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This book kept me sane in the sands of Iraq. Thank you Granta 81!
Predictably (at least as far as I'm concerned), Zadie Smith's Martha, Martha was the best story in this issue; head and shoulders above most of the others and an entire body and a pair of stilts above some of them (for example, Sarah Waters'Helen and Julia which I singled out for derision in a previous update). Hari Kunzru's LILA.EXE is showing its age now and proving that writing convincingly and timelessly about modern culture is one of the hardest things to do. Philip Hensher's In Time of War...
In my opinion this, Granta's third selection of Young British Novelists isn't up to the (admittedly very high) standard set by the 1983 and 1993 collections. Compared to those, this is more uneven.That said, there is still some fantastic writing on show here, but "At The Villa Cockroft" by Dan Rhodes, an extract from his novel Timoleon Vieta Come Home: A Sentimental Journey is the clear standout piece. It is brilliant - laugh out loud funny as well as compelling and I have added that book to my
Just finished reading Granta 81 series, Best of Young British Novelists 2003, a collection of short stories from writers resident in Britain and under the age of 40. Some of the writers have already become famous like Monica Ali, Hari Kunzru and Zadie Smith. I liked "The Costa Pool Bums" by Alan Warner the best, a hilarious piece. It may be a little old edition, but with Granta, you could take your own time to read and savour it.
A fine compendium of stories from some of Britain's most promising writers.