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Granta 117: Horror (Granta #117)

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  204 ratings  ·  49 reviews
'Where there is no imagination, there is no horror.' - Arthur Conan Doyle
ebook, 256 pages
Published October 6th 2011 by Granta Magazine
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 399)
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Jennifer Didik
who knew there were magazines on goodreads?

stephen king's "the dune" = thumbs up.

delillo's "the starveling" - on a creepy scale of 1-10? 6.5. i laughed a little too much to be "horrified."

doty's "insatiable" - ugh, i can't even rate this on a creepy scale because it's not meant to be creepy. and i was never really a fan of walt whitman. though when i see doty tomorrow, i won't really be able to look at him the same way.
Jonathan Briggs
I was reading the "Horror" issue of high-falutin' literary journal "Granta," fruitlessly searching for anything remotely horrific, when I came to a story toward the end of the book called "The Colonel's Son" by Roberto Bolano. Bolano, some of you might know, is the latest big thing in Latin lit, the "Gabriel Garcia Marquez of our time," according to The Washington Post. (That's funny. I thought Gabriel Garcia Marquez was the Gabriel Garcia Marquez of our time.) Although Bolano died early, like T ...more
Ellen
Some of these pieces are beautiful, others slightly disturbing. None are what I would deem horror, but they touch on it in so many different ways.
Randolph Carter
Let's get one thing out of the way before we go any further. There is little of what most people would call "horror" here. Granta is a magazine for really hip smart people who don't stoop to reading genre writing. So don't buy this if you want to read stories about spooks and zombies, or creepy things, etc. Unless you want to wade through a bunch of other non-horror stuff too. Okay, there is one zombie story. Caveat emptor.

It's actually kind of sad that Granta feels they need to file these piec
...more
Artur Coelho
Quando escritores ligados à literatura séria tentam a mão em literaturas de género muito pode correr mal. Sentindo-se talvez donos de uma verdade literária e mestres da palavra escrita, podem pegar nos elementos narrativos de literaturas de género que não levam muito a sério e remisturá-los. Tentando que dali saia uma história de terror ou ficção científica, normalmente ficam-se por resultados catastróficos. Ou então deixam-se ficar firmemente ancorados no seu género literário e fazem o que melh ...more
Rob
I've always meant to sample the delights of Granta - a literary journal of new writing - but it was only the combination of a 99p Kindle deal and an ongoing horror jag that eventually got me to try it. Much as I like the idea of what Granta promises, I can't say I'm likely to give it another go. It's not that the writing is bad - there's powerful stuff here from the likes of Will Self and Paul Auster - its just that a lot of it seemed like the kind of thing you'd get in a Sunday supplement, not ...more
Jim
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Agranoff

Granta #117 Lit journal

So apparently this is a long running english(the country) literature
journal dedicated as best I can tell to new writing by mostly new
authors. Monster Lib was sent this short collection because it is a
horror themed issue and lets face it it features a new story by the
genre's ( and the world) most popular of authors Stephen King. A bad
sign for this journal is that a week after reading it when I sat down
to review it I could only remember strongly two stories in the whole
thing
...more
David Hebblethwaite
I'm concentrating here on three pieces from the anthology; in each case, it was my first time reading the author.

Will Self, ‘False Blood’

This is an account of how Self was diagnosed with and treated for polycythemia vera, a condition which causes the blood to thicken through the overproduction of red blood cells. It’s a very frank piece: Self writes matter-of-factly about his past of drug-use – neither apologising not seeking to justify it, but simply treating it as something that happened – and
...more
Lawrence
I guess that Granta's idea of horror is not the same as mine. Maybe the story by Stephen King qualifies as horror; maybe also the story by Sarah Hall. But there is little else in this issue that qualifies in my opinion. I would not regard Will Self's assessment of his blood disease and his recounting of the experience of illness as horror. Rather it is a well written piece that could easily be described as a story that evokes feeling of fear, terror, and other emotions that also are associated w ...more
Chris
A star for each story that blew me away. Joy Williams, Sarah Hall, and Rajesh Parameswaran are the authors. It's not that the other stories in this collection are dull; the pieces by Will Self, about his battle with cancer (a similar cancer that killed my mother), Julie Otsuka, about a Alzheimers inflicted mother, Roberto Bolaño, recounting a late-night zombie movie, and Santiago Roncagliolo, about Peru's "Shining Path" revolutionaries, are engaging. Even Stephen King's story is engaging though ...more
Saleem
I was expecting/hoping this edition to be straight-up horror, but as usual Granta's approach to its themes is more tangential than literal: here horror ranges from zombies to lost love to sex addiction to an illness. Horror in the everyday rather than in the supernatural sense. Once I got over that, I appreicated it for what it was. The stories started out a bit slow (Don Delillo and Will Self are two of my least favourite writers) and halfway through I put the book down. I did eventually come b ...more
Lisa
Interesting set of stories. Some are horror in a non-traditional way. The Stephen King story is actually quietly horrifying, building up slowly. I found the most engaging story to be one about a zoo tiger written by Rajesh Parameswaran. And besides Mark Doty's piece being about the known and supposed relationship between Walt Whitman and Bram Stoker (who knew?), is the mere mention of the writer of Count Dracula make a particular essay frightening in some way?

Definitely some big names in this co
...more
Mathew
The best thing about this is the front cover art work. This was my first edition of Granta, and it'll be my last. Not because it isn't good, it just isn't for me. The title of horror is slightly misleading, unless I'm missing something, but there is very little horror to be found. Stephen King stands out (obviously) among them, the rest are mostly forgettable. If you're passionate about short stories and new writers, this will be ideal for you, if not you may be disappointed.
sisterimapoet
Not the strongest selection. I had high hopes for the theme, a personal favourite, and while I know the idea is to interpret the theme in wildly varied ways, some just fell short for me. Favourites were the Will Self (which I'd already read elsewhere, but still enjoyed the second time), the Auster (which has gone me desperate to read the whole from which this is an extract) and the King (classic, will a killer ending) and the Otsuka (heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time).
Paul


Horror should be in quotes. The stories are not scary. They don't go boo. They don't keep you up at night. What they are are good. I skipped some that weren't doing it for me, such as the first one and the one by Bolano. Otherwise, good job Granta. And, really, this is one of those publications that should be see on paper. The interstitials and the intro art to almost every story is a super cool bonus when seen as two facing pages. Kindle if you have to, but.
Eddie Skelson
The excellent Stephen King story at the end the book saved this.

Reading about someone having bad luck is not 'my kind of horror' regardless of how well written it is. I appreciate that the editor wished to collect stories that explores the less trod path of this area but to give them the bold title of Horror stories is stretching it.

With the exception of The Dune by King. He is really back on form here. A crisp and satisfying tale.
Karen Katchur
Overall I rated the magazine a three. Some of the horror stories/essays about genocide, cancer, Alzheimer was too real. I prefer to read to be entertained. The three short stories I really enjoyed I would rate a 5. They are in no particular order:

THE DUNE by Stephen King, THE INFAMOUS BENGAL MING by Rajesh Parameswaran, and SHE MURDERED MORTAL HE by Sarah Hall.
Daniel Pyle
I read Stephen King's "The Dune." If you're thinking about buying this anthology just for King's story (like I did), I'd suggest waiting for the story to come out in a collection someday. It's a fine little tale but nothing you absolutely have to read right this minute. Unless you're a fellow diehard fan.
Tom Mueller
This collection includes Sai King's "The Dune". The protagonists' semi-private dune reveals names written in the sand; of people who will die the following day. The day one name is written, he calls his judge/friend over to witness his will, which must be done immediately. Read this one to find out why. ☺
Parvathy
Definitely not the best edition of Granta. But the Stephen King story is a good one, if you are a fan (as I am). Also loved Rajesh Parameswaran's The Infamous Bengal Ming and Deng's Dogs by Roncagliolo.
Tansy E
i don't love the new editor. and am not entirely convinced by how american and male the selection now seems to be...
Barrie Collins
Good read, not quite what I expected but a typical Granta approach, worthwhile ...
Susan Emmet
Most recent issue of Granta is just great. When I saw "Horror," I thought, "Oh no...zombies and chainsaw massacres." Not the case.
The horror is of many sorts - personal, social, psychological,political. One of the last pieces called "The Dune" even finds Stephen King in Granta. Will Self's mordant appraisal of his past addictions and present unusual treatment for an unusual blood illnes renders him being "bled" regularly, but not with leeches. Don DeLillo's "The Starveling" finds a lost man jour
...more
Trevor John
Let's cut to the chase: Will Self can be a bit overbearing in his stylistic excess, but the essay he offers here held my interest and made me consider giving his nonfiction a go. Paul Auster is always worth reading and this piece was no exception, really liked his way of describing his mother, his difficulty in expressing grief or more so with the reality of it, and just coping with love and aging. Yes, I'm going to gloss over everything here. Don DeLillo's story was the standout. Plain and simp ...more
Andy
I've never read Granta before but saw this in Mumbai airport and picked it up for some horror short stories. I didn't actually get round to reading it for a few weeks but it's been fun to dip in and out of while moving houses.

Horror is broadly defined here, usually more intellectual than the average horror tale. I enjoyed the odd recounting of what sounds like a really entertaining made-up zombie movie (The Colonel's Son); the first 'person' tale of an escaped tiger turned out to be surprisingl
...more
Sumaiya Naseem
"- nothing should be defined in terms of anything else - no vampire should be like a filthy leech, any more than a filthy leech should be like a vampire. In Ecco Home Nietzsche said that illness was the beginning of all psychology; he might have added that the only possible therapy was a statement of the fact."

Loving these stories.
Sally
I don't want to be too hard on this collection simply because I didn't enjoy all the pieces - they are all very good pieces technically but I only really responded to a few stories. Stephen King's entry 'The Dune' was very entertaining of course - I also enjoyed the Sarah Hall's 'She Murdered the Mortal He' which was very Highsmithian, 'The Infamous Bengal Ming' and 'Diem Perdidi'. Will Self's 'False Blood' chronicling his rare blood disease is also very interesting. This is an interesting colle ...more
Troy Friendimension
Very enjoyable edition, great publication. Not a lot of horror in the genre sense, but good writing. I suppose the purpose of the publication is to present respectable *literature* as opposed to genre fantasy. My favorite story was about a guy who takes the subway to watch two or three movies every day and then write about everything in his movie diary; eventually he runs into a woman who leads a similar existence.
Becky
I am a total scaredy-cat so was trepidacious about reading this collection, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The only story that 'scared' me was the Stephen King piece. The other stories are more loosely connected to the horror genre, including several excellent non-fiction pieces. I loved Sarah Hall's creepy short story about a breakup, Julie Otsuka's lovely piece about a mother's dementia, and Will Self's non-fiction piece about his blood disease and growing fear of needles. All in all, this colle ...more
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