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The Buddha of Suburbia

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Inhaltsangabe

The hero of Hanif Kureishi's debut novel is a dreamy teenager, desperate to escape suburban South London and experience the forbidden fruits which the 1970s seem to offer. When the unlikely opportunity of a life in the theatre announces itself, Karim starts to win the sort of attention he has been craving, albeit with some rude and raucous results.
©1990 Hanif Kureishi (P)2003 BBC Audiobooks Ltd

Kritikerstimmen

"An astonishing book, full of intelligence and elan." ( Publishers Weekly)

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    5 out of 5 stars

Buddha in London

„The Buddha of Suburbia" features the life of Karim Amir, son of an Indian immigrant and a British mother. In his teens Karim sees the marriage of his parents falling apart and how is father falls in love with another woman, Eva. Eva is the new centre of both their lifes: making the father to a guru to their British suburbian neighbourhood and letting the son live at her house and participate in their lifes.

Soon KarimŽs life changes again when moving with Eva and his dad to London, where a total new world of sex, drugs and music is unfolding in front of him. Never been to India, but often judged by the colour of his skin, Karim is searching for his identity and becomes an actor playing stereotyped Indian roles as Mowgli in the "Junglebook".

Besides Karim, I loved the book for the other fascinating characters. Especially Jamilla and Changez whose marriage is all, but not an example for Indian marriage. Arranged by JamillaŽs father both get marry on the paper, but Jamilla is of strong will and lives practically a life of her own and does not care about her husband. On the other hand, Changez coming from an upper-class Indian family, learns that his life is now ruled by his father-in-law and that his wife is not the least interested in him. So whenever he escapes his father-in-law, he is visiting his Japanese mistress and together they practice all kinds of sexual positions. Being ordered around by his father-in-law culminates in the accidental killing of JamillaŽs dad.

The book is fascinating because it does not serve the usual Bollywood clichés about Indians, but gives you new insights in the problems and everyday life.