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In Our Mad and Furious City
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2018 Longlist [MBP] > In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne

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message 1: by Maxwell (new)

Maxwell (welldonebooks) | 375 comments Mod
This thread is for discussion of In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne.

Please be considerate of spoilers when posting your thoughts. Either use the spoiler tag or make it clear at the top of your comment that you will be posting specific details of the story.

Happy reading & discussing!


Neil | 511 comments I am halfway through. Speaking as a Brit, this is incredibly uncomfortable to read. But also compulsive. I am scared by it but find it hard to put down.


Neil | 511 comments I've finished it now. 5 stars.


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer My review is here

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Which includes:

- a You Tube playlist of songs which I would recommend while reading parts of the novel as they form an important part of the book

- A Grime based argument for the Booker to revert to its old rules

4.5 stars rounded down for me


message 6: by Britta (last edited Aug 06, 2018 10:44AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Britta Böhler | 314 comments Mod
Oh dear, oh dear.... I guess I'm the dissenter here (at least so far) but for me this was definitely one of the worst written books (and that includes Snap). Which is really sad because the themes the author wanted to explore were so interesting and timely and important and the premise sounded more than promising.

In favor of the book I want to say, it's a debut and it shows. The author clearly has something he wants to say, but he doesn't know how to say it (yet). And it's a fierce book, often grim and full of anger and bitterness. And very grimey.

But the mixture of dialect/slang and stilted, often cliché-riddled prose made me moan. (There is nothing wrong, of course, with using slang and dialect if its done well). In addition, I thought most of the dialogues were just plain awful. I can see why the author wanted to use slang and dialect to give his characters a voice but to me the way it was done felt completely fake. As if somebody had given the urban dictionary a good shake and sprinkled words into the book at random. As a result, none of the characters felt real either, and their voices were hardly distinguishable from each other, with the exception of Nelson's maybe. (The use of dialect/slang decreases as the book progresses, by the way, and I couldn't see why that would make sense from the character's point of view).

An equally big problem for me was the pacing. Even though the story could have been compelling, it was entirely ruined by the pacing. Long expositions and reflections and flashbacks clogged up the narrative and stopped any attempt to build up tension in its tracks.

Some of the images of the Estate and streets etc were quite cinematic and vivid in their description, and like I said, the themes were well chosen and thought-provoking but that couldn't safe the book for me.

Such a pity!

1*


Hugh (bodachliath) | 151 comments Britta wrote: "Oh dear, oh dear.... I guess I'm the dissenter here (at least so far) but for me this was definitely one of the worst written books (and that includes Snap). Which is really sad because the themes ..."
I am only 50 pages in, but so far I am enjoying it - I am no expert on street slang, grime or London street culture but for me the voices are working very well - obviously it is very difficult to pitch these things perfectly and Guneratne is trying to be faithful to characters whose idea of good English is far from the literary.


message 8: by Britta (last edited Aug 06, 2018 07:49AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Britta Böhler | 314 comments Mod
Hugh wrote: "Britta wrote: "Oh dear, oh dear.... I guess I'm the dissenter here (at least so far) but for me this was definitely one of the worst written books (and that includes Snap). Which is really sad beca..."

Just to clarify: it was not so much the slang that I didnt like but the mixture with a rather stilted prose; that mixture felt 'fake' to me. But: happy you're enjoying it!


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer I really enjoyed the book but I did have the same impression as you of the slang quotient decreasing. I think that was partly the different weight of characters though, only two really use slang heavily.


message 10: by Hugh (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hugh (bodachliath) | 151 comments I think you also get more used to some of the slang as the book proceeds, but yes, it does diminish. I really enjoyed the book, but would have liked a bit more space to be devoted to women (maybe Missy's perspective?).

My review


message 12: by Dianne (last edited Aug 16, 2018 11:50AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dianne (derbyrock) | 5 comments I thought the book was impressive. I can't really speak to the dialect very well because I haven't heard that much of it. I think a true rendition of it might have been incomprehensible to the average reader, so I felt the author used a few chosen words to give effect, flavor, and unique voice to each character while making the structure and usage simple enough for everyone to grasp. The stilted prose felt right to me but it was distancing. It was telling that the book switched character constantly, and I never had to look back to see who was talking. I'm glad it made the list. it was a four star read for me. Someone described it as uncomfortable which I totally agree with. I'm rather glad it's over.


Charlott (halfjill) | 39 comments I finished this book yesterday and I really loved it. It is not flawless and especially at the end a few things grated on me. I will let sit this one with me for a few days and then I will write my review.


Charlott (halfjill) | 39 comments I finally wrote my review this weekend:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


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