In Our Mad and Furious City (Paperback)
  • In Our Mad and Furious City (Paperback)
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In Our Mad and Furious City (Paperback)

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£8.99 £6.99
Paperback 304 Pages / Published: 07/02/2019
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Waterstones Says

Guy Gunaratne’s debut novel is a firecracker. On a North London council estate three friends backslap and banter their way through the simmering tensions of a long hot summer. As their urban cityscape plays host to riots, radicalisation and casual murder, Selvon, Yusuf and Ardan sense a pent-up chaos and darkening anarchy on the horizon. Will their unspoken but primal friendship survive the oncoming storm? Some-time filmmaker Gunaratne expertly navigates questions of community and belonging , painting an electrifying picture of inner city frustration sound-tracked by the pulsating beats of Grime.


Winner of the Jhalak Prize for Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour 2019

Winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize 2019

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018

Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize

Shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize

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.

Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
ISBN: 9781472250216
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 214 g
Dimensions: 200 x 130 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'Guy Gunaratne throws words against the wall and makes us watch them bounce. You feel the heat, reel from the sound, and bump to the unstoppable pulse. A novel so of this moment that you don't even realize you've waited your whole life for it.' - Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings

'Gunaratne has a gift for inhabiting the lives of his characters, and has used that gift here to give life to Londoners who are not often seen in contemporary fiction... a very fine novel.' - Jon McGregor, The New York Times

'Utterly alive. Joyous in its language.' - James Wood, The New Yorker

'A beautiful, fierce storm of a book, full of courage and hope.' - Jackie Morris, author of The Lost Words

'What a voice. What an ear for language. No mean feat to capture the street, the nuance of black experience, the architecture of so many different lives. It's a brave and original piece of work.' - Kit de Waal, author of The Trick to Time

'A riotous hymn to urban life... passionate, compelling.' - The Guardian

'This is cracking. Original, honest voices and a vivid portrayal of a London rarely seen in literature.' - Paula Hawkins

'A vivid and affecting account of estate life, both blighted by frustration and elevated by dreams we can all recognise and share. Guy's characters are drawn with compassion and flair, and I was captivated by their humanity.' - Stephen Kelman, author of Pigeon English

'A timely read, addressing the urgent questions of our divided society. We're sure Guy is set for big things.' - The Metro

'Gritty, grotesque; graceful and beautiful. This is the London that we call home.' - J.J. Bola

'This novel is a love letter to the language of London's streets and to its people, but also a blistering look at a city on the edge that'll sweep you up until you reach the book's breathless, devastating conclusion.' - Stylist

'A blistering debut unlike anything I've read before. This is a powerful, raw, yet heartrending account of 48 hours on a London estate.' - BBC

'The prose remains alive, alert and subtly integrated, with various accents and non-standard Englishes raising themselves up to the same very high literary watermark. This is one of the hardest things to pull off for a prose stylist. The Dominican-born American writer Junot Diaz is, possibly, the finest living exponent of it. Gunaratne is no doubt on his way. What you are left with - always a treat though not by any stretch as essential to all writing as some would have you believe - is a prose that benefits from being read aloud. But more so, a prose that just plain deserves to be read.' - The Irish Times

'In Our Mad and Furious City is fraught and heartbreaking at the same time, with a biting, in-your-face clarity to it that you can't ignore. It's a searing marvel of a novel.' - Belfast Telegraph

'In Our Mad and Furious City is our favourite debut of 2018. Gunaratne draws on growing up in north-west London in this tale of 48 hours on a council estate, where three young boys dream of escaping.' - Glamour

'This riotous hymn to urban life takes a passionate, compelling look at youth culture.' - The Guardian

'Two days of race riots, three teenage boys on a north London estate and a grittily realistic patois throughout make this debut glitter despite the darkness.' - Evening Standard

'Already hailed as a modern masterpiece, this timely and authentic portrayal of life for young men living on our city estates is as mesmerising as it is vital.' - Heat

'I was gripped... remarkable.' - Robert Macfarlane

'A novel that doesn't flinch, and demands change right now.' - Ali Smith

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“An extraordinary and powerful debut novel”

This 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... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 7

“A novel that spits itself from its pages with an unapologetic authenticity to the language of the streets.”

Whilst I read this blistering novel, I actually moved to London. I'm still reeling from the experience of both. 'In Our Mad and Furious City' weaves together the voices of three teenage boys, complete... More

Hardback edition
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“Impossible to ignore”

My 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... More

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