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Granta 117: Horror (Granta: The Magazine of New Writing) Paperback – October 25, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review


"Just in time for Halloween, Granta, the London-based quarterly, calls on the American master of horror, Stephen King, to headline a new issue devoted to horror that's more literary than gory, yet still chilling and at times, bloody."
-- USA Today


"Looking for something a little more cerebral this Halloween than underwear models with fangs? You can’t do better than the new issue of Granta: “Horror.” The 117th volume of the British literary journal offers a bone-chilling selection of fiction and nonfiction."
-- The Washington Post

About the Author

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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Product Details

  • Series: Granta: The Magazine of New Writing (Book 117)
  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press, Granta (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905881363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905881369
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #651,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 25, 2012
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I purchased this publication because I am always on the trail of new authors whose writing satisfies my literary palate, and with Stephen King in the mix I was hoping for a couple of emerging prodigies that might hold the promise of reinvigorating the horror genre. The opening story is very weak and just depressing instead of horrific as the author recounts how poor decisions in his past have contributed to his declining health, poor me, etc. The following story "Your Birthday has Come and Gone" is a major yawn and once again doesn't convey any feelings of terror. There are several other pieces that I didn't care for but one actually made me angry. "The Colonel's Son" is a poorly written synopsis of the movie "Night of the Living Dead 3", and the author opens the story claiming this movie somehow paralleled his own life and that this invoked a sense of profound terror in him but fails to explain how or why. The author claims he cant remember the name of the movie so just calls it "The Colonel's Son" but there is this thing called the internet and it would take about 2 minuets to look up the title and credits which would have required only slightly more time and thought than the author put into this story. "Dengs Dogs" and "The Mission" speak of horrors of the real world people inflict on each other and themselves and are well worth the read. The story in this collection that I believe outshines all others is "The Infamous Bengal Ming" by Rajesh Parameswaran, about a captive tiger dealing with an identity crisis. Overall I was disappointed with the content of the publication. I can appreciate trying to break trends and include a new outlook on a tired genre but many of the pieces in the collection have little to no merit in the scope of horror.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By red_gamer on December 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Pulp fiction and literary journals make strange bedfellows, and how pulpy can you get than Horror? I was guessing the theme would be treated loosely by its writers, and the horror (despite the gothic cover) would be devoid of vampires and filled with African dictators and overbearing Jewish mothers instead.

And it was, at least at the beginning. Will Self gets all misty eyed about his old crack habit when diagnosed with a blood disease, and we do get the horrible family treatment with Paul Auster. By the time I finished the turgid and shockingly dull Don DeLillo story I was ready to yell "the horror! the horror!" myself. Only Brass by Joy Williams saved the opening few stories. As with the best horror, the final line of the story makes the reader press a hand to their heart.

At least Granta did the honourable thing and threw in a blood soaked story with zombies. It reads like a film synopsis and I didn't get the point of it, but Robert Bolano's "The Colonel's Son" was gory and fun.

The stories got better as the magazine went on - a jilted lover lost on a beach in darkened Africa, a baby eating tiger on the lose, the Shining Path killing dogs in Peru...the stories here needed to be at the start of the journal. Or would literary readers be put off by the cheap shocks?

But it is Stephen King who has the last word. Not sure if "The Dune" has any serious literary merit (like most of his work, in all honesty) but this story shows why he is the best horror writer out there. You can imagine him ripping this story out during the morning shift, but when the story kicks into gear half way through you know that something in the shadows is moving towards you with a kitchen knife...and then, just like Brass, that last line is an absolute kicker.

Not sure if Granta should be messing around with pulp fiction genres, but this story was worth the price of admission.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Melissa on November 28, 2011
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I bought this book for the Stephen King story (which was pretty creepy and nice). I've read a few of the other stories in the book, including the Sarah Hall "She Murdered Mortal He." Hall's story was near perfect for a horror story.
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Though this literary magazine is originally from Europe. I Just Happen To order it from here, and I wasn't disappointed. For one
Who doesn't love a great Stephen King Short Story in it? King's The Dune is well worth the price of the thick magazine. Plus
enjoy reading the other horror stories. I Recommend This For Stephen King Fans and Lover of Horror stories. Thank You Amazon!
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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 Tupac, he left plenty of posthumous product to crowd the shelves. In "The Colonel's Son," the narrator catches a late-nite "B-grade schlock" movie and recounts what he sees. That's the whole story: I saw this movie called "The Colonel's Son" last nite, here's how it went. And as I read, it dawned on me: I know this movie Bolano is describing. It's "Return of the Living Dead 3." He's regurgitating the entire plot of "Return of the Living Dead 3." I wouldn't want to suggest that the literary crowd is easily misled or that Roberto Bolano is a great gassy fartcloud of hype. But in "The Colonel's Son," he essentially wrote a screen treatment, a Wikipedia entry for an early '90s zombie sequel that he had no part in making, then he presented it as his own work. Some might call that plagiarism. Not the poindexters on the "Granta" editorial board. They read "The Colonel's Son," then leaned back, squinched their eyes shut, released a deep sigh of satisfaction, clasped hands in a circle and declared as one: "Sheer genius!" They even got an artist to animate the story online, perhaps not realizing this zombie yarn had already been "reanimated" almost 20 years before by flesh-and-blood actors (including a SMOKING hot Melinda Clarke).
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