man on man sex but can I find anything online mentioning the author's own sexuality? NopeIn the book itself there is a lot of competent but unspectacular writing None of the punk Victorian verbal fireworks of Will Self and remarkably little humour of the sort you can expect from him and from Nicola Barker The only really comic story here is Naomi Alderman's though Zadie Smith and Sarah Hall at least have some sparky lightness at times Sometimes it felt like half the book was made up of stories by Oxford educated non white female writers who use no humour and try to write in a typical lit fic style from the viewpoints of male characters from disadvantaged backgrounds living in non western countries Post colonial writing still seems to be stuck under the shadow of Salman Rushdie Rewriting this in June I have an unread copy of Mohsin Hamid's bookHow to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia|17471016 which looks promising Hamid was one of the authors the judges regretted being unable to include because he was slightly too oldSummaries of the stories writersSerious post colonial women Kamila Shamsie Tahmina Anam Nadifa Mohamed Taiye Selasie Helen Oyeyemi No humour and competent but unspectacular style in all these excerpts There are surely are female writers from similar backgrounds who are funny and inventive but not in this collection I Do Not Come to You by Chanceby Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani is one I'm looking forward to reading Some of Oyeyemi's novels sound like they're doing something interesting with a mixture of horror genre literary styles but her piece here isn'tWhite male writers predictable subjects Benjamin Markovits US campus Adam Foulds British historical Second World War Adam Thirlwell one night stand collapses or dies on guy in US hotel room After Hours style David Szalay Hungarian amateur pimp enforcer callgirl take a trip to London Ross Raisin disaster tale – this wasn't uite such a predictable “young male” subject as the others but I was still a bit meh about the writing Some of Raisin Thirlwell and Szalay's published books do sound interesting to me than these particular stories though The much vaunted Ned Beauman kind of belongs in this group too as his story is about a young male drug dealer But it's also got gay sex in it and unlike an awful lot of current literary fiction sounds slightly futuristic He's one of the few authors here who seems to be doing something substantially different and interesting I'd consider reading the novel his excerpt came from but I'm not really interested in those he's published so far Steven Hall doesn't fit into any of these categories; his work is experimental than any of the others But its structure made it especially hard work to read on a Kindle; the stress of trying to get the second half to display in the right order outweighed any enjoyment I was gaining and so I gave up Better read in print Sunjeev Sahota's story about illegal immigrants in Sheffield wasn't groupable either; I was really interested in the subject but would have liked a distinct style and humour Stuff I liked Naomi Alderman funny Neil Gaiman esue Elijah comes to stay with North London Jewish family Evie Wyld tough woman on Aussie sheep farm running from her past – an excellent trailer for her new novel which I'm dying to read just to find out what happens Joanna Kavenna safe familiar friendly tale of bohemian urban friends in their 30's Zadie Smith American kids in 50's or 60's Greenwich Village – really want to read the rest of this unfinished novella Sarah Hall female conservationist works with wolves in US signs up for aristocrat's reintroduction project in UK Xiaolu Guo very brief snippet about Chinese immigration experience with a little humour than the other immigrant stories ; had really wanted to read one of her books anyway and this just reminded me Jenni Fagan I loved this excerpt about a middle aged bohemian guy fleeing to the country in a post apocalyptic England Dying to read But am not interested in her already published novel The PanopticonAll female writers yet in the past I've tended to read men than womenSince read 4 5 starsJoanna Kavenna Come to the Edge Inglorious Xiaolu Guo A Chinese English Concise Dictionary for Lovers Zadie Smith NW the first of her novels I've really liked admired – this collection made me want to try her work again after being annoyed by On BeautySince read 3 starsNaomi Alderman Doctor Who Borrowed Time I'd already read liked Disobedience years ago but The Liar's Gospel and especially The Lessons don't really interest meSarah Hall The Beautiful Indifference Evie Wyld All the Birds SingingSince read 2 starsTaiye Selasi Ghana Must Go

  2. ·Karen· ·Karen· says:

    A heavy THUD in the letterbox this morningAL Kennedy on the board of judges brought 'a hilarious seriousness' to the proceedings I can imagine That's what she does hilarious seriousness

  3. Simon Simon says:

    There is a key problem with this collection in that it puts forward in the main excerpts from novels I don't believe this has always been the case This makes it a less enjoyable as a collection as the writing isn’t fit for purpose and b harder to judge the relative merits of the people involved When I read a novel it normally takes a good 50 pages before I can judge its merit Sometimes you can tell within 10 20 that something is destined to be great I didn’t have that feeling with any of these although doesn’t mean they won’t end up as cracking novels So that just leaves a 20 or so page excerpt plucked at random from a novel without the wider knowledge of what the book is driving at Bit disjointed On a positive note I had no reading experience with any of these authors prior to starting outside Zadie Smith and Ross Raisin My initial reaction on hearing the announcement of the list on the radio was ‘Where the flip is Jon McGregor???’ But after that furybewilderment subsided I was eager to read through 18 new names that will hopefully come to define the generation of British writers of my age For me there was a mixture of compelling novel concepts but the writing wasn’t all that special Sanjeez Sahota Ben Markovits technical whizzbangery but I had no idea what the fk was going on Jenni Fagan or sometimes pretty dull passages that may actually be alright in the context of a larger work Kamila Shamsie etc Some passages were probably fine but just not up my street Alderman Gao If I had to take a punt on some people on the writing evidence given they would be Thirlwell Jenni Fagan Evie Wyld Ned Beauman Ross Raisin and Helen Oyeyemi But nothing was mindblowing even Zadie Smith’s piece and I like the cut of her jib The most interesting sounding novels if they were turned into blurbs would be from Markovits and Sahota about the regeneration of Detroit topical and a group of illegal immigrants in the North of England respectively Overall it was an underwhelming reading experience and the joys of these authors will probably develop further down the line rather than prompting me to rush out and buy their books right now I’ll sit and see add them to the wish list and pick them up as a when I wouldn’t be able to predict off of this list who would turn out to be the next David Mitchell David Peace or Sarah Waters ie a top uality writer who also sells a bagload of books

  4. Robert Robert says:

    I've read all four of these collections now and on the whole this was the one I've enjoyed least Only the excerpt from Ned Beauman's Glow really grabbed my interest so much so in fact that I put this down to read that I did enjoy David Szalay's Europa After the Hedland by Evie Wyld the wilful oddness of Steven Hall's The End of Endings particularly his explanation that because of entropy it's millions of times likely that a kitchen will be untidy I'll have to try that on my wife and Arrivals by Sunjeev Sahota but the others I found to be very very average A disappointment after the others in the series in which I usually found three or four authors whose books I went on to buy

  5. Kristine Kristine says:

    would have appreciated original short storiespieces; too many were excerpts of upcoming novels most selections had a similar sensibility not as eclectic as expected

  6. Liviu Liviu says:

    having Sarah hall and Ned Beauman made this a must buy but I am looking forward at sampling the rest of the authors here too; the H Oyeyemi sample is also of great interest as I really really loved White is for Witching and I hope the 2014 novel Boy Snow Bird from where the sample belongs will be comparable though I have not been able to advance too much in her recent Mr Fox as meta books do not appeal in the least read so farThe Reservation Sarah Hall short and awesome excerpt from upcoming work which just became an asap; environmentalist expert takes a short leave from her US job to go and assess something for a English lord and his plans for his estate; uses the all expenses paid visit to the UK to visit her dying mother and probably her estranged family 8 years from last and not that happy reunion; will see if anything in the anthology tops itEuropa David Szalay excerpt from upcoming novel; Hungarian wheeler and dealer takes his stunning girlfriend to London to make money in the obvious way; takes his gym coach as bodyguard if clients of the girlfriend get nasty; excellent stuff so far and will definitely take a look at the novelAfter the Headland Evie Wyld something about someone from the lower British classes; no interest in either story or slang narrationInterim Zone Xiaolu Guo excerpt from her upcoming I am china novel; powerful though short stuff about a Chinese of Mongol origin most likely considering his name Kublai Jin refugee in France musing about his childhood with a brutal and seemingly high ranking father; definitely will take a look at both the upcoming novel and Ms Guo earlier workThe End of Endings Steven Hall while i did not really get along with The Raw Shark Texts this excerpt from the upcoming second novel of the author is stunning and it takes the top place of the pieces so far; while it mostly introduces mysteries and it is written with the front straight white textback upside down black text trick the two narratives seem to take place in two time frames one of 2014 may or may not be our 2014 and one in what seems to be 1854 New York but again may or may not be our history; great stuff is set up and that novel became a huge asapZephyrs Jenni Fagan not clear if this is contemporary or near future but very fast moving raw prose that made taking a look at Panopticon a sooner than later propositionSubmersion Ross Raisin for once a self contained bona fide short story about catastrophe as flood fire and personal loss; short but very movingBoy Snow Bird Helen Oyeyemi Boy is a 22 year old girl who ran away from home and works as assistant bookseller and Sonw is her friend while bird may be a parakeet that apepars briefly; great prose so far and another asap this time race and class in contemporary UK seems to be the theme of the novel from which this is an excerptYou Don;t have to Live like This Benjamin Markowitz uninteresting stuff about college students; readable but not my cup of tea so to speak so no interest in the novel from which this is excerptedSoon and in Our Days Naomi Alderman short story this time and again no interest; something about Prophet Elijah and modern times could be an allegory as I couldn't be botheredSlow Motion Adam Thirwell fast moving current popculture infused piece from a novel about a wannabe gangster who finds the girl he recently picked up dead in their motel room; entertaining at short length but not sure how it will go as full novelA world Intact Adam Fould extract from upcoming novel In the Wolf's mouth; WWII and Will one of the heroes per blurb story on a visit home; reasonably interesting though nothing not seen in similar period pieces; will take a look at the novel when publishedTomorrow Joanna Kavenna another novel extract this time about dealing with family responsibilities like having kids versus youth dreams of changing the world; while it is hard to see what the novel will be about from the extract the writing is interesting enough to take a look when publishedDriver Taiye Selasi this is a self contained short story that takes place in Ghana and deals with class issues rich versus poor servants vs masters as well as some ironic racial stuff thrown in the young driver of the story works for a rich family as a reward for his now dying of lung cancer father's longtime work as a driver for another even richer guy who is the brother of the mistress of the family; very good writing which warrants taking a look at the author's debut novelFinally finished this a while ago but completely forgot; overall just great stuff and a showcase of Granta at its best

  7. Hilary Mcgrath Hilary Mcgrath says:

    Fantastic and varied writing in this collection I had a hard time pacing myself so that I could fully enjoy each author Overall a wonderful sample of these authors’ works and I look forward to getting my hands on their next novels A common theme seemed to be the experience of immigrants in Britain or elsewhere Indians in Dubai We reap the rewards of such a multi cultural society with the variety of stories produced from the immigrant experienceI listened to the audio version and realise that one of the downsides of listening as opposed to reading is that it’s hard to spell the names of the characters in the stories for review purposesMost memorable stories Tahmina Anam Anwar gets everythingThe story of Indians brought to work on building sites in Dubai We get a glimpse into their living conditions the demands to send money home their difficult working life One of the workmen thinks he is entitled to a girlfriend air conditioning trips to the cinema but ends up washing windows on a swaying platform on one of the highest buildings in the middle of a sandstorm Anwar advises him not to look downNaomi Alderman Soon and in our daysI loved this tongue in cheek tale a humorous piece about Judaism in Britain which makes us think about religion in society Praying to the Prophet Elijah we have a sneak preview of what would happen if he did come down on Earth It’s not often that I actually LOL when reading but I did here A memorable line about Greta who didn’t like goat's cheese I need to read from this author Listening to her podcast on the Granta website I believe she is now mentored by Margaret Atwood Looking forward to reading David Szalay EuropaTold through the eyes of a Hungarian immigrant as he accepts a job as minder for Emma this is a fascinating insight into his world Emma is brought to a hotel for her first job as a prostitute The minder reflects on his role while attracted too to Emma and sits with Emma’s boyfriend in the car waiting Evie Wyld After the HedlandSet in the Aussie outback among sheep shearers the main character a woman tells of the tough existence and the difficulty of being a woman in this world She is running away from something so she has no choice but to stick with what the outback throws at her Looking forward to reading the finished novel Adam Thirlwell Slow MotionWritten in conversational style the main character really takes the reader into his head ‘What I thought was this’ We know his every thought as he tries to dispose of a girl's body a girl who he woke up with but doesn’t remember going to bed with Sanjeev Sahota ArrivalsIndians working and living in a cramped flats in Sheffield Most of them are illegal and know they have no choice but to accept the worst jobs with toughest conditions The main character got married in order to have a proper visa but doesn’t dare suggest to his wife that they move in together He describes his days making chapatti before work sharing the house buying supplies from different shops to avoid chances of being caught as illegals in Britain They go to work in van in the freezing cold yet are thrilled to see snow for the first time There is respect for elders and a curiosity to know from which region in India each new person comes I was totally engrossed in this story and am looking forward to completed novel Many other stories and authors worth reading in this collection

  8. Jacqui Jacqui says:

    I had high hopes for this issue of Granta 123 The Best of Young British Novelists 4 especially given the beautifully written introduction by John Freeman which so elouently captures exactly what I have been trying to say unsuccessfully for so many years about the power of fiction and the skill it takes to create capture and articulate a world as real as our own “What is exciting about a novel is not what it tells us about reality but how it uses the tools of literature – language and structure time and voice – to create an alternative world that feels as real and as urgent as reality a world against which even realistic novels scratch”“Literature exists after all not just for escape but to speak truth to power and it does so be asserting that the world as it is imagined is every bit as important as the world as it exists”“literature creates a new reality drip by drip in the lives of its readers It changes the way people imagine which alters how they think and expands what they believe is possible”Unfortunately of the twenty works of fiction included in this issue only three were actual short stories with the remaining seventeen all being excerpts from forthcoming novels As such they all read as tasters and it's difficult to get into the flow of the writing or the story making this issue far less enjoyable as some previous issues Despite these criticisms I did enjoy 'After the Hedland' by Evie Wyld 'Driver' by Taiye Selasi and 'Slow Motion' by Adam Thirlwell the only author I have subseuently added to my 'To Read' listMemorable uotesVipers Kamila Shamsie“he was maimed now a partial man and from here on he would never be admired only pitied”Glow Ned Beauman“You know back in the States you can’t use the coffee pots in hotels because people like you use them to brew meth Even in the good hotels I heard”Filsan Nadifa Mohamed“a gun makes a soldier even out of a woman”Driver Taiye Selasi“If you have never been to Ghana then you might not understand the way the darkest skin can glow as with the purest of all lights”“Madam says her flowers are the toast of all of Ghana I would note that all of us do not alas have bread But the flowers are spectacular”You Don't Have to Live Like This Benjamin Markovits“I didn’t want to be gay for several reasons One of them being that I wanted to sleep with girls”

  9. CM CM says:

    A few things to note1Only 3 stories out of 20 are new stories the rest is all excerpt of then forthcoming or unpublished novels2Those 3 are Soon and in Our days a magical realist lighthearted piece about the stay of Prophet Elijah in a modern family set in America Drivers a young chauffeur and his employers especially the daughter at his age set in Ghana Submersion a young couple returns to the wife's family house during a flood set in America25British novelists don't really write about Britain?Right they are mostly 2nd gen immigrants3I would have given this short story collection a 4 if these were the only pieces The rest is not sloppily written or what but they are excerpts and there are definitelylimitations for that4I didn't finish the whole book you can see this one is in my non finito shelf but the other 5 pieces I readonly one feels like a story that can stand on its own 5As I have been reading a wonderful short story collection by Calvino I know this is so unfair to these new novelists but the contrast is just so sharp that I decided to return this Granta to the library6Granta is still a magazine that all readers of fiction may check from time to time Whenever I come across it in the library I read a story and I am always delighted by the writing Maybe this one just doesn't work for me?

  10. Susan Emmet Susan Emmet says:

    I read through this issue uickly and a fine one it is I so look forward to Granta's Best of collectionsStruck by the diversity in voices settings concerns themes styleEspecially liked Hall's The End of Endings Markovits' You Don't Have To Live Like This Kavenna's Tomorrow Smith's Just Right Sahota's Arrivalsand Oyememi's Boy Snow Bird Nadav Kander's photographs of the twenty young authors are amazing So struck I was by themes of locationdislocation cultural immersion finding the right words or deeds and how swiftly digital communicating has warped perception and realityI'm left with so many images of deterioration and small hope

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10 thoughts on “Granta 123

  1. Antonomasia Antonomasia says:

    I started this with a fairly long standing exasperation with the sameyness of modern literary fiction – but having recently loved works by Nicola Barker and Edward St Aubyn among others I knew it wasn't all a lost cause Anyway I'd long set great store by the Granta lists I'm probably not the only person on Goodreads who as a teenager had ambitious daydreams of being one of the writers on it That's definitely not to be now as I would be well over the age limit in 2023 even if I were suddenly somehow able to do the whole 'writing a very good novel' thing This being Best of Young British Novelists and a group of them which would look great on any employer's diversity stats I looked forward to hearing a lot of very different views of life in Britain But don't read this collection especially the first half of it for that Half consciously I was expecting the stories here regardless of the writers' other work to fill a remit like that of the BFI 100 “culturally British” including all the many cultures experiences that could mean in the second decade of the twenty first century Many of the stories – or rather excerpts from unpublished novels which make up the majority of pieces are set abroad featuring characters who've never lived in the UK These would have been interesting if they were fewer in number but it rarely felt like what these authors had in common was a country as well as an age even if there can be said to be a common theme of dislocation This article gives a considered view of the un Britishness of the collection I wished it was like our version of the modern American literature its author describes And in the words of a literary blogthe double fact of not being responsible for the gifts of half of these and not being able to hold on to the other who have emigrated must say bad things about our literary culture Previous BYBN collections featured stories commissioned for them; this time the rules had changed writers could submit bits of works in progress and 17 out of 20 have done so here which makes this a less enjoyable read but reflects well on the three authors who do have original stories Naomi Alderman Taiye Selasi and Ross Raisin less so on the rest especially those who would have known they were strong candidates The excerpts also have the cynical commercialism of effectively making people pay to take in a large number of trailers for forthcoming productsThese writers have great diversity ethnically and there is a majority of women among them Many black asian women than men though But almost all either live in London or have a degree from a Golden Triangle university and in most cases both apply The majority went to Oxford even the Cantabs could claim to be an oppressed minority here A terribly narrow selection from the point of view of British regional and educational diversity; none without degrees and few without ualifications in creative writing – though at least we're not uite at the stage of the US and their MFA mafia Philip Hensher in the Spectator says there is a lack of mention of sexual minorities as far as I know there aren't any I wonder to any extent if this is part of the very modernity of it because among young liberal people it's not something one necessarily needs to make a point about now; there may be people who don't actively label themselves and are on a scale which can slide this way and that Ned Beauman's writing always seems to include some man on man sex but can I find anything online mentioning the author's own sexuality? NopeIn the book itself there is a lot of competent but unspectacular writing None of the punk Victorian verbal fireworks of Will Self and remarkably little humour of the sort you can expect from him and from Nicola Barker The only really comic story here is Naomi Alderman's though Zadie Smith and Sarah Hall at least have some sparky lightness at times Sometimes it felt like half the book was made up of stories by Oxford educated non white female writers who use no humour and try to write in a typical lit fic style from the viewpoints of male characters from disadvantaged backgrounds living in non western countries Post colonial writing still seems to be stuck under the shadow of Salman Rushdie Rewriting this in June I have an unread copy of Mohsin Hamid's bookHow to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia|17471016 which looks promising Hamid was one of the authors the judges regretted being unable to include because he was slightly too oldSummaries of the stories writersSerious post colonial women Kamila Shamsie Tahmina Anam Nadifa Mohamed Taiye Selasie Helen Oyeyemi No humour and competent but unspectacular style in all these excerpts There are surely are female writers from similar backgrounds who are funny and inventive but not in this collection I Do Not Come to You by Chanceby Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani is one I'm looking forward to reading Some of Oyeyemi's novels sound like they're doing something interesting with a mixture of horror genre literary styles but her piece here isn'tWhite male writers predictable subjects Benjamin Markovits US campus Adam Foulds British historical Second World War Adam Thirlwell one night stand collapses or dies on guy in US hotel room After Hours style David Szalay Hungarian amateur pimp enforcer callgirl take a trip to London Ross Raisin disaster tale – this wasn't uite such a predictable “young male” subject as the others but I was still a bit meh about the writing Some of Raisin Thirlwell and Szalay's published books do sound interesting to me than these particular stories though The much vaunted Ned Beauman kind of belongs in this group too as his story is about a young male drug dealer But it's also got gay sex in it and unlike an awful lot of current literary fiction sounds slightly futuristic He's one of the few authors here who seems to be doing something substantially different and interesting I'd consider reading the novel his excerpt came from but I'm not really interested in those he's published so far Steven Hall doesn't fit into any of these categories; his work is experimental than any of the others But its structure made it especially hard work to read on a Kindle; the stress of trying to get the second half to display in the right order outweighed any enjoyment I was gaining and so I gave up Better read in print Sunjeev Sahota's story about illegal immigrants in Sheffield wasn't groupable either; I was really interested in the subject but would have liked a distinct style and humour Stuff I liked Naomi Alderman funny Neil Gaiman esue Elijah comes to stay with North London Jewish family Evie Wyld tough woman on Aussie sheep farm running from her past – an excellent trailer for her new novel which I'm dying to read just to find out what happens Joanna Kavenna safe familiar friendly tale of bohemian urban friends in their 30's Zadie Smith American kids in 50's or 60's Greenwich Village – really want to read the rest of this unfinished novella Sarah Hall female conservationist works with wolves in US signs up for aristocrat's reintroduction project in UK Xiaolu Guo very brief snippet about Chinese immigration experience with a little humour than the other immigrant stories ; had really wanted to read one of her books anyway and this just reminded me Jenni Fagan I loved this excerpt about a middle aged bohemian guy fleeing to the country in a post apocalyptic England Dying to read But am not interested in her already published novel The PanopticonAll female writers yet in the past I've tended to read men than womenSince read 4 5 starsJoanna Kavenna Come to the Edge Inglorious Xiaolu Guo A Chinese English Concise Dictionary for Lovers Zadie Smith NW the first of her novels I've really liked admired – this collection made me want to try her work again after being annoyed by On BeautySince read 3 starsNaomi Alderman Doctor Who Borrowed Time I'd already read liked Disobedience years ago but The Liar's Gospel and especially The Lessons don't really interest meSarah Hall The Beautiful Indifference Evie Wyld All the Birds SingingSince read 2 starsTaiye Selasi Ghana Must Go

  2. ·Karen· ·Karen· says:

    A heavy THUD in the letterbox this morningAL Kennedy on the board of judges brought 'a hilarious seriousness' to the proceedings I can imagine That's what she does hilarious seriousness

  3. Simon Simon says:

    There is a key problem with this collection in that it puts forward in the main excerpts from novels I don't believe this has always been the case This makes it a less enjoyable as a collection as the writing isn’t fit for purpose and b harder to judge the relative merits of the people involved When I read a novel it normally takes a good 50 pages before I can judge its merit Sometimes you can tell within 10 20 that something is destined to be great I didn’t have that feeling with any of these although doesn’t mean they won’t end up as cracking novels So that just leaves a 20 or so page excerpt plucked at random from a novel without the wider knowledge of what the book is driving at Bit disjointed On a positive note I had no reading experience with any of these authors prior to starting outside Zadie Smith and Ross Raisin My initial reaction on hearing the announcement of the list on the radio was ‘Where the flip is Jon McGregor???’ But after that furybewilderment subsided I was eager to read through 18 new names that will hopefully come to define the generation of British writers of my age For me there was a mixture of compelling novel concepts but the writing wasn’t all that special Sanjeez Sahota Ben Markovits technical whizzbangery but I had no idea what the fk was going on Jenni Fagan or sometimes pretty dull passages that may actually be alright in the context of a larger work Kamila Shamsie etc Some passages were probably fine but just not up my street Alderman Gao If I had to take a punt on some people on the writing evidence given they would be Thirlwell Jenni Fagan Evie Wyld Ned Beauman Ross Raisin and Helen Oyeyemi But nothing was mindblowing even Zadie Smith’s piece and I like the cut of her jib The most interesting sounding novels if they were turned into blurbs would be from Markovits and Sahota about the regeneration of Detroit topical and a group of illegal immigrants in the North of England respectively Overall it was an underwhelming reading experience and the joys of these authors will probably develop further down the line rather than prompting me to rush out and buy their books right now I’ll sit and see add them to the wish list and pick them up as a when I wouldn’t be able to predict off of this list who would turn out to be the next David Mitchell David Peace or Sarah Waters ie a top uality writer who also sells a bagload of books

  4. Robert Robert says:

    I've read all four of these collections now and on the whole this was the one I've enjoyed least Only the excerpt from Ned Beauman's Glow really grabbed my interest so much so in fact that I put this down to read that I did enjoy David Szalay's Europa After the Hedland by Evie Wyld the wilful oddness of Steven Hall's The End of Endings particularly his explanation that because of entropy it's millions of times likely that a kitchen will be untidy I'll have to try that on my wife and Arrivals by Sunjeev Sahota but the others I found to be very very average A disappointment after the others in the series in which I usually found three or four authors whose books I went on to buy

  5. Kristine Kristine says:

    would have appreciated original short storiespieces; too many were excerpts of upcoming novels most selections had a similar sensibility not as eclectic as expected

  6. Liviu Liviu says:

    having Sarah hall and Ned Beauman made this a must buy but I am looking forward at sampling the rest of the authors here too; the H Oyeyemi sample is also of great interest as I really really loved White is for Witching and I hope the 2014 novel Boy Snow Bird from where the sample belongs will be comparable though I have not been able to advance too much in her recent Mr Fox as meta books do not appeal in the least read so farThe Reservation Sarah Hall short and awesome excerpt from upcoming work which just became an asap; environmentalist expert takes a short leave from her US job to go and assess something for a English lord and his plans for his estate; uses the all expenses paid visit to the UK to visit her dying mother and probably her estranged family 8 years from last and not that happy reunion; will see if anything in the anthology tops itEuropa David Szalay excerpt from upcoming novel; Hungarian wheeler and dealer takes his stunning girlfriend to London to make money in the obvious way; takes his gym coach as bodyguard if clients of the girlfriend get nasty; excellent stuff so far and will definitely take a look at the novelAfter the Headland Evie Wyld something about someone from the lower British classes; no interest in either story or slang narrationInterim Zone Xiaolu Guo excerpt from her upcoming I am china novel; powerful though short stuff about a Chinese of Mongol origin most likely considering his name Kublai Jin refugee in France musing about his childhood with a brutal and seemingly high ranking father; definitely will take a look at both the upcoming novel and Ms Guo earlier workThe End of Endings Steven Hall while i did not really get along with The Raw Shark Texts this excerpt from the upcoming second novel of the author is stunning and it takes the top place of the pieces so far; while it mostly introduces mysteries and it is written with the front straight white textback upside down black text trick the two narratives seem to take place in two time frames one of 2014 may or may not be our 2014 and one in what seems to be 1854 New York but again may or may not be our history; great stuff is set up and that novel became a huge asapZephyrs Jenni Fagan not clear if this is contemporary or near future but very fast moving raw prose that made taking a look at Panopticon a sooner than later propositionSubmersion Ross Raisin for once a self contained bona fide short story about catastrophe as flood fire and personal loss; short but very movingBoy Snow Bird Helen Oyeyemi Boy is a 22 year old girl who ran away from home and works as assistant bookseller and Sonw is her friend while bird may be a parakeet that apepars briefly; great prose so far and another asap this time race and class in contemporary UK seems to be the theme of the novel from which this is an excerptYou Don;t have to Live like This Benjamin Markowitz uninteresting stuff about college students; readable but not my cup of tea so to speak so no interest in the novel from which this is excerptedSoon and in Our Days Naomi Alderman short story this time and again no interest; something about Prophet Elijah and modern times could be an allegory as I couldn't be botheredSlow Motion Adam Thirwell fast moving current popculture infused piece from a novel about a wannabe gangster who finds the girl he recently picked up dead in their motel room; entertaining at short length but not sure how it will go as full novelA world Intact Adam Fould extract from upcoming novel In the Wolf's mouth; WWII and Will one of the heroes per blurb story on a visit home; reasonably interesting though nothing not seen in similar period pieces; will take a look at the novel when publishedTomorrow Joanna Kavenna another novel extract this time about dealing with family responsibilities like having kids versus youth dreams of changing the world; while it is hard to see what the novel will be about from the extract the writing is interesting enough to take a look when publishedDriver Taiye Selasi this is a self contained short story that takes place in Ghana and deals with class issues rich versus poor servants vs masters as well as some ironic racial stuff thrown in the young driver of the story works for a rich family as a reward for his now dying of lung cancer father's longtime work as a driver for another even richer guy who is the brother of the mistress of the family; very good writing which warrants taking a look at the author's debut novelFinally finished this a while ago but completely forgot; overall just great stuff and a showcase of Granta at its best

  7. Hilary Mcgrath Hilary Mcgrath says:

    Fantastic and varied writing in this collection I had a hard time pacing myself so that I could fully enjoy each author Overall a wonderful sample of these authors’ works and I look forward to getting my hands on their next novels A common theme seemed to be the experience of immigrants in Britain or elsewhere Indians in Dubai We reap the rewards of such a multi cultural society with the variety of stories produced from the immigrant experienceI listened to the audio version and realise that one of the downsides of listening as opposed to reading is that it’s hard to spell the names of the characters in the stories for review purposesMost memorable stories Tahmina Anam Anwar gets everythingThe story of Indians brought to work on building sites in Dubai We get a glimpse into their living conditions the demands to send money home their difficult working life One of the workmen thinks he is entitled to a girlfriend air conditioning trips to the cinema but ends up washing windows on a swaying platform on one of the highest buildings in the middle of a sandstorm Anwar advises him not to look downNaomi Alderman Soon and in our daysI loved this tongue in cheek tale a humorous piece about Judaism in Britain which makes us think about religion in society Praying to the Prophet Elijah we have a sneak preview of what would happen if he did come down on Earth It’s not often that I actually LOL when reading but I did here A memorable line about Greta who didn’t like goat's cheese I need to read from this author Listening to her podcast on the Granta website I believe she is now mentored by Margaret Atwood Looking forward to reading David Szalay EuropaTold through the eyes of a Hungarian immigrant as he accepts a job as minder for Emma this is a fascinating insight into his world Emma is brought to a hotel for her first job as a prostitute The minder reflects on his role while attracted too to Emma and sits with Emma’s boyfriend in the car waiting Evie Wyld After the HedlandSet in the Aussie outback among sheep shearers the main character a woman tells of the tough existence and the difficulty of being a woman in this world She is running away from something so she has no choice but to stick with what the outback throws at her Looking forward to reading the finished novel Adam Thirlwell Slow MotionWritten in conversational style the main character really takes the reader into his head ‘What I thought was this’ We know his every thought as he tries to dispose of a girl's body a girl who he woke up with but doesn’t remember going to bed with Sanjeev Sahota ArrivalsIndians working and living in a cramped flats in Sheffield Most of them are illegal and know they have no choice but to accept the worst jobs with toughest conditions The main character got married in order to have a proper visa but doesn’t dare suggest to his wife that they move in together He describes his days making chapatti before work sharing the house buying supplies from different shops to avoid chances of being caught as illegals in Britain They go to work in van in the freezing cold yet are thrilled to see snow for the first time There is respect for elders and a curiosity to know from which region in India each new person comes I was totally engrossed in this story and am looking forward to completed novel Many other stories and authors worth reading in this collection

  8. Jacqui Jacqui says:

    I had high hopes for this issue of Granta 123 The Best of Young British Novelists 4 especially given the beautifully written introduction by John Freeman which so elouently captures exactly what I have been trying to say unsuccessfully for so many years about the power of fiction and the skill it takes to create capture and articulate a world as real as our own “What is exciting about a novel is not what it tells us about reality but how it uses the tools of literature – language and structure time and voice – to create an alternative world that feels as real and as urgent as reality a world against which even realistic novels scratch”“Literature exists after all not just for escape but to speak truth to power and it does so be asserting that the world as it is imagined is every bit as important as the world as it exists”“literature creates a new reality drip by drip in the lives of its readers It changes the way people imagine which alters how they think and expands what they believe is possible”Unfortunately of the twenty works of fiction included in this issue only three were actual short stories with the remaining seventeen all being excerpts from forthcoming novels As such they all read as tasters and it's difficult to get into the flow of the writing or the story making this issue far less enjoyable as some previous issues Despite these criticisms I did enjoy 'After the Hedland' by Evie Wyld 'Driver' by Taiye Selasi and 'Slow Motion' by Adam Thirlwell the only author I have subseuently added to my 'To Read' listMemorable uotesVipers Kamila Shamsie“he was maimed now a partial man and from here on he would never be admired only pitied”Glow Ned Beauman“You know back in the States you can’t use the coffee pots in hotels because people like you use them to brew meth Even in the good hotels I heard”Filsan Nadifa Mohamed“a gun makes a soldier even out of a woman”Driver Taiye Selasi“If you have never been to Ghana then you might not understand the way the darkest skin can glow as with the purest of all lights”“Madam says her flowers are the toast of all of Ghana I would note that all of us do not alas have bread But the flowers are spectacular”You Don't Have to Live Like This Benjamin Markovits“I didn’t want to be gay for several reasons One of them being that I wanted to sleep with girls”

  9. CM CM says:

    A few things to note1Only 3 stories out of 20 are new stories the rest is all excerpt of then forthcoming or unpublished novels2Those 3 are Soon and in Our days a magical realist lighthearted piece about the stay of Prophet Elijah in a modern family set in America Drivers a young chauffeur and his employers especially the daughter at his age set in Ghana Submersion a young couple returns to the wife's family house during a flood set in America25British novelists don't really write about Britain?Right they are mostly 2nd gen immigrants3I would have given this short story collection a 4 if these were the only pieces The rest is not sloppily written or what but they are excerpts and there are definitelylimitations for that4I didn't finish the whole book you can see this one is in my non finito shelf but the other 5 pieces I readonly one feels like a story that can stand on its own 5As I have been reading a wonderful short story collection by Calvino I know this is so unfair to these new novelists but the contrast is just so sharp that I decided to return this Granta to the library6Granta is still a magazine that all readers of fiction may check from time to time Whenever I come across it in the library I read a story and I am always delighted by the writing Maybe this one just doesn't work for me?

  10. Susan Emmet Susan Emmet says:

    I read through this issue uickly and a fine one it is I so look forward to Granta's Best of collectionsStruck by the diversity in voices settings concerns themes styleEspecially liked Hall's The End of Endings Markovits' You Don't Have To Live Like This Kavenna's Tomorrow Smith's Just Right Sahota's Arrivalsand Oyememi's Boy Snow Bird Nadav Kander's photographs of the twenty young authors are amazing So struck I was by themes of locationdislocation cultural immersion finding the right words or deeds and how swiftly digital communicating has warped perception and realityI'm left with so many images of deterioration and small hope

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