In Our Mad and Furious City

In Our Mad and Furious City

Guy Gunaratne / Sep 22, 2019

In Our Mad and Furious City For Selvon Ardan and Yusuf growing up under the towers of Stones Estate summer means what it does anywhere football music and freedom but now after the killing of a British soldier riots are

  • Title: In Our Mad and Furious City
  • Author: Guy Gunaratne
  • ISBN: 1472250192
  • Page: 267
  • Format: Hardcover
  • For Selvon, Ardan, and Yusuf, growing up under the towers of Stones Estate, summer means what it does anywhere football, music, and freedom, but now, after the killing of a British soldier, riots are spreading across the city, and nowhere is safe While the fury swirls around them, Selvon and Ardan remain focused on their own obsessions, girls, and grime Their friend Yus For Selvon, Ardan, and Yusuf, growing up under the towers of Stones Estate, summer means what it does anywhere football, music, and freedom, but now, after the killing of a British soldier, riots are spreading across the city, and nowhere is safe While the fury swirls around them, Selvon and Ardan remain focused on their own obsessions, girls, and grime Their friend Yusuf is caught up in a different tide, a wave of radicalism surging through his local mosque, threatening to carry his troubled brother, Irfan, with it Provocative, raw, poetic yet tender, In Our Mad and Furious City marks the arrival of a major new talent in fiction Get A Copy Kindle Store Online StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksApple BooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Hardcover, 292 pages Published April 19th 2018 by Tinder Press first published April 2018 More Details ISBN 1472250192 ISBN13 9781472250193 Edition Language English Literary Awards Man Booker Prize Nominee for Longlist 2018 , Dylan Thomas Prize Nominee for Longlist 2019 , Goldsmiths Prize Nominee for Shortlist 2018 Other Editions 10 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about In Our Mad and Furious City, please sign up

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    Lists with This Book The 2018 Man Booker Prize Longlist 13 books 67 voters Man Booker Prize Eligible 2018 158 books 205 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews Showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter Jan 30, 2019 Paula Kalin rated it it was amazing review of another edition Recommended to Paula by Booker, Goldsmiths Shelves contemporary, booker prize nominee, goldsmiths prize nominee, published 2018, experimental fiction, e book, read in 2019 Nominated for both the 2018 Booker and Goldsmiths prizes, In our Mad and Furious City is a gritty debut about two days in the lives of London s diverse population living in a poor neighborhood called Estates The book is narrated by a handful of immigrants from two generations From Belfast to the Caribbean islands, different inner street contemporary voices emerge using the vernacular of their culture Gunaratne writes about the underbelly of the prosperous in London With clear insight the nar Nominated for both the 2018 Booker and Goldsmiths prizes, In our Mad and Furious City is a gritty debut about two days in the lives of London s diverse population living in a poor neighborhood called Estates The book is narrated by a handful of immigrants from two generations From Belfast to the Caribbean islands, different inner street contemporary voices emerge using the vernacular of their culture Gunaratne writes about the underbelly of the prosperous in London With clear insight the narrators voice what it takes to survive in this neighborhood and the challenges they face The youth share their football and music, however, there is always that underlining fear, cruelty, and hate.I could not put down this book Very intense The author made you feel like you were right there Highly recommend to those that don t mind reading in the form of inner city language.5 out of 5 stars flag 89 likesLike see review View all 30 comments Nat K Paula wrote Nat wrote Loved Great review Paula I also couldn t put this book down once I started it I would ve loved for him to have won the Ma Paula wrote Nat wrote Loved Great review Paula I also couldn t put this book down once I started it I would ve loved for him to have won the Man Booker Thanks, Nat I haven t read Milkman yet to make t Hmmmm.I struggled with Milkman and of the two books, prefer this one But you should probably read it and compare the pair Let me know your thoughts if you do Feb 01, 2019 03 34PM Paula Kalin Nat wrote Paula wrote Nat wrote Loved Great review Paula I also couldn t put this book down once I started it I would ve loved for him to hav Nat wrote Paula wrote Nat wrote Loved Great review Paula I also couldn t put this book down once I started it I would ve loved for him to have won the Man Booker Thanks, Nat I haven t read Milkman Will do so, Nat 21 hours, 46 min ago Oct 01, 2018 Adina rated it liked it Shelves booker Longlisted for Booker Prize 2018, Shortlisted for Goldsmith prize 2018 For those of us who had an elsewhere in our blood, some foreign origin, we had richer colours and ancient callings to hear For those of us who had an elsewhere in our blood, some foreign origin, we had richer colours and ancient callings to hear.I finished this than two weeks ago but I struggled to write a review Unfortunately, this was one of those books that I know it s well written and with literary and sociologic me Longlisted for Booker Prize 2018, Shortlisted for Goldsmith prize 2018 For those of us who had an elsewhere in our blood, some foreign origin, we had richer colours and ancient callings to hear For those of us who had an elsewhere in our blood, some foreign origin, we had richer colours and ancient callings to hear.I finished this than two weeks ago but I struggled to write a review Unfortunately, this was one of those books that I know it s well written and with literary and sociologic merit but which meant nothing to me I mean, I liked it but I wasn t moved too much and I struggled a bit too finish, not because of the language as other friends mentioned I had no problem with that, in the end there are no than 20 slang words repeated over and over again, ennet The format was interesting, The story is told from the interlocking points of view of three young men with different ethnic backgrounds Irish, Caribbean black and Muslim , living one of the poorer neighborhoods of London, the so called Estates, and from the point of view of some of their parents The timeline is not certain, which gives the narrative a sense of continuity, the felling that nothing changes, tha Fury, hate and fear do not disappear, they only transform Abba would have told me that there was wisdom to be found in seeing cruelty so close and finding violence in the daylight History, he said, is not a circle but a spiral of violent rhymes We were meant to bear the foul mess, live on with our voices tied to verse and those that could survive it would be worthy This is the truth that our olders knew Familiar with the echoes on road, they sensed the fury come but stepped back to let us learn our own frailty That s the deep strength that survives in this place, and now it s our wisdom too. flag 87 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Jul 23, 2018 Gumbles Yard rated it it was amazing Shelves 2018 booker longlist, 2018, 2018 goldsmith shortlist Each of us were caught in the same swirl, all held together with our own small furies in this single mad, monstrous and lunatic city I re read this book following its shortlisting for the 2018 Goldsmith Prize something which caught me a little by surprise I have augmented my review and upgraded my ranking on reflection I think this is the book that should have won the Booker and definitely should have been shortlisted but the Goldsmith seems a stretch too far as it lacks the formal innov Each of us were caught in the same swirl, all held together with our own small furies in this single mad, monstrous and lunatic city I re read this book following its shortlisting for the 2018 Goldsmith Prize something which caught me a little by surprise I have augmented my review and upgraded my ranking on reflection I think this is the book that should have won the Booker and definitely should have been shortlisted but the Goldsmith seems a stretch too far as it lacks the formal innovation I would expect from a Goldsmith winner.This debut novel was longlisted for the Man Booker prize having been shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize one week earlier, and after having come to my attention as having been featured in a number of literary previews of 2018 at the start of the year.The book is set in a North London Neasden housing estate The Stones some time in the late 2000s and takes place over 48 hours, in the tinderbox atmosphere immediately after the murder of an off duty back from service soldier by a black man which has further inflamed the racial and religious tensions in the area which include a radicalised Muslim group based around the local mosque and a group of White racists nationalists planning a provocative march through the area.The book is written in a third party point of view style with short chapters progressing largely chronologically between three young men London s scowling youth and close friends Selvon named after the writer Sam Selvon , Ardan and Yusuf All are second generation immigrants form the Caribbean, Ireland and Pakistan respectively, but all think of themselves as part of a young nation of mongrels , as Londoners and even narrowly members of their Estate based community bonding over high school sieges, road banter, Premier league football Ardan and I could not be different on the surface But that didn t matter when our common thread was footie, Estate, and the ill fit we felt against the rest of the world Although conscious of the richness of their backgrounds those of us who had an elsewhere in our blood, some foreign origin, we had richer colours and ancient callings to hear for me that meant Pakistan and its local masks, which in Neasden meant going Mosque and dodging Muhajiroun For my breddas on Estate, they were from all over And their common London link is stronger than their own racial backgrounds as one character realises when a relative newcomer to London tries to bond over their Pakistani heritage Anyway, how could I explain this to Freshie Dave He knew nothing of our high school sieges, road banter, Premier League football or anything else that made Estate living what it was A world away for him I watched Dave salt my chips I had in common with the goons that broke his window in truth While the form of the book is a common one one thing that makes it distinctive and must have influenced its Goldsmith selection is the idiomatic voice in which the youngsters chapters are written particularly Selvon and Ardan , peppered with allow it , ennet , nuttan , yuno Ours was a language, a dubbing of noise while that of the private school boys was a one note, void of new feeling and any sense of place The latter part of that sentence providing a fascinating challenge to the Somewhere versus Anywhere tension that David Goodhart advances in his The Road to Somewhere The Populist Revolt and the Future of PoliticsI found the language easy to follow although I did find that the Urban Dictionary helped me with some of the specific language stush for example I think I was also aided by my watching of Arsenal Fan TV and individuals like Troopz, and that is a relevant comparison, as it brings me to two other points Firstly football is crucial to the lives of the characters and dominates much of the limited action in the book, and the book is set in a firmly Arsenal area There were no Tottenham fans for miles which as an aside proves that this is by no means a dystopian novel as I have lazily heard it described for those who live there, the Estate is their life and home Secondly the book is set in an time before Social Media coverage of the murder and related issues comes by TV and Metro not Facebook although rather than any specific time it seems a mix of the years in which the author grew up in North London rather than any fixed period as references to specific footballers, politics and to songs are simply mutually incompatible Selvon and Ardan are both trying to escape from their lifeFor Selvon the escape is physical and external and into the world of sport pushing himself in running and boxing with an eye on an University place at Brunel and with the ultimate dream of a sporting Olympian career For the fatherless Ardan the escape is mental, internal and into the world of music Ardan like all the breddas is a Grime fan Filled with the noises of cursed foil, kicked down doors and borough folklore Same sounds found in all Ends, ours included but than the others Ardan lives his life to the beat of that music while when he is alone, composing his own lyrics Selvon recognising Ardan s lack of ambition and self assertion after an incident with some Muslim radicals forces him into a bus top battle where he merks his opponent and later sets him up with the chance of a recording contract but importantly with a path where he could walk without stooping But there ain t no prize on the line, like zero I ve a heart like a pikey, Irish hero In fact, in fact cut the beat On this bus, in the ring or on road Come cuss me about them Muslim mandem, I m willing Cuh I don t do this for your applause or your jaws My bars prove I m top billing Ardan s sections and particularly one where he arrives at a football match which dominates much of the story are best read to the background of the Grime Music which he listens to, overhears and reflects on to give the appropriate experience of his internal monologue A suggested playlist of songs mentioned in that chapter would be Wiley Bow E3 Kano How We Livin Skepta Gingerbread Man Roll Deep When I m Here The author himself has said he drew on the storytelling of Grime as well as I am sure his own expertise in storytelling from the tech firm he jointly founded with his wife and as just one example the muti rapper, collective style of When I m Here reminded me of the point of view technique used.For Yusuf far from escaping he finds himself increasingly under capture His father was the local Imam but increasingly Disturbed by a brand of worship that became less about history and art, the Islam he loved, and about the hate curdled up in the present and after he dies in an accident the radicals fundamentalists take over the Mosque and after Yusuf s brother brings disgrace to his family and community, he and Yusuf s freedom to defy the new leaders is curtailed.Selvon too is in one respect fatherless and I think this is an important theme for the author together with the differences of and difficulty of communications between first and second generations as seen in the rather wonderful story in the following articles with these accounts are those of two first generation immigrants Caroline from Ireland and Nelson from Montserrat.Caroline s sections I found the least convincing as we hear her back story, a member of an IRA family, and her exposure to and rejection of tit for tat rape atrocities unconvincing as I do not think that the author captures her voice or accent at all and unfortunately for him another Booker longlisted book Milkman is entirely based around The Troubles in Ireland and has a wonderful voice I was not that convinced by her impression of London either for example would someone bought up in Belfast struggle with the cold January winds in London.Nelson s story is moving and compelling caught up in the Teddy Boy racist attacks on the black West Indian immigrants in the early 1950s and the resulting backlash and riots he is distanced from his fellow activists first when he calls a police officer Sir after a racially motivated search and then distances himself when he takes a conscious decision to reject the tit for tat violence Now incapacitated and inarticulate due to a stroke, he is still able to reflect on the lessons he learnt All I have now are these surging, fearsome memories what come and go, sending me back like an echo for himself at that time I not never understand the mind of furious men The hard at heart, all them hasty scrawled placard For what How we go from talking about we rights and decent living to being march out like foot soldiers bent and unthinking and hollow We dusty group of angered blacks, my brothers and sisters them How quickly honest talk is exchange for speeching, screaming about we numbers and we bodies and not we needs or means to live How we plunge and grapple and seize all them loose ideas of unbelonging and offence Leave all them, I thought Leave all them behind me I will abandon them, for me, my Lord, for I Call me a coward Call me a soft heart then For the cruel world is too close in this city Them madmen like Mosley, the violent stories, them images of torn faces in the tabloid paper It suffocate we own sense and have it replace with some lower code For see all them who I called my blood, see them lost to it, lost to a city what hate them And its implications for today s world And now I know I know that on the night of the riot, when the fury blind the way, I ran not for cowardice but for love And doing anything for love in a city that deny it, is a rebellion The book then reaches a violent and shocking conclusion which also sheds an additional level of poignancy on the unattributed Prologue and Epilogue which book end the story However I feel that in what could be a depressing and difficult novel and has been described as such elsewhere Nelson s voice points a way forward of the bravery, and rebellion of rejecting the call of violence Overall this is an outstanding and memorable debut novel.I am however delighted that the judges of the Booker the UK s most prestigious book prize chose to pick a book which was based in the UK and examined the issues, tensions and fissures in our own society rather than as so often in the last 2 3 years books which examine the issues in the US And rather wonderfully Ardan uses the analogy of Grime to I am going to chose to believe make exactly the same case Most man tho, even Selvon and Yoos, they still on their Yankee made hip hop Allow that Why be on that gas when London s got our own good moves Even if Even if it sounds ugly, cold and sparse Even if the beats are angry, under scuddy verses, it s the same noise as on road Eskibeat, ennet Why would any man keep listening to Americans with their foreign chemistries after that Nobody from Ends been to Queensbridge, get me flag 72 likesLike see review View all 35 comments Jul 27, 2018 Marchpane rated it it was amazing review of another edition Exceptional I hope this book blows up and becomes huge because really, it deserves to be.Alternating the perspectives of three London teenagers and two of their parents, it dials the pressure and momentum up, up, up with ever shorter chapters as the events of the book escalate and yes, it s furious Set over two days in a London housing estate under a gathering storm cloud of racial tensions, the violent struggle is both timely and timeless Brexit and its associated wave of anti immigrant sent Exceptional I hope this book blows up and becomes huge because really, it deserves to be.Alternating the perspectives of three London teenagers and two of their parents, it dials the pressure and momentum up, up, up with ever shorter chapters as the events of the book escalate and yes, it s furious Set over two days in a London housing estate under a gathering storm cloud of racial tensions, the violent struggle is both timely and timeless Brexit and its associated wave of anti immigrant sentiment might be happening now but this stuff has been going on since always In Our Mad and Furious City shows the older generation looking back on earlier instances of strife, the violent patterns that just keep on repeating Is how I learn what they meant when they call it a bad tide It was the people bad mind here, the flow of the water, smell of the air During a high tide things come fairly The people them welcome a newcomer like novelty Other times the tide is low and them smiles turn to bitterness and hate Sour time like that, the British native think that the tide bring a flood and they do everything they can to push away we, the difference This was the London I come to Them old ships what bring common cause was long gone London was at the beginning of a low tide. All in first person, with natural speech patterns intact, the vernacular uses street slang and patois to render the voices of first and second generation immigrants so lifelike as to be almost audible Sections from the POV of the teenagers or youngers are heavily influenced by grime music, capturing not just the language of the streets, but its rhythms and cadences too It s gritty, this verbal patter it pulses and gets inside your head In the final lines you can practically hear the beats So here it all is, this London A place that you can love, make rhymes out of pyres and a romance of the colours, talk gladly of the changes and the flux and the rise and the fall without feeling its storm rain on your skin and its bone scarring winds There are many Londons This brilliant book is one of them flag 65 likesLike see review View all 10 comments Jul 24, 2018 Hugh rated it it was amazing Shelves booker longlist, modern lit, read 2018, goldsmiths Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2018Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018This year s Booker longlist undoubtedly contained some big surprises I can t defend all of them but, like Milkman, The Long Take and Everything Under, this extraordinary and vibrant picture of modern London was not on my radar before the list was announced, and I would love to see all four of them shortlisted.The bleak setting is the Stones estate, a group of tower blocks in north London with a richly multicultural Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2018Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018This year s Booker longlist undoubtedly contained some big surprises I can t defend all of them but, like Milkman, The Long Take and Everything Under, this extraordinary and vibrant picture of modern London was not on my radar before the list was announced, and I would love to see all four of them shortlisted.The bleak setting is the Stones estate, a group of tower blocks in north London with a richly multicultural population There are five main narrators, three of them London born teenagers from different ethnic backgrounds, who bond over music and football Selvon named after the writer Sam Selvon has parents from the Caribbean island of Montserrat, and is obsessed with running and fitness Ardan comes from an Ulster Catholic background and aspires to be a grime performer Yusuf is the son of the recently deceased local imam, and has in common with Selvon and Ardan than with the radical Muslims who are gaining influence in his community.The two older narrators are Selvon s disabled father Nelson and Ardan s mother Caroline They live largely in the past and their thoughts are dominated by the conflicts of their own youth There is also one pivotal chapter narrated by Yusuf s disgraced elder brother Irfan.All of these narrators have distinctive voices and use plenty of street slang and in Nelson s case Caribbean patois , but this is always readable The action, which takes place over just two days, builds towards a violent confrontation.For a first novel, this book is tremendously impressive, and although it covers some dark subjects there is always an element of hope My only slight misgiving was that there are no young female voices flag 63 likesLike see review View all 15 comments Aug 12, 2018 Meike rated it it was amazing Shelves 2018 mbp, 2018 read, britain Nominated for the Goldsmiths Prize 2018Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018This book is going to win the Booker update No it didn t, which of course only means that the judges were wrong Set in London, the story discusses identity, a topic that is central for so many current political issues, from Brexit to the divided States of America, to globalization, religous conflicts, you name it On top of that, the language is vivid and fresh, and Gunaratne finds many compelling images that Nominated for the Goldsmiths Prize 2018Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018This book is going to win the Booker update No it didn t, which of course only means that the judges were wrong Set in London, the story discusses identity, a topic that is central for so many current political issues, from Brexit to the divided States of America, to globalization, religous conflicts, you name it On top of that, the language is vivid and fresh, and Gunaratne finds many compelling images that he evokes in street slang and patois the poetics of grime and hip hop have clearly infused this text which is full of rhythm and musical references Our protagonists are three teenage friends who live in and near some decrepit housing blocks in North London Selvon is the son of immigrants from the Carribean, and he dreams to climb the social ladder by getting an athletic scholarship, which is why he is obsessed with his physical fitness Ardan has Irish roots and aspires to become a musician Yusuf is the son of the local imam who has recently passed away Apart from these three young men, we are hearing the perspective of two grown up immigrants what unites all five of them apart from some aspects I will not spoil is their experience of violence.The interlocking stories of these characters quickly become an exploration into the question how fear and hate emerge and how these two feeling are interrelated Why do groups of people immigrants and non immigrants, Muslims and Christians, Catholics and Protestants start to hate each other, and how is hate perpetuated How do these feelings become so overwhelming that they turn into madness and fury, so that the common living area in this case the city of London is suddenly a battleground These question touch the core of human nature, and Gunaratne discusses them to a dirty grime beat I really felt with these characters, and it is miraculous what a joy it is to read this book, although it makes the reader stare into an abyss flag 50 likesLike see review View all 26 comments Jun 02, 2018 Whispering Stories rated it really liked it Book Reviewed by Clive on whisperingstoriesMy initial reactions to this book were what do these words mean and what is going on The first question was because the narrative is written from the perspective of half a dozen very different characters of which four are teenagers from inner London, whose everyday language is very much of the street During the early chapters I found urbandictionary very handy but as the book progressed I became comfortable with the terms.My s Book Reviewed by Clive on whisperingstoriesMy initial reactions to this book were what do these words mean and what is going on The first question was because the narrative is written from the perspective of half a dozen very different characters of which four are teenagers from inner London, whose everyday language is very much of the street During the early chapters I found urbandictionary very handy but as the book progressed I became comfortable with the terms.My second question was because I could not easily fit together the characters although I felt confident that the author would bring them together in time This he did but I was then left with concerns over the timelines as I could not reconcile the generational gaps.However, even if you share my concerns please persist with reading the book It will be worth it.All the characters are either first or second generation immigrants living on an inner London estate and Guy Gunaratne explores in depth many of the challenges they face as they cope as best as they can with living in a densely populated area with a mixture of races and backgrounds In the Acknowledgements section he uses the apt term survival.In Our Mad and Furious City is written in a gritty, uncompromising style It is sombre most of the time, bordering on depressing, eased by a little humour and some guarded companionship between the boys.As I said above Gunaratne concentrates on the lives of immigrant families and what might be referred to as native British people are restricted to the police and some racist mobsters Whilst he is right to highlight the challenges of immigrant families, I believe that most of the issues covered are shared by all relatively poor people in our inner cities In particular I am thinking of the struggle to make a living on basic wages, coping with inadequate, cramped accommodation, prejudice and bigotry.You will probably find In Our Mad and Furious City hard to read, hard to follow and short of pleasure You will also find it impossible to ignore, hence my award of four stars flag 42 likesLike see review View 2 comments Aug 20, 2018 Trudie rated it really liked it Shelves booker nominated, indiebuddyreads, read 2018, british, best of 2018 Was an ugliness in this Britain, I feel it then But I had not learn it yet I had learn to drink a bitter, smoke a weed, learn to work and play lairy, but not that To see it there writ across the brick, it have me numb and leave me feeling a sorta deep down shame Sorta shame the Lord give you when you love a wretched thing Was how it feel like when I realise that this Britain did not love me back, no matter how much I feel for it This then is not the London of ease and merriment, of summer Was an ugliness in this Britain, I feel it then But I had not learn it yet I had learn to drink a bitter, smoke a weed, learn to work and play lairy, but not that To see it there writ across the brick, it have me numb and leave me feeling a sorta deep down shame Sorta shame the Lord give you when you love a wretched thing Was how it feel like when I realise that this Britain did not love me back, no matter how much I feel for it This then is not the London of ease and merriment, of summer days spent at the tennis or going to the theatre So much of anything I might know of North West London, where this novel is set, has almost always come from crime dramas It is notable that this book is not that and that it is written by someone who grew up in that same area providing the reader with such a blistering insight into life on the estate or the ends and much besides In our Mad and Furious City is such an interesting meditation on how you find belonging in a country that is often inhospitable to your presence It explores the often pernicious tug of radicalisation and violence and it does this from multiple perspectives, looking at the IRA, the Notting Hill race riots of 1958, and acts of domestic extremism such as the killing of Lee Rigby and the related fallout.Beyond the obvious political aspects of the book it also a rare look in literary fiction anyway of life in a working class housing Estate, familiar to us all now after the Grenfell Tower Fire I thought Gunaratne really worked hard to give a sense of community in this novel and to provide warmth and hope while also steeping you in the sense of hopelessness a tough balancing act This book has such strong male voices similar in that regard to both Wintons A Shepherds Hut and also Ryans A low and quiet sea it formed a kind of tapestry of disaffected youth in my mind The London slang here is a tough obstacle at least in the beginning but eventually the writing created its own rhythm and became easier to parse.Much like White Tears and Vernon Subutex this book can be read with it s own soundtrack In this case the style is Grime and I enjoyed listening to the tracks that Ardan has on his phone when preparing for the soccer game More books need soundtracks I say In terms of it s Booker long list inclusion, Mad and Furious perhaps didn t dazzle me as much as the seemingly effortless prose of Kushner or Ryan Personally, I thought the book was marginally stronger in the earlier sections and it suffered a little from some speed wobbles towards the end there Did Carolines character entirely work I am not sure.However, as an insight into a grittier side of London life and particularly as a debut novel it is amazingly impressive flag 36 likesLike see review View all 11 comments Aug 18, 2018 sue rated it really liked it Shelves publishers who sent books I was asked if I would like to read this at some point for my thoughts.I ve finally got to it The covers been putting me off, the writing is urban street dialogue and I ve needed to Google some of the words and contents which slowed me down, irritated me and frustrated me even , but, it needs to stay this way for impact So I was determined to press on The overall of this is a shocking insight.It s not an enjoyable read it s a factual one, us the reader just needs to accept the happenings I was asked if I would like to read this at some point for my thoughts.I ve finally got to it The covers been putting me off, the writing is urban street dialogue and I ve needed to Google some of the words and contents which slowed me down, irritated me and frustrated me even , but, it needs to stay this way for impact So I was determined to press on The overall of this is a shocking insight.It s not an enjoyable read it s a factual one, us the reader just needs to accept the happenings in this book and why a change is needed.Too many characters in this book for my head to wrap around at times flag 36 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Jul 26, 2018 Neil rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves 2018 booker, 2018, 2018 goldsmiths UPDATE Now re read after its surprise, to me inclusion on the Goldsmith s shortlist I m glad it was put on this shortlist, though, as I may not have re read it otherwise and it benefits from a second reading I found myself thinking a lot as I read it this time about the reasons people leave and the reasons people stay We have an older generation in the book Nelson and Caroline who left their home countries and settled in London And we have a younger generation Selvon, Ardan and Yus UPDATE Now re read after its surprise, to me inclusion on the Goldsmith s shortlist I m glad it was put on this shortlist, though, as I may not have re read it otherwise and it benefits from a second reading I found myself thinking a lot as I read it this time about the reasons people leave and the reasons people stay We have an older generation in the book Nelson and Caroline who left their home countries and settled in London And we have a younger generation Selvon, Ardan and Yusuf who are feeling trapped in London Selvon escapes through his exercise regime and his dreams of athletic stardom Ardan escapes through his music and his dreams of a recording contract Yusuf struggles because he is under the shadow of his brother Irfan and may be forced to leave London.The parallels between the generations show us that the battles are ongoing, fought by each generation in turn.A re read really makes me question how this book could have been dropped from the Man Booker long list and not carried over to shortlist I am less convinced, though, of its suitability for the Goldsmith s I don t see anything particularly new or innovative.This is a wonderful book and I am very glad that I have re read it I wish it had gone further in the Booker prize See London This city taints its young In Our Mad And Furious City opens with the murder of a young soldier on the streets of London It both is and isn t the murder of Lee Rigby in May 2013 And this both is and isn t the real London Gunaratne has re imagined London with only a few minor changes from the real thing Families hauling bare ASDA shopping bags past Chinese shops and Polish newsagents sounds like London to me Gunaratne s novel floats around the edges of actual events, the real city, and gives us a fiction that is uncomfortably close to the truth If you are British and you read this, it s not just the story itself that is frightening, but the things it makes you think about that you see in the country where you live.The story focuses on three young men, Selvon, Ardan and Yusuf who Iive on a North London estate of four tower blocks It is set in the period of unrest that follows the opening murder It is a frightening book to read About halfway through, I wrote in the notes I was taking as I read Everything I don t want Britain to be but am afraid it is becoming I don t live in London I don t live in a city I live in rural England surrounded by fields and countryside But I read the newspapers And I don t think I am the only person in the country who was disturbed not just by the result of the Brexit referendum but so by the undercurrent of racism and intolerance that was brought to the surface and put on display in all its ugliness This isn t a Brexit novel its date is never made explicit, but the indicators are the main events are about 10 years prior to the Brexit referendum , but it is a novel that exposes some of the tensions, that explores how misunderstandings, sometimes deliberate, spark into violence and hatred.Honestly It made me cry to think about it.We meet Selvon who is dedicated to his physical fitness He sees it as a way to escape from the Estate clarification after Gumble s Yard correctly picked me up on this Selvon lives off estate but his life centres there because of his friendships and he is looking for a way to escape to a better life We meet Ardan, a gifted lyricist who seeks escape through his music it is worth, by the way, looking up some of the music referenced in the book there are lyrics there that give context for the book even if the music is, as for me, not to your taste We meet Yusuf, whose life is dominated by the Mosque and those who run the Mosque and, by extension, his life He sees no escape The three of them support one another as tensions rise around them to an explosive conclusion It s hard to read this and not think of another multi narrator story of racial tensions that culminates in an episode of violence and which should also have been on the Man Booker longlist Tommy Orange s There There.There are two other narrators Nelson and Caroline I won t say how they fit in, but they do , and we cycle through each of those five with chapters that either progress the story or that drop back to show events from a different perspective Nelson arrived from Montserrat and we read his story and the reaction against black immigrants a generation ago Caroline is Irish and left Ireland during the troubles Their stories are a counterpoint to the three young men who tell us today s story Nelson s and Caroline s stories, told in flashback, show us that this is not new and, for me, point forward to the post Brexit Britain that scares many of us.Gunaratne s writing is poetic, especially with his three younger protagonists I love the way he can capture a person in just a sentence Slowly I rise to my feet, my hands in my pockets like that s where I keep my courage like His writing often reads like the grime music that forms a backdrop to the story He keeps us always in the slang and vernacular of the characters I would love to hear this book read by a North Londoner from the estates and tower blocks.I hadn t heard of this until it was put on the Man Booker list This is what I like most about the Booker when it points me towards an urgent, important book that I haven t heard of and, once started, cannot put down flag 32 likesLike see review View all 24 comments Aug 24, 2018 Ace rated it it was amazing This This is what the Booker is about Review soon flag 32 likesLike see review View 2 comments Sep 17, 2018 Jenny Reading Envy rated it really liked it Shelves read2018, location uk, booker winners and listed This country lack the joy of island life And it make we who come here drab and forgetful of natural feeling We come to the cold country and shed them smiles and grit them teeth Feeling as if the bad air of the place, the hostile nerve give us cause to arch we backs, haunted in later life as memories come This may be one of the surprises for me as a reader from the Man Booker Prize longlist did not make the shortlist in the sense that I hadn t heard of the book or author prior to the list This country lack the joy of island life And it make we who come here drab and forgetful of natural feeling We come to the cold country and shed them smiles and grit them teeth Feeling as if the bad air of the place, the hostile nerve give us cause to arch we backs, haunted in later life as memories come This may be one of the surprises for me as a reader from the Man Booker Prize longlist did not make the shortlist in the sense that I hadn t heard of the book or author prior to the list being announced, and I found it very readable, a pleasure to read despite its dark subject matter This is the entire reason I read from these award lists.The novel is told in rotating point of view chapters from various people living in The Stones Estates, a very poor area of London Most people are from somewhere else, from the woman sent from Ireland during The Troubles linking this book to Milkman, a shortlisted title that I read right before this one to island born immigrants to Muslim youth Each pov has its own rhythm and words that help you really hear their voice Words like ennet and sunnat and myman I did feel the author overused some of his character descriptions One in particular sucks his teeth so often that I wish he had spelled it out as a sound It s kind of like in those YA novels where people frequently chew their lips or lick their lips and you are wondering why the heck it needs to be mentioned so often This and the way music is talked about, where on multiple occasions a popular song is referred to and someone responds, Oh you mean the one with the X sample I just don t think people talk about music this way I certainly don t I ve never heard anyone else do so So sometimes the writing creates a powerful voice while other times the writing gets in the way of that voice There is a lot of recency in this novel, from the way fundamentalism is grabbing hold in western nations, the effects of Brexit, the increasing racism, but also the longreaching effects of earlier violence and trauma Some of the characters stories feel present day and are actually from a few decades ago I was confused by Caroline s age for some time I admire the vibrance, I admire the pacing, I admire the realism I would definitely read his next work By itself I d probably give it 3.5 stars but since I found it palatable than most of the Man Booker list, I m going to give it 4 flag 31 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Aug 25, 2018 Nat K rated it it was amazing Recommends it for Anyone interested in reading an intelligent book reflecting current society Shelves 2018 books, favorites, family and friends, makes you think, heartstrings, urban grit The blood was not what shocked us For us it was his face like a mirror, reflecting our own confused and frightened hearts 5 plus Stark Gritty Raw.I read this book late into the night The power of the writing, the characters, the themes, totally captured my attention It is emotive and unforgiving.Set in a housing estate in inner city London, each chapter is told from the pov of one of the five main characters We live inside their heads, and view the world from their eyes We hear t The blood was not what shocked us For us it was his face like a mirror, reflecting our own confused and frightened hearts 5 plus Stark Gritty Raw.I read this book late into the night The power of the writing, the characters, the themes, totally captured my attention It is emotive and unforgiving.Set in a housing estate in inner city London, each chapter is told from the pov of one of the five main characters We live inside their heads, and view the world from their eyes We hear their thoughts We feel their anxieties.The urban landscape of the estate is a melting pot of cultures and creeds There is friendship and kinship Likewise there is also the ugly side of bigotry, fear suspicion Radicalism Fundamentalism Sectarianism Any unpleasant ism you can think of is here, like a tinderbox, waiting to catch alight.Selvon, Ardan Yusuf are mates They listen to music, keep fit, play soccer and dream of leaving But events spiral out of control, which impact them all.Nelson and Caroline are from the generation above From Montserrat and Belfast respectively, they ve know their own share of troubles It seems that while years have passed, people continue to face the same struggles As the saying goes the things change, the they stay the same.What really stood out of for me from this story, is that as much as human beings have evolved, we still carry petty grievances in our hearts, which often spill over to the next generation.The grammar is spoken in the patois street language of the characters it shouldn t be any other way This gives the book its authenticity, its voice.A truly sensational debut novel from Guy Gunaratne His writing shows a depth of maturity and understanding of the crazy world we live in, and the ugly side of human nature.I felt like this book was a hit to the solar plexus, it s so powerful.There are so many amazing reviews out there for this book which describe it much eloquently than I have Read them More importantly, read this book.A book for our times It was like we lived upon jagged teeth in the dark, in this bone cold London city A young nation of mongrels Constantly measuring ourselves against what we were supposed to be, which is what I couldn t tell you Long listed for The Man Booker Prize 2018 pov point of view flag 34 likesLike see review View all 11 comments Jul 25, 2018 Tim rated it it was amazing Shelves man booker 2018 Guy Gunaratne s debut novel unfolds over the course of 48 hours on a north London housing estate describing moments of peace and chaos in a city boiling with social tensions There we follow three young men Selvon, Ardan, and Yusuf navigate the fragile, deprived communities of suburban London The backdrop to the novel seems very close indeed to real London events the murder of an off duty soldier by a black man, riots, progessing radicalisation of Muslim youths.Alongside the three youngst Guy Gunaratne s debut novel unfolds over the course of 48 hours on a north London housing estate describing moments of peace and chaos in a city boiling with social tensions There we follow three young men Selvon, Ardan, and Yusuf navigate the fragile, deprived communities of suburban London The backdrop to the novel seems very close indeed to real London events the murder of an off duty soldier by a black man, riots, progessing radicalisation of Muslim youths.Alongside the three youngsters, the narrative follows Caroline, and Irish single mother haunted by memories of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and Nelson, born in the island nation of Montserrat, who talks of his own experience coming to London as a young man confronted with the Keep Britain White movement and the clashes with racist police and Teddy Boys.The prose is alive and strong, it is written in the languages of those with elsewhere in their blood It reminded me somewhat of Junot Diaz s style of prose The language explodes from the page and stylistically makes Marlon James A Brief History of Seven Killings a Man Booker Prize winner no less prose look one dimensional The layers Gunaratne manages to create in order to give singular strong voices to the narrators is remarkable Especially the passages following Ardan, a youth inspired and formed by the fast rhyming bars of Grime, are in my opinion immaculate This novel is a joy to read and I doubt I will read much this year to top this extraordinary book flag 29 likesLike see review View 2 comments Sep 16, 2018 Paul Bryant rated it liked it Shelves novels This London working class panorama tries so hard but is eventually brought down by its mad and furious ambition It s like a box of fireworks that someone has accidentally set alight, everything going off at once, too much for the eye to take in As well as being stuffed full of CONTEMPORARY ISSUES ripped out of tomorrow s headlines it s all very neat, like our author had a scheme and he stuck to it So it s a neat exploding box of fireworks Looks like I ll never figure out this metaphor thing This London working class panorama tries so hard but is eventually brought down by its mad and furious ambition It s like a box of fireworks that someone has accidentally set alight, everything going off at once, too much for the eye to take in As well as being stuffed full of CONTEMPORARY ISSUES ripped out of tomorrow s headlines it s all very neat, like our author had a scheme and he stuck to it So it s a neat exploding box of fireworks Looks like I ll never figure out this metaphor thing.It s told in five voices The three young friends Yusuf Muslim , Ardan Irish and Selvon black British And two of their parents Caroline Ardan s mother and Nelson Selvon s father THE LANGUAGEFirst person present tense mostly and for these five people the present is really tense Told in a medley of demotic speech yes, at the beginning it might remind you of the ferocious Scottish slang of Trainspotting but soon it becomes clear that all you need is these ten words and you ll be fineFamBloodEnnetNuttanSuttanBreddaMymanBareStushBunnIMPOSSIBLE VOICESThe slangy part of the language is not a difficulty What was a problem for me but not any other reviewers I found was that these five people speak impossibly On the most fundamental level we have some disbelief to suspend for all first person narratives, from Moll Flanders, Robinson Crusoe, and Huckleberry Finn onwards John Mullan in How Novels Work makes this very basic point which is so basic it never gets made Your memory is probably not as good as that of most narrators of novels told in the first person Those who professionally deal with testimonies detectives, say, or criminal lawyers must find extraordinary the exactitude of recollection in such works of fiction Jane Eyre, supposedly writing years afterwards, recalls pages of precise and passionate dialogue with Mr Rochester such novels rely on a convention that contradicts experience We might remember a phrase or emphasis from a recent conversation, but we are unlikely to recall the exact words said to us, or by us, even minutes ago Yet novels with first person narrators invariably behave as if the narrator could replay a tape of dialogue made in his or her head So let s take that convention as read and overlook it Next, we have the PRESENT TENSE I open my eyes and I see Selvon reach a hand down to me I pull myself up Fuck They all looking at me to see if I m crying or suttan, as if I pissed myself or suttan Fuck em I watch their feet, them henchmen jackboots, walk out the gate taking Yoos with them Why they taking Yoos for The three young voices are all narrating their stories as the events are happening Who are they talking to Not a reporter or a detective or a friend, no, they are talking impossibly to you, the dear and ever forgiving reader So that s the second convention I don t think anyone minds that either, and neither do I I m not in love with it, but I wouldn t throw it out of the house But the third level of impossibility really bugged me I had been running along the streaming vein of the North Circular Road A thousand cars shot past on the carriageway, the long orange bend of twin lamplights stretched along the middle barricade between the rush of cars, lorries and motorcycles, and I was alone Streaming vein Yusuf sounds so literary at times, so elegant, that his first person words might almost have been made up by an author whose first novel has been longlisted for the Booker prize Yusuf again The way back to my bedroom I glanced into Amma s room I saw the shape of my mother s oval shoulders, her tousled hair spread out on the pillow I wanted to wake her In the middle of a crisis there s a riot going on and his brother has disappeared he chooses this detail to record and selects the beautiful adjective oval for his mother s shoulders No teenage kid will be this elegant poetical Unless they are characters in a novel about tough but tender kids in 21st century London Okay, this only applies to Yusuf, the other lot never get too poetical Yusuf s literary gracefulness grated on me Way too pretty GET ON WITH ITThe plot kicks off with an off stage crime just like the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby by Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale in 2013 but that turns out to be just scene setting, atmosphere The real story taking place over two days is the outward clash between Muslims living on the Stones Estate and the Britain First fascists who are organising a provocative march through the estate Well, but that s not it either, that s just the outer shell The REAL real story, the inner one, is between Yusuf and his conflicted probably being radicalised older brother.That was what I got really interested in But hell, there were so many things which got in the way The two other friends Arden and Selvon and their fairly minor life problems their parents and their painful memories of ancient conflicts IRA Prot violence original skinheads in the 50s But what mostly got in the way of the story I wanted to read about was that Guy Gunaratne didn t want to tell it The worst think I could have done or the less interesting thing would have been to write a little story about how a young man gets radicalised Interview with The New Review, 26 August 2018 I guess that is why this core story is beset with interruption after interruption as the fast paced narrative CRAWLS along This was a jangly, clangourous read GG has put four stars worth of great writing into his novel but he end up with only three There ain t no justice, which is one of the morals of this bookSCRIPTA great photo showing GG s father looking at a copy of In Our Mad and Furious City in a London bookshop flag 27 likesLike see review View 2 comments Aug 09, 2018 Jonathan Pool rated it really liked it Shelves booker long 2018, british_irish contemporary, goldsmiths In Our Mad And Furious City describes events from the 1950s through to the present day There s a deliberate blurring of exact chronology and this serves to emphasise the continuum that represents evolving London Gunaratne introduces, inter alia, Oswald Moseley, the Muhajiroun, Lee Rigby, and the IRA, Equally, at the personal level, Football, and Grime music play their parts in the narrative I was at peace among the football lot 65 Against a backdrop of violence, of racial and religious ha In Our Mad And Furious City describes events from the 1950s through to the present day There s a deliberate blurring of exact chronology and this serves to emphasise the continuum that represents evolving London Gunaratne introduces, inter alia, Oswald Moseley, the Muhajiroun, Lee Rigby, and the IRA, Equally, at the personal level, Football, and Grime music play their parts in the narrative I was at peace among the football lot 65 Against a backdrop of violence, of racial and religious hatred, Gunaratne has written a contemporary novel that ultimately focuses on the individual rather than the group It s a deeply contemplative book whose personal narratives there are five stories intertwined combine defiance and determination.It s a book worthy of Booker Prize recognition at the time of writing, the 2018 Longlist , and impressively assured for a debut novel Some very specific themes emerge Personal ResponsibilityWe meet Selvon early in In Our Mad And Furious City He plays motivational recordings through his headphones as he runs and exercises in his neighbourhood.Selvon is a chip off the old block Like his father, Nelson, he knows that a person has to make something happen Life isn t going to make it easy, or pick you out London ain t no place to have some future you want and wish for, only one you take To stay still here means you lose your form And in this city, man don t get nuttan without form 227 Similarly, Ardan has some genuine musical, rap talent Eventually he has the courage to front up, and give that talent the chance to release him, to enable him to achieve betterment, self identity, the need to move on I think of him small and afraid sat in the bus shrinking away from his moment get him to bunn that punishing fear that s holding him back He needs to be that other Ardan now 190 Yusef and Irfan, brothers, have a complicated relationship with their family, with each other, with London Yusef doesn t hold back You did this You have to take it man Take the responsibility, like, even though it s hard.It weren t the West bruv We are the fuckin West, Irfan It was you 179 This is a book set in Neasden, North London It s set on a housing Estate The relevance is much wider than London, and Neasden To immigrant communities at what point do you become part of the adoptive country Thats the message that Selvon and his father pick up on That s Yusef s message as he tries to get his own brother to take responsibility Football in the enclosed spaces on the estate achieves this Yusef s father, the incumbent imam, preaches togetherness Group Mob Race dynamicsA number of distinct, different, examples of group violence, untrammeled hostility, take place in the book Gunaratne s strength is to describe each one of them as ugly, futile, harmful to all concerned Caroline s Irish upbringing is in a Belfast firmly in the middle of thirty years of the Troubles Sectarian violence, tit for tat responses, dehumanises all concerned There are no winners Nelson arrived in 1950 s England A time of the fascist Oswald Mosley.Nelson risked accusations of cowardice because he finds it hard to differentiate between the hatred of the white thugs marching, and the anger of the Caribbean community towards white people Nelson s love for his childhood sweetheart transcends all other considerations, he recoils from hatred based on different cultures in the 1950 s Nelson s dislike of the twisted, angry faces of his own community has its match in our narrator s prologue, and his horror, at the images of the butchery of soldier Lee Rigby by a member of a London community Yusef is conflicted He recognises the hypocrisy of the Muslim officials at the mosque the bad mind breddas 285 Schoolyard bullies, and deliberate confrontation But Yusef, born in London, is drawn into violent reprisal against white racists agitating for conflict LondonGuy Gunaratne isn t unhappy to have moved away from London himself A place you can love, make rhymes out of pyres a city that won t love you back unless you become insoluble to the fury 288 Is the city different from the London of the 1950 s, his fathers s generation History is not a circle but a spiral of violent rhymes 285 There s a degree of ambivalence here History isn t repeating itself, but the full on multiplicity of causes and dreams is a spiral not a settled nirvana.This week 6 August the London Evening Standard headlined with Hero Imam Imam Mohammed Mahmoud reflecting on the events of June 20 7 at the Finsbury Park mosque, and supporting the MoreInCommon movement Gradually, hopefully, diverse communities can integrate harmoniously I had the chance to hear Guy Gunaratne reading from, and talking about, his novel on his erstwhile home patch, Neasden This was the occasion of the IKEA Reading Room initiative.This was an intimate setting with an audience of about 15 people a far cry from the Southbank Centre and the glitter of the Festival Hall A number of interesting, impromptu, unrehearsed responses to questions emerged Guy confirmed that the shocking killing introduced in the prologue is that of Lee Rigby Guy was, is, shocked by the images it was like watching our own faces made foul when we saw that video 4 The video in question is the one in which a brave, brave, woman bystander walks up to the assailant to engage him, focus him, on what he has just done How much of the book and characters is based on Guy It is not not much at all An audio version of the book has been recorded by Doc Brown, the stage name of Ben Bailey Smith, English rapper, comedian, actor, radio presenter and voiceover artist He is also Zadie Smith s brother Guy is working on some small adjustments to the London vernacular for the USA edition London is tough London is a place that you can love, but it probably won t love you back He is not unhappy to have moved out see page 227 Booker success totally unexpected, but feels it is largely down to the author s publisher and the intensity with which their books are promoted The five voices Wrote each one all the way through before structuring around separate though chronological narratives Between draft one garbage and the second and third drafts, Guy followed the voices a technique I heard Arundhati Roy describe recently I take this to mean getting into character the equivalent of method acting and attaining a practised, out of body intuition, Guy is a big fan of books In a world of collective judgement and universal participation social media internet , books are an oasis The healthy place where you and your thoughts reside without interruption His writing, though self taught, is a consequence of wide ranging love for books from a young age Guy s workspace demands complete silence no coffee shop interruptions for him If he is struggling he picks up and reads a book to rediscover inspiration Is London s better, different, place now, post Brexit, than it was in the 1950 s of Nelson and KBW graffiti in Notting Hill Guy was loathe to claim answers Extremism and violence can be explored in writing that s different to understanding.His analogy is that history is not so much a circle as a spiral 285 Is the book a London book, will it translate into foreign languages Guy glad he didn t start to contemplate the universality, or not, of the book It would have compromised his writing Guy Gunaratne s mother told me about her amazement as she attends some her son s public appearances There is a well known story, which she confirms, about visiting Foyles with her husband to see their son s book on display, decades after Mr Gunaratne first visited the shop to learn the English language.Both mother and son said that discussing his book, at IKEA, in Neasden was unreal, weird, but personal and great too.I really enjoyed meeting Guy Gunaratne I think his book has every chance 0of making the Booker shortlist for 2018 flag 26 likesLike see review View all 11 comments Aug 13, 2018 Lee rated it it was amazing Would be a worthy winner Not perfect and occasionally trades depth for propulsiveness but superb overall flag 25 likesLike see review View 2 comments Aug 27, 2018 But_i_thought_ rated it it was ok Shelves contemporary fiction, man booker nominees I m clearly in the minority here, because this book has been described as blistering and provocative all over , lauded for its polyphonic voices and heartrending narrative, but it just didn t work for me Perhaps I have consumed too many stories like these in the past, for I found the overall plot tired and predictable Set in a council estate in present day London, the novel mainly follows three young men with elsewhere in their blood children of Irish, Caribbean and Pakistani I m clearly in the minority here, because this book has been described as blistering and provocative all over , lauded for its polyphonic voices and heartrending narrative, but it just didn t work for me Perhaps I have consumed too many stories like these in the past, for I found the overall plot tired and predictable Set in a council estate in present day London, the novel mainly follows three young men with elsewhere in their blood children of Irish, Caribbean and Pakistani immigrants They play footie , listen to grime fusion, chase girls, get into street fights One is a wannabe rapper musician, with a hidden talent for spitting lyrics Another an aspiring athlete, keen to use his physical strength as a ticket to a better life The third, the son of a deceased imam, is dealing with the pull of an extremist Muslim group The perspectives of their parents occasionally chime in When on off duty white soldier is murdered by a black Muslim man in their territory, a dark cloud of violence looms over the horizon Crack open the spine and you will immediately notice the unusual prose, sizzling with street lingo, and set to a rhythm of simmering tension There were things that I learned to call fury as a younger Fury was a fearsome drum, some hungry and hot temper, ill spirit or madness that never touched us for long but followed our bodies for time See London This city taints its young If you were from here you d know, ennet All our faces were pinched sour, even the good few I spent my early way with We were all born into the menace from day dot Strip away the colourful slang, however, and you re left with a rather run of the mill story of young individuals struggling with an inheritance of poverty and anger None of their stories surprise For example, the character of the grime fan, struggling with an alcoholic mother and absent father, coming into his own after an impromptu rap battle, could have stepped straight out of 8 Mile The voices remain largely interchangeable, mere snapshots The enemy is faceless and violence inevitable The ending pure clich.For all its promise of intensity and grit, I found the book disappointingly vanilla, save for a dramatic finale that was both rushed and unconvincing in its execution Mood Foreboding Rating 5 10Also on Instagram flag 22 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Jul 15, 2018 ns510 rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves man booker nominees Loved this An urgent, exciting tale of contemporary London, and those who live on its margins I would love to see it on the Booker longlist this year update 24 7 18 it has been longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize Isn t it strange to think of how one city has many faces, and people can go their whole lives knowing a certain version of the city they live in, never knowing what another s experience might be like See London This city taints it s young If you were from here you d know, Loved this An urgent, exciting tale of contemporary London, and those who live on its margins I would love to see it on the Booker longlist this year update 24 7 18 it has been longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize Isn t it strange to think of how one city has many faces, and people can go their whole lives knowing a certain version of the city they live in, never knowing what another s experience might be like See London This city taints it s young If you were from here you d know, ennet All our faces were pinched sour, even the good few I spent my early way with We were all born into the menace from day dot The story takes us to a housing estate community in London, made up mainly of struggling immigrants from various places of origin First generation immigrants have different experiences to the younger ones who were born and raised in the city, but there is a sense of community and identity all the same We meet a cast of five characters from the Estate, all with varied issues, their lives interconnected A common theme is their internal struggle, social tensions, and how racism, violence and terrorism continually rears its ugly head, just with different facades How do you live in a city like this Forever angry and menacing It will either make you or break you In the acknowledgments, the author mentions this being a story of survival It is that, but also of the continual cycle of love and hate and what you choose to become, the path you then take, in the face of it.I really liked and admired the author s writing style and how he chose to structure the novel The novel is bookended by a prologue and epilogue, and divided into three main parts, which is further divided into three sections Each section allows us to spend time with each of the five characters, and this is through a first person POV This worked great as it allowed you to know them intimately, in their own vernacular I loved how there were subtle variations to the language used, reflecting a character s unique heritage and upbringing, e.g British road slang bruv, bare vs Caribbean patois wa gwaan vs Irish aye, like Interestingly, the younger ones seem to use a blend of these colloquialisms, forming a unique contemporary street language all its own I found each character interesting, and became invested in each as the story went on There was enough of a discernment to each person s voice, and each character either grew or revealed of themselves as the story went on The friendship between the three young boys felt poignant, a source of camaraderie and brightness in a place that can feel claustrophobic and difficult to escape An overarching narrative arc propelled the story along, and I couldn t stop reading till I got to the end This was just so good Ticked all the boxes for me informative, intellectually stimulating, emotional connection, great characters, plotI could go on Certainly mad and furious, but also nuanced and accomplished and exciting all the so for a debut novel There were a few little niggles, but nothing I couldn t get past I m excited to see what the author comes up with next flag 21 likesLike see review View all 12 comments Jul 23, 2018 Rachel rated it it was amazing Shelves man booker 2018, covers i love, own, 2018, literary fiction, i d have cried but i m heartless In Our Mad and Furious City is a frenetic and imperfect but unforgettable feat from debut writer Guy Gunaratne Set in London over the course of two days, it tells the story of three boys and two of their parents, against the backdrop of an incipient riot caused by a local boy killing a British soldier Yusuf, Selvon, and Ardan are three friends who live in or around a Neasden housing estate, trying to make a future for themselves in a city fraught with violence and extremism.This book is a defi In Our Mad and Furious City is a frenetic and imperfect but unforgettable feat from debut writer Guy Gunaratne Set in London over the course of two days, it tells the story of three boys and two of their parents, against the backdrop of an incipient riot caused by a local boy killing a British soldier Yusuf, Selvon, and Ardan are three friends who live in or around a Neasden housing estate, trying to make a future for themselves in a city fraught with violence and extremism.This book is a defiant look at the classism, racial tensions, and anti immigration sentiment that plague not only post Brexit Britain, but also the previous generation s Britain it deals in the enduring and intractable nature of violence and the ways in which that ties into national identity for the second generation immigrants whose voices propel the novel forward The violence in this novel isn t specifically tied to one race or religion one of the older characters reflects on fleeing Northern Ireland during the Troubles another remembers arriving in London from the Caribbean only to find himself confronted with the Keep Britain White movement in the 1950s Gunaratne s depiction of the cyclical and relentless nature of violence can be disheartening, but this novel is about the choices the characters make, the strength it requires to turn away from brutality and not engage with it.Written entirely in different dialects whose cadences and vocabularies vary depending on whose point of view chapter it is one family is from Ireland, another from Montserrat, another from Pakistan , Gunaratne s prose is gritty and colloquial but also elevated to the level you d expect from a literary novel something that Sebastian Barry failed to do convincingly in Days Without End, I thought, but which Gunaratnre manages with aplomb here I was simultaneously convinced by the authenticity of the narration and impressed by the prose So here it all is, this London A place that you can love, make rhymes out of pyres and a romance of the colours, talk gladly of the changes and the flux and the rise and the fall without feeling its storm rain on your skin and its bone scarring winds, a city that won t love you back unless you become insoluble to the fury, the madness of bound and unbound peoples and the immovables of the place. But, as I mentioned above, I don t think it s a perfect novel the frantic pace leads a few unwieldy moments, like the awkward inclusion of a sixth point of view character for only a single chapter, or Gunaratne not giving the novel s climax much room to breathe I couldn t help but to think it could have been improved by another 50 or so pages, but at the same time, it s such a snapshot piece that in a way I admire all Gunaratne was able to achieve with its brevity.Only halfway through the Booker list, but this one feels like a winner flag 20 likesLike see review Jan 13, 2019 Dianne rated it really liked it Shelves man booker 2018, arcs and first reads, best of 2019 4.5.May come back and give this a 5 Review to come flag 22 likesLike see review Aug 05, 2018 Roman Clodia rated it really liked it There are plot spoilers throughout so don t read further unless you re ok with that It s somewhat disappointing to see how many press reviews have dubbed this as being about the nuance of black experience on the streets of London because while race is certainly a theme, it seems to me that this is about class and a certain type of young, urban masculinity Indeed, Gunaratne seems to have gone out of his way to avoid a trio of black protagonists by including the voice of Ardan, second g There are plot spoilers throughout so don t read further unless you re ok with that It s somewhat disappointing to see how many press reviews have dubbed this as being about the nuance of black experience on the streets of London because while race is certainly a theme, it seems to me that this is about class and a certain type of young, urban masculinity Indeed, Gunaratne seems to have gone out of his way to avoid a trio of black protagonists by including the voice of Ardan, second generation Irish Catholic What makes this, on the surface, such a thrilling read is Gunaratne s use of urban street language it gives a sense of authenticity to his characters and their experiences that leaps off the page It s an odd comparison, I know, but intentionally or not this looks back to Virginia Woolf s The Waves, another polyphonic text of interweaving voices though we could hardly imagine dissimilar accents Beneath the vocal excitement, though, is a book which has important things to say While on one hand the foreground is taken up by racial conflict with Mosley s fascists in Nelson s past story, and modern racist groups in the present, on the other we see how a younger generation isn t necessarily divided along similar racial lines Muslim Yusuf from Pakistan, Selvon of Caribbean descent, and Ardan with his Irish parents form a bond of brotherhood, and we see them playing football with Serbians and hear of Polish and other shops.The incursion of Caroline Ardan s mother and her story set against the Irish Troubles at first feels a bit shoe horned in but actually plays an important role in what I think the book is saying Ultimately, this is a story about choices Caroline rejects her IRA supporting family and their thirst for revenge Nelson rejects the aggressive reponses to the racism he experienced and turns away from the vengeful path of Jimbroad Yusuf embraces the peaceful Islamic religion of his father, while his brother is drawn, reluctantly, to fundamentalist teaching The point about all these pairings is that both sides have had the same backgrounds, experienced the same issues but make different choices Nothing is hard wired into these characters DNA, they re free to choose And they do We might add, too, Ardan and Selvon one drifting passively, the other running through his troubles determined to forge his own future A part of me groaned at yet another fundamentalist mosque turning up in fiction but Gunaratne smartly contextualises this part of the story against the religiously inflected Irish Troubles Christianity, too, he reminds us pertinently, has suffered from internal divisions all the way from the Protestant Reformations and murderous religious wars of C16th Europe which gave birth to the Inquisition and Counter Reformation When IRA hunger strikers are eulogised as martyrs, in Caroline s memories, the scene has a chilling, and nicely understated, resonance with the present That Gunaratne manages to cram all this into less than 300 pages is both impressive and yet also leaves the book feeling a little chaotic it takes time before we can see what Nelson and Caroline s narratives are adding to the book and there s an awkward moment when we suddenly get a 3rd person narrative from Irfan, who has never been one of the voices weaving together the story.Despite a few niggles, though, this is vibrant and exciting fiction which also says something important Despite the frustrations and the violence, there are quiet moments of love and fellowship the deep friendships between Ardan, Selvon and Yusuf which ignore race religious divides, the scene where Selvon rubs balm into the feet of Nelson, epitomising the connection between generations even while operating at the local level of a son s care for his ageing father And through it all London emerges as menacing, yes, but also vibrant and febrile, a mongrel city, that creates and nurtures affiliations that balance out, even offset , hate, fear and division flag 21 likesLike see review View all 8 comments Sep 02, 2018 David rated it really liked it For I see all them who I called blood, see them lost to it, lost to a city what hate them What an impressive debut novel and what a powerful treatment we have here of the identity crises faced by second generation immigrants in Britain Each of the five main characters finds themself outside both their native and adopted cultures yearning for understanding and inclusion but finding only invisibility, dismissal, exploitation, or violence They occupy a very real purgatory, failing to recognize For I see all them who I called blood, see them lost to it, lost to a city what hate them What an impressive debut novel and what a powerful treatment we have here of the identity crises faced by second generation immigrants in Britain Each of the five main characters finds themself outside both their native and adopted cultures yearning for understanding and inclusion but finding only invisibility, dismissal, exploitation, or violence They occupy a very real purgatory, failing to recognize that barring a surprise turn of Fortune s Wheel this is their cultural home, for better or worse.The structure of the book s first 2 3 is terrific Headings like Fanatic , Shame , and Defilement allow Gunaratne to pass each narrative voice through the same prism to fascinating and colorful effect This provides some of the novel s greatest depth I did feel that the whole thing rather fizzled in the final 40 pages, which was a shame, but that did not sap any power from the earlier sections.As for the voices themselves, the younger set Selvon, Ardan, and Yusuf were definitely convincing than the older two Nelson s pidgeon English generally produces sentences like, I could not speaking to nobody Therefore his use of words like infirm , sanctimony , and herald as a verb, no less are too unlikely Caroline s story interested me but I must agree with many others that hers was an odd inclusion.If this doesn t make the MB shortlist I will be stunned And I won t balk if it goes all the way to win the prize outright, although I personally hope for a book with a bit polish flag 19 likesLike see review View all 6 comments Jan 25, 2019 Anita Pomerantz rated it really liked it Set in London, this book follows five characters Three friends Yusuf, Selvon, and Ardan and two of their parents Caroline and Nelson Each of them relates the tale in the first person with alternating chapters The friends, each from different backgrounds, are bonding by football soccer to us U.S folks and music Each is facing serious familial challenges that further bind them together An incident where an Islamic young man murders a soldier has set off a spate of escalating riots and Set in London, this book follows five characters Three friends Yusuf, Selvon, and Ardan and two of their parents Caroline and Nelson Each of them relates the tale in the first person with alternating chapters The friends, each from different backgrounds, are bonding by football soccer to us U.S folks and music Each is facing serious familial challenges that further bind them together An incident where an Islamic young man murders a soldier has set off a spate of escalating riots and racial tensions.First, let me say that even though I didn t personally love this book, I am very surprised it wasn t shortlisted for the Man Booker I read four of the shortlisted titles, and I think this book is innovative and powerful and frankly, interesting than any of the four I read Putting that to the side, I will say that I felt the book took its time getting its footing For the first half, I had two issues Each person speaks in their own vernacular, and honestly I find it exhausting to try to decipher these dialects while following the story None of them were especially hard the Milkman it was not , and I do think it was a defensible choice.but what it really meant was that I took about a third of the book to really find my reading rhythm.The latter half was excellent Characters begin to truly reveal themselves and there were some plot points that had me gasping I thought it was very clever of the author to demonstrate how violence escalates on the basis of untruths and innuendo But he also had hopeful moments and left the door open for happiness for some of the characters It was an excellent balance, and when I closed the book, I was satisfied and happy I had read it This book is a debut novel, so I expect to see great things from this author going forward flag 18 likesLike see review View 1 comment Aug 05, 2018 Sarah rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves fiction, ibr, 5 stars, favourites Absolutely brilliant I don t think any review I write will be able to do this justice, but this has to be one of the best books I ve read this year flag 26 likesLike see review View all 11 comments Oct 17, 2018 Sunita rated it really liked it Shelves booker 2018, goldsmiths 2018 Longlisted for the Booker and shortlisted for the Goldsmiths This is an ambitious debut novel, polyvocal and steeped in different dialects, slang, and patois There are five POV characters and the chapters alternate among them The reader is thrust into a London setting that isn t likely to be familiar to most a housing estate in Neasden We read the internal monologues of two middle aged characters, Caroline from Northern Ireland and Nelson from Monserrat, and three young men Ardan, Selvon, Longlisted for the Booker and shortlisted for the Goldsmiths This is an ambitious debut novel, polyvocal and steeped in different dialects, slang, and patois There are five POV characters and the chapters alternate among them The reader is thrust into a London setting that isn t likely to be familiar to most a housing estate in Neasden We read the internal monologues of two middle aged characters, Caroline from Northern Ireland and Nelson from Monserrat, and three young men Ardan, Selvon, and Yusuf we also read brief chapters from Yusuf s brother Irfan s perspective We know that the three are friends, but their relationships to the older characters are revealed slowly From the title and the prologue it is clear that the novel will be building toward something that is violent, and both the background chapters and the present day setting lay the groundwork for that Ardan, Selvon, and Yusuf are all caught up in the group conflict and small scale violence that characterizes their neighborhood, try as they might to avoid it Selvon runs and trains, Ardan makes street music, and Yusuf tries to navigate between his friends and his Muslim community All of these are difficult because no one in the area can escape the which side are you on question, no matter how hard they may try Much of the novel is taken up with the rotating perspectives of the characters, and we see events from multiple points of view Over time we get a rich sense of this world and how they navigate it, but for readers who want plot, there isn t much until the end The story definitely builds over time, and it s quite carefully constructed, but when the inevitable climactic scenes occur, they take place very rapidly and the book basically ends Gunaratne does an admirable job with the different patterns of speech, although it can be disconcerting to switch from one to another Caroline is perhaps the least convincing, but that could be because I had just finished Anna Burns Milkman and that set such a high bar Nevertheless, the register changes, which also have to include generational shifts, are mostly very effective Yusuf s storyline provides the fulcrum, and while this makes sense within the context of the novel, he is a character to whom things happen rather than one who acts As a result, his and his family s story feels the most familiar and the least intrinsically motivated By contrast, Ardan s and Selvon s trajectories are interesting and their interactions with the previous generations feel thicker and nuanced The final scenes, where the violence comes to a head, are well done, as are the smaller flashpoints that precede and shape them The novel captures the way in which violence can shape so many aspects of personal and impersonal relationships in distressed communities, and how hard it is to avoid or overcome flag 15 likesLike see review View all 7 comments Sep 06, 2018 Doug rated it liked it 2.5, rounded up There wasn t anything terribly BAD about this book, especially for a first effort, but the whole thing just left me kind of meh at least it was a quick and easy read Having zero interest in football, boxing or rap grime music, which are the major preoccupations of the three main protagonists, nor having any knowledge affinity for the locale, left me rather adrift and uninvolved throughout most of it The book went or less exactly where I expected it to go, and even the 2.5, rounded up There wasn t anything terribly BAD about this book, especially for a first effort, but the whole thing just left me kind of meh at least it was a quick and easy read Having zero interest in football, boxing or rap grime music, which are the major preoccupations of the three main protagonists, nor having any knowledge affinity for the locale, left me rather adrift and uninvolved throughout most of it The book went or less exactly where I expected it to go, and even the revelations of how the two older characters were related to the younger generation were a foregone conclusion from the start Initially this reminded me of the earlier Booker nominee The Year of the Runaways , in its depiction of a slum dwelling immigrant population trying to eke out an existence on the mean streets of the UK but it also has a hint of Marlon James in its use of Caribbean and urban patois, which must have been what dampened the Booker judges panties PS someone says kiss my teeth on every other page an extremely annoying tic after awhile especially since I only have a vague clue as to what it refers It will probably make the shortlist, and wouldn t be surprised to see it win flag 17 likesLike see review View 1 comment Apr 26, 2018 Patricia Highsmiths Snail rated it really liked it First, it s set in London, a London that is actually recognisable chicken shops, kids on the bus, local football grounds, etc Secondly, it s written in vernacular, idiom, which is literary catnip for me So yeah, I was here for it I think Gunaratne does an amazing job of pacing the stories of the five narrators, giving them individual chapters, expertly weaving between past and present in the individual sections, while still creating a compelling overall arc That s some achievement Obvious First, it s set in London, a London that is actually recognisable chicken shops, kids on the bus, local football grounds, etc Secondly, it s written in vernacular, idiom, which is literary catnip for me So yeah, I was here for it I think Gunaratne does an amazing job of pacing the stories of the five narrators, giving them individual chapters, expertly weaving between past and present in the individual sections, while still creating a compelling overall arc That s some achievement Obviously, narrators can be a matter of preference, and fine tuning some voices are just going to be stronger than others Regardless, the connections between narrators are very powerfully and yet lightly made The writer does a great job of illuminating how people pass on hurt, pass on strength etc through the generations I found the Irish character Caroline s story somewhat confusing but seeing the impact of her years of self abuse on her son, the London born would be rapper Ardan another narrator is v moving Selvon, the single minded runner, gets his head down attitude from his father Nelson, who eschewed political activism for a quiet, isolated, life up to a point.Nelson s voice a kind of Sam Selvon see what the writer did there inspired vernacular was brilliantly done Was less convinced sometimes by the writer s switching between high and low for the younger narrators but then that s pretty typical of grime a big reference point for the young characters multiple registers, etc It s not a dark novel, though the characters horizons are narrow If anything, the writer suggests that internal politics are the source of trouble whether it be radicalism Yusuf, one of the narrators, is pursued by radicalising guys after his father s death or the divisions between activists and those they fight for It s actually a very conservative novel Putting those reservations aside, it s still incredibly moving, technically assured, and, from this reader s perspective, damn exciting to be reading about my city shown in a way that feels contemporary and true to its many peoples flag 15 likesLike see review Aug 25, 2018 Katie Long rated it it was amazing Violence made this city Those living, born and raised, grow up with it like an older brother On that final day when flames licked the domes of our painted Mosque, we were all far beyond saving Fury was like a fever in the air A corrupt mass of bodies pulsing together in pain and rhetoric Yeah, this definitely feels like this year s Man Booker winner At once urgent and timeless, Gunartne writes of the current rising tensions and nativism but also tells the stories of the parents of the main Violence made this city Those living, born and raised, grow up with it like an older brother On that final day when flames licked the domes of our painted Mosque, we were all far beyond saving Fury was like a fever in the air A corrupt mass of bodies pulsing together in pain and rhetoric Yeah, this definitely feels like this year s Man Booker winner At once urgent and timeless, Gunartne writes of the current rising tensions and nativism but also tells the stories of the parents of the main characters to remind us that we ve seen it all before This is all nothing new, but only a repeating cycle of what has come before It is bleak, and beautiful, and brilliant flag 15 likesLike see review View 1 comment Aug 06, 2018 Britta B hler rated it did not like it Shelves 01mb2018, debuts, diverse, fiction, kindle, 2018 Nope it didnt Get better, I mean flag 14 likesLike see review View all 12 comments previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book topics posts views last activity Play Book Tag In Our Mad and Furious City Gunarantne 4 stars 20 17 Jan 25, 2019 09 52PM The Mookse and th 2018 Booker Longlist In Our Mad and Furious City 94 129 Dec 14, 2018 02 34PM The Mookse and th 2018 Goldsmiths Prize shortlist In Our Mad and Furious City 19 36 Sep 28, 2018 04 26PM ManBookering In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne 14 104 Sep 03, 2018 05 41AM Play Book Tag In Our Mad and Furious City Guy 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    In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne In Our Mad and Furious City is a frenetic and imperfect but unforgettable feat from debut writer Guy Gunaratne Set in London over the course of two days, it tells the story of three boys and two of their parents, against the backdrop of an incipient riot caused by a local boy killing a British soldier. In Our Mad and Furious City A Novel Guy Gunaratne In Our Mad and Furious City is a brave and beautiful book Guy Gunaratne can see into the minds of the young and the old, the angry and the pious Guy Gunaratne can see into the minds of the young and the old, the angry and the pious. MCD In Our Mad and Furious City Long listed for the Man Booker PrizeShort listed for the Gordon Burn PrizeShort listed for the Goldsmiths PrizeInspired by the real life murder of a British army soldier by religious fanatics, Guy Gunaratne s In Our Mad and Furious City is a snapshot of the diverse, frenzied edges of In Our Mad and Furious City Guy Gunaratne author In Our Mad and Furious City is written in a gritty, uncompromising style It is sombre most of the time, bordering on depressing, eased by a little humour and some guarded companionship between the boys. In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne review In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne review grime infused tinderbox debut They drift over from every corner of the Stones estate as word of the game spreads the gang of Serbian kids from down Cricklewood , the Somali boys , then Wayne, Dan, Younes and Nico, who brings his dog It s an unremarkable scene, doggedly ordinary even, In Our Mad and Furious City is a Must Read London Guy Gunaratne s debut novel In Our Mad and Furious City shows the reader five first person experiences of Londoners affected by extremism. In Our Mad and Furious City review s last great Dec , In Our Mad and Furious City is the last great novel of EW review In Our Mad and Furious City is the last great novel of EW review Publisher MCD x FSG Originals In Our Mad and Furious City The Man Booker Prizes In Our Mad and Furious City Guy Gunaratne Headline, Tinder Press For Selvon, Ardan and Yusuf, growing up under the towers of Stones Estate, summer means what

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        Guy Gunaratne Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the In Our Mad and Furious City book, this is one of the most wanted Guy Gunaratne author readers around the world.


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    1. Nominated for both the 2018 Booker and Goldsmiths prizes, In our Mad and Furious City is a gritty debut about two days in the lives of London s diverse population living in a poor neighborhood called Estates The book is narrated by a handful of immigrants from two generations From Belfast to the Caribbean islands, different inner street contemporary voices emerge using the vernacular of their culture Gunaratne writes about the underbelly of the prosperous in London With clear insight the nar Nom [...]


    2. Longlisted for Booker Prize 2018, Shortlisted for Goldsmith prize 2018 For those of us who had an elsewhere in our blood, some foreign origin, we had richer colours and ancient callings to hear For those of us who had an elsewhere in our blood, some foreign origin, we had richer colours and ancient callings to hear.I finished this than two weeks ago but I struggled to write a review Unfortunately, this was one of those books that I know it s well written and with literary and sociologic [...]


    3. Each of us were caught in the same swirl, all held together with our own small furies in this single mad, monstrous and lunatic city I re read this book following its shortlisting for the 2018 Goldsmith Prize something which caught me a little by surprise I have augmented my review and upgraded my ranking on reflection I think this is the book that should have won the Booker and definitely should have been shortlisted but the Goldsmith seems a stretch too far as it lacks the formal innov [...]


    4. Exceptional I hope this book blows up and becomes huge because really, it deserves to be.Alternating the perspectives of three London teenagers and two of their parents, it dials the pressure and momentum up, up, up with ever shorter chapters as the events of the book escalate and yes, it s furious Set over two days in a London housing estate under a gathering storm cloud of racial tensions, the violent struggle is both timely and timeless Brexit and its associated wave of anti immigrant sent Ex [...]


    5. Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2018Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018This year s Booker longlist undoubtedly contained some big surprises I can t defend all of them but, like Milkman, The Long Take and Everything Under, this extraordinary and vibrant picture of modern London was not on my radar before the list was announced, and I would love to see all four of them shortlisted.The bleak setting is the Stones estate, a group of tower blocks in north London with a richly multicultural [...]


    6. Nominated for the Goldsmiths Prize 2018Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018This book is going to win the Booker update No it didn t, which of course only means that the judges were wrong Set in London, the story discusses identity, a topic that is central for so many current political issues, from Brexit to the divided States of America, to globalization, religous conflicts, you name it On top of that, the language is vivid and fresh, and Gunaratne finds many compelling images that Nominated [...]


    7. Book Reviewed by Clive on whisperingstoriesMy initial reactions to this book were what do these words mean and what is going on The first question was because the narrative is written from the perspective of half a dozen very different characters of which four are teenagers from inner London, whose everyday language is very much of the street During the early chapters I found urbandictionary very handy but as the book progressed I became comfortable with the terms.My s Book Reviewed by Clive on [...]


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