In Adam Foulds’s ‘A World Intact’, Will returns from military training in London to his family home in the rural heart of England, for a short stay before he embarks on his posting in Field Security Services. It’s not quite the commission he wanted, especially as he hoped to follow in the footsteps his late father, who was awarded the Victoria Cross during the Great War.

This extract from a forthcoming novel sets up themes of romantic heroism versus the horror of war (there’s the suggestion that Will’s father may not have been as pleased as his son thinks to know that his Will is off to fight), and personal fulfilment (Will’s rural home is the ‘world intact’, yet it is still not quite enough for him). The piece is perhaps too short to satisfy by itself; but it’s a promising foundation for Foulds’s novel.

This is part of a series of posts on Granta 123: Best of Young British Novelists 4Click here to read the rest.