In the opening paragraph of Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia, the seventeen-year-old narrator feels compelled to announce his nationality three times. The Buddha of Suburbia [Hanif Kureishi] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Karim Amir lives with his English mother and Indian father in the . So opens Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia. That “almost” almost killed me. I remember the day I got that book out of the library. I’d seen.

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My name is Karim Amir, and I am an Englishman born and bred, almost.

I loved the way that the father is presumed to know the secrets of ‘Eastern’ wisdom simply because he is Indian. The novel is highly episodic; Kureishi uses juxtaposition and collage. So at the library, when I saw the name of the author, Hanif KureishiI was taken aback. It’s not like Karim has an entirely easy time, but, as I also keep thinking when I flick through the graphic novel Nelson which I can’t yet bring myself to actually readin this book is a life I would like to have lived.

I hated the flood of opinion, the certainty, the easy talk about Cuba and Russia and the economy, because beneath the hard structure of words was an abyss of ignorance and not-knowing; and, in a sense, of not wanting to know. Meanwhile, his father, the book’s most memorable character, is on a similar path, teaching Buddhist discipline to a generation of ageing hippies, while Karim indulges in drugs and mutual masturbation behind closed doors.

Jun 08, Isidora rated it it was amazing Shelves: Maybe it was more wonderful back in the 90s, when sexuality and multiculturalism were still academic novelties.

Sexual education we want for Karim, and he does not disappoint. But this is as much about class division as it is about multiculturalism, with Karim trying to fit into the other classes and bring a bit of a square peg in a round hole. When his beautiful and irreproachably cool school friend Charlie advises him to ditch his headband and scarlet waistcoat in favour of Levis with an open-necked shirt, Karim privately vows utter obedience.


How The Buddha of Suburbia let me in to a much wider world

Y This book was a lot of fun. I’m being generous here. But Bromley doesn’t sound too different: In one episode, Desmond is in hospital and Porkpie and Shirley are talking. The use of sex, the descriptions, and the crude words used for body parts is.

That tone of voice

He’s always the observer, asking questions, making astute perceptions, and his detachment and humor make him bold and confident. He also swears a good deal. May 13, N. He was born in England to Indian and English parents yet has never even visited India so regards himself to be English yet because of his colour is not treated as such. My professor is in love with the idea of “national identity. I suppose if you’re from London proper, or Manchester, or even Brighton, you must get used to the idea that various works of art use your hometown as a setting — but for me it was a very new experience to read about characters in Orpington High Street or Beckenham or Petts Wood or all the rest of the suburban geography of my childhood.

This is a really neat and actually funny British Asian novel. I was discovering rap and bhangra and, if I was not working with my parents in their warehouse, the odd daytime rave at weekends.

How The Buddha of Suburbia let me in to a wider world | Nikesh Shukla | Books | The Guardian

Through his work with two theatre companies, Karim gets to know new people from completely different backgrounds, like the working-class Welshman Terry, who is an active Trotskyist and wants him to join the party, or Karim’s syburbia Eleanor who is upper buddhs but pretends to be working-class.

To ask other readers questions about The Buddha of Suburbiaplease sign up. I became a citizen the moment I found The Buddha of Suburbia.


Karim in the meantime is discovering new social classes that he had never come across in his previous life in the suburbs, there is Pkye a upper class theatre director who gives him his first chance. The one loophole, though, was my library card. Jul 25, G. She was climbing ever higher, day by day. Kureishi attended Bromley Technical High School where David Bowie had also been a pupil and after taking his A levels at a local sixth form college, he spent a year studying philosophy at Lancaster University before dropping out.

Expect similar reaction at the conclusion of this one! So, in the end I can’t give it a full 4 stars.

I think there was plenty of material there for a great suburban novel, perhaps even The Great Suburban Novel. This created certain controversy as Kureishi himself had recently left his wife and two young sons. Nothing really much happens in the novel, but the characters are deep like something of Michael Cummingham’s.

Maybe it’s still wild and wonderful if you’re a Guardian reader.

On kureishii first page Karim introduces himself as follows: Through Karim, muddling through playing Mowgli in the Jungle Book, his attachment to his father’s new girlfriend, guilt about his mother, his stepbrother’s move from mediocre musician to punk icon, the book captures a certain time period in England, and mixes in second-generation immigrant issues.

This suburban experience is one of the points of the novel, which among other things is budha gentle examination of English class relations, particularly as they intersect with race — Karim’s father is an Indian immigrant, and the casual racism of the s is hovering there in the background.