Benjie the Bin Man featured in 'Granta'
..."As a quarterly, Granta has an excellent reputation for publishing new writing. This current edition does not disappoint, but it does surprise in a way which is of direct interest to Jewish readers - of the 19 varied essays and stories, at least six have central or peripheral Jewish interest.
The first essay is a journalistic profile of one of London's well-known eccentrics - master garbage-bin rifler Benjamin Pell, who "acquired an infamy for looting the dustbins of lawyers and agents of the rich and famous and selling their secrets to newspapers and magazines." Until his activities were legally curtailed, "Benjie the Binman," as he was known, was the unlikely center of several cause celebres in the 1990s. Mr. Pell is a religious Jew, 40-ish, who lives in Hendon with his parents. His close friends, and certainly Tim Adams, the author of this profile, would admit that he is not a totally easy person to befriend. The story is, however, sensitive, riveting and hilarious. It is rather like a sympathetic rummage in Benjie's own bin - a sort of middah k'neged middah (poetic justice). The title - "Benjamin Pell versus The Rest of The World" - says it all."