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Stephen Kelman

Autor(a) de Pigeon English

3 Works 976 Membros 64 Críticas

About the Author

Image credit: It's a Book Thing

Obras por Stephen Kelman

Pigeon English (2011) 941 exemplares
Man on Fire (2015) 32 exemplares
Los consejos de la paloma (2015) 3 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
Luton, Bedfordshire, England, UK
Locais de residência
St Albans, Hertfordshire, England, UK
University of Bedfordshire (Marketing)
Clare Conville



as so often happens with critically acclaimed books, I find myself very impressed with the writer's ability, while kicking myself for having read it. I do not read fiction to raise my social consciousness. I do it to escape, to be entertained and swept away by the story.
Spoiler alert.....

this story does not end well. I recently read swamplandia and Mr. Pip. It seems that somehow if you rape or murder a child in your book, that will raise it in the eyes of the world to art.Count me out
… (mais)
cspiwak | 61 outras críticas | Mar 6, 2024 |
What a damn heartbreaker! The story such with me for several days after reading - I adore Harri! Kelman gives Harri a distinctive voice and one cannot dislike the character and his relationships with loved ones. The book is more relevant now than ever - given the events that occur all over the UK every week (it seems, avoiding spoilers obviously).

If you are precious about appropriation of language and "stereotypes" then give it a miss. This isn't for you and to be frank I'd prefer people not pull it down with current ideologies of what is and isn't "okay" (this was written 13 years ago, things change and we evolve).… (mais)
MichaelH85 | 61 outras críticas | Jan 23, 2024 |
Another from the Booker Short list, Pigeon English is Stephen Kelman's first novel. The book is about Harri, an 11 year old Ghanaian boy living in London. Harri and his friend are investigating a local murder, after seeing the aftermath. Harri tells us about his life, family, school,, the local gangs and other neighbourhood characters. He also tells us about his relationship with a pigeon that is his favourite bird.

This book reminded me a lot of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, with the motif of the little boy investigating a crime. I've seen people compare it to Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha as well, and Harri's naive observations of life do remind me of that book.

Kelman based this book on an actual case, although that's only referred to tangentially in the acknowledgements at the end.

Another very good book; I'd probably have this as second to Hilary Mantell so far.
… (mais)
gjky | 61 outras críticas | Apr 9, 2023 |
Man on Fire is a fictionalised account of the feats of Indian record-breaker Bibhuti Nayak. Nayak has dedicated his life to setting Guinness Book of Records records for feats of strength, in order to inspire his fellow Indians.

John Lock is a middle-class Englishman who impulsively travels to India to work with BB Nayak in the hope that he can leave his old life behind and do something meaningful. The book tells of their deepening relationship, from both points of view, and the unswerving course they set towards a final, outrageous record attempt that has BB's family and friends aghast.

The relationship between Lock and BB is never that well-established; there seems to be no real reason for it to have come about, or for BB to accept this strange man into his household and his life's work. This lack of a solid start to their friendship undermines the story. Lock's Raj-like patronising of BB's family also sits oddly with his supposed dedication to BB's philosophy and work. Every time he referred to BB's son as "Jolly Boy", it made my teeth itch; such a stupid name for a character.

Beyond Lock and BB, most characters are pretty much pastiche; nothing you wouldn't find in a Bollywood movie, really. Lock and his travails are the focus of the novel. Kelman sets his protagonist up with a heart-breaking and life-changing dilemma, but the resolutions he gives him are pretty unchallenging and bland. As with Pigeon English, Kelman captures the local idiom perfectly; the chapters narrated by BB, as well as the other Indian characters' dialogue, all sound totally authentic.

For men, this book could be wincingly hard to read at times. There is only so much I can read about a man being kicked in the balls for a living before I start to cringe.
… (mais)
gjky | 1 outra crítica | Apr 9, 2023 |



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½ 3.5

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