I've raved before about David Mitchell and the signed book I got of Black Swan Green. Have almost finished that, and I have to say it's quite different from his other books. Quite good, but can't quite make up my mind about it yet so am anxious to finish it.
In any case, the first chapter seems to be an expansion of a short story Mitchell published in Granta a few years (2003, I think?) ago. It's quite cool to read and see how the chapter in the book has expanded and improved from the story.