Guy Gunaratne’s blistering first novel IN OUR MAD AND FURIOUS CITY is an unforgettable portrait of 48 hours on a London housing estate that will appeal to fans of THIS IS ENGLAND or LA HAINE.
For Selvon, Ardan and Yusuf, growing up under the towers of Stones Estate, summer means what it does anywhere: football, music, 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.
The fourth and penultimate of the five books from the Headline New Voices 2018 event in Manchester is Guy Gunarante: In Our Mad and Furious City. With thanks to Headline for my copy.
This book is about three friends Selvon, Ardan and Yusaf. Three young men, teenagers, just making their way, living their lives. Each are from different backgrounds, cultures, religious experiences brought together through school, through where they live and through their common loves. Their lives are not easy, neither was that of their parents, but they have football, music, girls, family, maybe some dreams and each other. They are looking forward to summer despite personal tragedies. They live around Stones Estate with its tower blocks and underlying tensions. We hear about them, their hopes, expectations and their families through their voices. We read how what transpires over a 48 hour period on the estate will tear their lives apart.
This book personalises and, although some of the language of the book can be difficult, it draws you in. It is written from multiple viewpoints but is well structured and well-written. I would recommend this fascinating book.
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Tinder Press (19 April 2018)
Author: Guy Gunaratne grew up in North West London and has worked as a designer, documentary filmmaker and video journalist covering post-conflict areas around the world, as well as co-founding two technology companies. He was shortlisted for the 4th Estate/Guardian Books B4ME Short Story Prize.
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