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. It has been in print for less than 20 years, but Hanif Kureishi’s debut novel remains an important time capsule for teenage life in s London. 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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His voice is both demotic and educated, one thing and another.

The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi | Books | The Guardian

This article has multiple issues. At first, I was not a fan of the novel. A half Indian, half British teen is growing up in the suburbs of England with his bizarre father who is carrying on an affair behind the back of the miserable, pathetic mother.

The other thing we did as a family minus Dad was go to the library together. What husband are you to give me so little when the other men, the Alans and Barrys and Peters and Roys, provide cars, shburbia, holidays, central heating and jewellery?

The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi. It’s the kind of book you m I’ve been putting this off for nearly 20 years, and finally, I am underwhelmed. Eva encourages him to enter the theatre, while moving his father and him skburbia the city from the suburbs.

View all 6 comments. People who were only ever half right about things drove me mad. I remember the day I got that book out of the library. To Karim, London—even though it is geographically not far away from his home—seems like a completely different world. He’s the son of an Indian immigrant and an English mother; he is madly in love with the son of a woman his father might be having an affair with and this person seems to really only be capable of loving himself but he loves himself a great dealhis father is turning into some eastern guru, his mother is crying a lot and his brother, well, who knows what his brother is doing because Karim mostly forgets that he exists.


Doors open at 6. It made me feel less alone. It’s the kind of book you might ask someone at a dull party if they’ve read, and they have or not and no more is said of it.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Besides the fact that reading Kureishi’s novels are as tasty as drinking ice-tea with a splash of rum on a hot day this wasn’t a story that made any kind of impact on me the way for example his “The Body” did.

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

He plays Mowgli in a play and is told by the director to fake an Indian accent to be more authentic. She’s the punk grand-d This is a really neat and actually funny British Asian novel. His father has moved in with a lady called Eva, a social climber, who sets about turning him into an exotic guru, and darling of the chattering classes.

As he surveys the extraordinary scene in the front room of Eva Kay’s house in Beckenham – four cross-legged middle-aged couples discussing music and books to a background of recorded chanting – his verdict tries to be true to the memorable absurdity of the gathering. I’ve been putting this off for nearly 20 years, and finally, I am underwhelmed. His new life proves to be a disappointment, but he does begin a career as an actor.


To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. May 29, mark monday rated it liked it Shelves: It felt alien to me to see a familiar name on the cover of a book.

Having finished school he has no idea what he wants to do, and when the chance of becoming an actor presents itself, he jumps at the chance. View all 3 comments.

Rather the novel is pointedly political and highly critical of British racism making it at times uncomfortable reading.

The book was translated into Persian by Niki Karimi in You can see everywhere the evidence that Karim has read books, but he is hardly going to admit it. Returning to London, he takes on a part in a TV soap opera and the book leaves bucdha reader on the brink of the general election the defeat of Jim Callaghan’s government on a motion of no confidence is specifically mentioned later in the novel.

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As Thatcher’s Tory reign approaches, and punk rock explodes onto the underground music scene, Karim finds his place working in the theatre, among other working-class misfits from a range of cultural backgrounds. But that was the best one.