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John Freeman (3) (1974–)

Author of Granta 117: Horror

For other authors named John Freeman, see the disambiguation page.

49+ Works 2,938 Members 40 Reviews

About the Author

John Freeman is an award-winning writer and book critic who has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times Book Review, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal. Freeman won the 2007 James Patterson PageTurner Award. He is the editor of Granta and lives in show more New York City and London. show less
Image credit: Photo by Kel Munger


Works by John Freeman

Granta 117: Horror (2011) — Editor — 174 copies
Granta 112: Pakistan (2010) — Editor — 171 copies
Granta 108: Chicago (2009) — Editor — 141 copies
Granta 110: Sex (2010) — Editor — 124 copies
Granta 109: Work (2009) — Editor — 116 copies
Granta 123: The Best of Young British Novelists 4 (2013) — Editor — 114 copies
Granta 111: Going Back (2010) — Editor — 113 copies
Granta 115: The F Word (2011) — Editor — 113 copies
How to Read a Novelist (2012) 111 copies
Granta 119: Britain (2012) — Editor — 109 copies
Granta 107: Summer Reading (2009) — Editor — 100 copies
Granta 114: Aliens (2011) — Editor — 94 copies
Granta 124: Travel (2013) — Editor — 92 copies
Granta 116: Ten Years Later (2011) — Editor — 92 copies
Granta 118: Exit Strategies (2012) — Editor — 83 copies
Granta 120: Medicine (2012) — Editor — 82 copies
Granta 125: After the War (2013) — Editor — 82 copies
Granta 121: Best of Young Brazilian Novelists (2012) — Editor — 78 copies
Granta 122: Betrayal (2013) — Editor — 74 copies
Tales of Two Cities (2014) 49 copies
Dictionary of the Undoing (2019) 34 copies
Freeman's: California (2019) 18 copies
Maps (2017) 18 copies
Freeman's: Power (2017) 16 copies
Freeman's: Change (2021) 9 copies
Freeman's: Love (2020) 8 copies
Freeman's (2017) 8 copies
Hisham Matar 1 copy
Gunter Grass 1 copy
Richard Ford 1 copy
Freeman's. Potere (2020) 1 copy

Associated Works

Apple, Tree: Writers on Their Parents (2019) — Contributor — 18 copies


2020 (12) 21st century (27) American literature (16) anthology (110) biography (11) books about books (12) communication (10) ebay (10) ebook (12) economics (10) email (12) essay (25) essays (104) fiction (180) Granta (203) horror (17) Kindle (20) literary journal (81) Literary periodical (39) literature (51) magazine (48) non-fiction (100) online (12) owned-books (18) Pakistan (17) photography (30) poetry (60) read (24) reportage (12) ROCKHOUSE (19) short fiction (25) short stories (174) sociology (16) stories (13) technology (16) tijdschriften (11) to-read (139) USA (11) world literature (10) writing (10)

Common Knowledge



A mixed bag if ever there was one. Some of the stories here were a struggle to get through - there seemed nothing to them - and others were not stories at all but excerpts from the writer's upcoming novel, which I think should have disqualified them from inclusion here. It's like paying for Amazon's "Look Inside..." feature. But a few were good, including "Small Mouth, Thin Lips" by Antonio Ortuno, "The Bonfire and the Chessboard" by Matias Nespolo, and the deeply mysterious "Olingiris" by Samanta Schweblin.… (more)
soylentgreen23 | 2 other reviews | Sep 30, 2023 |
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 pieces under any sort of label since it creates an expectation that could cause one to miss the point. What we do have here is a book/magazine of very, very good short fiction, non-fiction, and art that is interesting and sometimes disturbing.

There are 4 or 5 really good stories here, about half the book. As always in Granta, the writing is good even when the subject matter is weak. If I miss a few it is because they were forgettable. I hate most poetry so I'll skip the poem.

False Blood is a pretty good autobiographical essay by Will Self about a guy who has to have a pint of tomato sauce removed from his veins every week because of some disease he has. Oh, he hates needles too. Yuck.

Your Birthday Has Come And Gone - pointless, meandering piece that had one paragraph that stretched on for eight pages.

Brass by Joy Williams is a real, actual horror story, although the payoff won't come until the penultimate paragraph. Good stuff.

The Starveling - I hated this story from the get go and I was right in the end. Overlong and with a plot hole so wide you could fly the space shuttle through it.

The Mission - depressing non-fiction about Somalia. Certainly horrifying but not HORROR.

She Murdered Mortal He - I'm sure this is just one of those stories I'm too stupid to get. Pretty good build-up, but it turns out to be a dog bites man story, literally. Lots of symbolism, ooooh.

Nice artwork in the middle.

Deng's Dogs - another depressing (non-fiction?) tale about Peru. Well told and grim, but not much different than anything you would see in The Atlantic.

The Infamous Bengal Ming - Now we're talkin'. This is a story told from the point of view of a tiger in a zoo. I kid you not. Sounds corny. I was pretty skeptical when I started but this turned out to be a very original fantastic horror story. The sort of story Saki would write.

The Ground Floor - Goofy.

Insatiable - In my opinion a strained attempt to connect Dracula to The Leaves of Grass (Hey, I don't make this stuff up). Sure they are both creepy, but I don't buy the connection. Like something you would turn in for an English final exam to show how clever you are.

The Colonel's Son - You knew Granta was going to put one REAL horror story in just to show they really do get it, and it's so campy and fun to be weird and creepy, and aren't we crazy and edgy here. Zombie mayhem. Enjoy it even though you know why they threw it in.

Then, we get the Stephen King story, another Granta nod to the real genre here. A good story, not a great story. Actually, a pretty good old fashioned horror story.

Unfortunately, instead of finishing on a high note there is one more clinker at the end; a tedious exposition of Alzheimer's disease that goes: "She remembers...She doesn't remember...," for page after page. There's more to it than that, of course, but the repetitive style just doesn't engage the reader at all.

Enough blather...Worth reading, just don't get suckered.
… (more)
Gumbywan | 3 other reviews | Jun 24, 2022 |
Overgaard | Jun 16, 2021 |
A great collection of essays, poetry and stories. I love it and am going to propose it for my book club, lots to talk about
bhowell | Apr 5, 2021 |



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