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Description - Granta 117 by John Freeman

All forms of horror - whether they begin in fright or disgust - involve an extraordinary confrontation. A surprise. In essays, reporting and short fiction, this issue of Granta will reveal the many ways we can be startled into horror.

Buy Granta 117 by John Freeman from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9781905881369
ISBN-10: 1905881363
Format: Paperback
(210mm x 148mm x 21mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Granta Publications Ltd
Publisher: Granta Publications Ltd
Publish Date: 27-Oct-2011
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Granta 117 by John Freeman

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Book Review: Granta 117 by John Freeman - Reviewed by (27 Nov 2011)

This is no collection of ghosts, ghouls and gruesome fantasies. Indeed, there is enough real horror in the world for imagination to be unnecessary. So, Granta's 'Horror' covers Will Self's thoughts on his own rare blood disease; Tom Bamforth's field notes from a humanitarian mission in a lawless area of Sudan; Paul Auster's reactions to the death of his mother; and Santiago Roncagliolo's memories of returning to Peru as a worker for the Public Defenders Department and working with the Belgian human rights activist, Father Hubert Lanssiers, interviewing convicted, potentially violent, terrorists in an overcrowded, high-security prison. Mark Doty writes about eroticism, desire, insatiability, addiction and Bram Stoker and Walt Whitman; and Julia Otsuka examines the strange world of memory loss.

Fiction is not completely absent from this collection. Roberto Bolano's 'The Colonel's Son' (translated from the Spanish) traps you in the fertile mind of a man obsessed by a film story; Rajesh Parameswaran shape-shifts into a man-eating tiger; Dan DeLillo follows in the steps of a film-obsessed stalker; Sarah Hall creates a weird and frightening dog story; and Stephen King tells a ghost story with a sting in its tail.

Sometimes, however, fact is weirder than fiction, like the crypto-gothic fight club in Los Angles which is visited by Daniel Alarc Cave Woman fights The Hammer, Arctic fights The Mad Monk, and rivers of fake blood flow across the floor so that your shoes stick to it.

Poetry and art, too, explore death and disease. D.A.Powell's poem 'Quarantine' suggests a black future in which the world becomes "one great gall'" and Kanitta Meechubot gathers life, love and death into her unusual images of 'The Garden of Illuminated Existence'.

There are nightmares and terrors enough, here, to haunt the imagination and keep you awake at night. And, as usual, Granta has chosen the best people to tell you about them.

Reviewed by Ann Skea (ann@skea.com).


Author Biography - John Freeman

John Freeman's criticism has appeared in more than 200 newspapers around the world, including the Guardian, the Independent, The Times and the Wall Street Journal. Between 2006 and 2008, he served as president of the National Book Critics Circle. His first book, THE TYRANNY OF EMAIL, was published in October by Scribner in the US and Text in Australia.

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