Book Review: The Granta Book of Reportage

I’d never heard of the idea of “reportage” before, and I’m still none the wiser as to who or what “Granta” is. But with an interest in journalism, and a photo of the awe-inspiring “Tank Man” on the cover, it was a fairly easy sell.

The book contains a wonderful collection of journalist’s stories, rather than the reports that would find their way into a newspaper. Most of the reportage (which I like to think is pronounced as the French would – rhyming with montage, not cambridge) is regarding conflicts, and the stories of being a reporter trying to get close to the action – but not too close. One stand-out piece for me is the investigative journalism behind Operation Flavius, an IRA bomb plot foiled by the SAS controversially shooting the suspects. Compared with reading (not-so-)broad-sheet newspapers, I normally prefer to cut the waffle and read the Economist for getting the facts on what’s going on. However, I would love to have a source of journalism like this book – almost by necessity it would be non-timely, but nevertheless fascintating, almost behind-the-scenes reading, where the subject merely provides the context for the experiences of the journalist.


The Granta Book of Reportage (Classics of Reportage) on Amazon.