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In Our Mad and Furious City

Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)
Non-member price: $31.21
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Publisher's Summary

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018 

In Our Mad and Furious City is an unforgettable portrait of 48 hours in the life of a housing estate, it was one of the most talked-about debuts of 2018 and will be devoured by fans of This is England or The Bricks That Built the Houses

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 announces the arrival of a major new talent in fiction. 

©2018 Guy Gunaratne (P)2018 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A vivid and affecting account of estate life, both blighted by frustration and elevated by dreams we can all recognise and share." (Stephen Kelman, author of Pigeon English)

"Original, honest voices and a vivid portrayal of a London rarely seen in literature." (Paula Hawkins)

"A love letter to London's streets." (Stylist)

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Hold your breath...

Guy Gunaratne's vivid characters gave me a glimpse into a blended city that I don't believe can be seen from the outside. 'In Our Mad and Furious City' was a revelation from the first page and would, in my view, be a worthy Booker winner.

I relished this book, not only because Guy had the courage to write it so honestly but, because he did so with such compassion, intelligence and creative imagination that it shifted my own comfortable perceptions.

I loved it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Raggzy
  • 06-07-2018

Excellent Subject Matter

As an immigrant the subject matter is of great interest to me - a safe read for Guardian reading middle class people who forgot to check in. on what's really happening in the streets - characterisation is conceptually great, but in reality a tad dull - writing is mediocre - it may not have meant to be, but it came across as stereotypical and predictable. I stopped reading it half way through as I felt I was being talked down to... shame - brilliant idea for a book - clever narrative structure - needed to be re-draughted a few more times before going to print in my humble opinion...

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • K
  • 25-05-2018

beautiful, poignant, authentic, relevant

I love this book. I've not felt so instantly like I'm reading something special since discovering Catcher in the Rye. it's so beautifully told that I knowing what happens in the book wouldn't really diminish it's enjoyment. how this book is written and how the story unfolds through first person accounts is stunning

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • N16
  • 10-10-2018

Everyone should read this

I have waited patiently for a book like Feral Youth by Polly Courtney and it's been a long wait. This is the only other book like it but much broader in its reach. It cleverly and accurately tells the story of the street, from the street but also shows it in a historical context that is blistering in its delivery.

10 stars - five for the book and five for the narration!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-09-2018

Phenomenal

Loved it. One of the best novels I have read in years. So powerful and would highly recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • janien
  • 22-08-2018

London; a melting pot of racial tensions

A cleverly plotted and structured read. I can only guess there is much truth in what is written here about London which made me sit up, take notice and keep on listening.

The presentation is excellent with new narrators to audible. I got a bit confused whilst listening to who the voices were but this did not detract from the overall message.

My favourite so far of the three man booker 2018 longlisted books read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alan Coady
  • 09-12-2018

You have to hear it.

Normally I don't mind if books come my way in tangible, Kindle or Audible format but I'm so glad I heard this one. Unless you've a good inner ear for voices there'll be a dimension missing. For example the differing accents of Windrush parents from their children; the varying accents of those attached to the local mosque; the Northern Irish accent of the principal female voice. One critic described the book as 'a blazing polyphonic debut' and the voices weave around one another like the voices in a fugue. Like a fugue there is a increasingly tense sense of 'stretto' towards the end, where the voices come closer together - in many more senses here than in a fugue. This is one of the most gripping listens I've had for quite some time.

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  • Nicky D
  • 20-11-2018

Loved it

An authentic and wonderfully narrated book. As a northerner of Irish descent who lived in London for many years, I could easily understand the the street language and clearly visualise the Stones Estate and surrounding streets. Beautifully written, wonderful rhythm to the words. Can't wait to see what this author comes up with next.