In Our Mad and Furious City: A Novel (CD-Audio)
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"Narrators Ben Bailey Smith and Lou Marie Kerr expertly intertwine multiple first-person points of view in this gritty debut audiobook...Listeners unfamiliar with the dialects — Irish, Jamaican, and British among them — will be especially buoyed by the power of the performances." — AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner
Long-listed for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
Short-listed for the 2018 Gordon Burn Prize
Inspired by the real-life murder of a British army soldier by religious fanatics, and the rampant burning of mosques that followed, Guy Gunaratne’s In Our Mad and Furious City is a snapshot of the diverse, frenzied edges of modern-day London. A crackling debut from a vital new voice, it pulses with the frantic energy of the city’s homegrown grime music and is animated by the youthful rage of a dispossessed, overlooked, and often misrepresented generation.
While Selvon, Ardan, and Yusuf organize their lives around soccer, girls, and grime, Caroline and Nelson struggle to overcome pasts that haunt them. Each voice is uniquely insightful, impassioned, and unforgettable, and when stitched together, they trace a brutal and vibrant tapestry of today’s London. In a forty-eight-hour surge of extremism and violence, their lives are inexorably drawn together in the lead-up to an explosive, tragic climax.
In Our Mad and Furious City documents the stark disparities and bubbling fury coursing beneath the prosperous surface of a city uniquely on the brink. Written and read in the distinctive vernaculars of contemporary London, the audiobook challenges the ways in which we coexist now—and, more important, the ways in which we often fail to do so.
About the Author
Guy Gunaratne was born in London in 1984. His debut novel, In Our Mad and Furious City, was long-listed for the 2018 Man Booker Prize, and short-listed for the 2018 Gordon Burn Prize, as well as the 2018 Goldsmiths Prize. He previously worked as a journalist and as a documentary filmmaker covering human rights stories around the world. He divides his time between London and Malmö, Sweden.
"Narrators Ben Bailey Smith and Lou Marie Kerr expertly intertwine multiple first-person points of view in this gritty debut audiobook...Listeners unfamiliar with the dialects--Irish, Jamaican, and British among them--will be especially buoyed by the power of the performances." -AudioFile, Earphones Award Winner
"This is cracking. Original, honest voices and a vivid portrayal of a London rarely seen in literature."
—Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train
"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
"Gritty, grotesque; graceful and beautiful. This is the London that we call home."
—JJ Bola, author of No Place to Call Home
"The voices and the language are stunning . . . The narrative and energy hooked me right from the start and never let go. It really is a very special book—the book we've all been waiting for."
—Gautam Malkani, author of Londonstani
"A blazing, swaggering, polyphonic debut. Here is London through the eyes of those 'with elsewhere in their blood'. Gunaratne has a ventriloquist's command of voice, a film-maker's eye, and talent to burn.
—Simon Wroe, author of Here Comes Trouble
"Both blighted by frustration and elevated by dreams we can all recognize 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 beautiful, fierce storm of a book, full of courage and hope" —Jackie Morris, author of The Lost Words
"Our favorite 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."
"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."
"Already hailed as a modern masterpiece, this timely and authentic portrayal of life for young men living on our city estates is as mesmerizing as it is vital."
"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 . . . What you are left with . . . is a prose that benefits from being read aloud. But more so, a prose that just plain deserves to be read."
"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."
"A blistering debut unlike anything I've read before. This is a powerful, raw, yet heartrending account of 48 hours on a London estate"
"A timely read, addressing the urgent questions of our divided society. We're sure Guy is set for big things"
"[A] blazing polyphonic debut."