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The Buddha of Suburbia (1990)

por Hanif Kureishi

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MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2,689433,999 (3.64)135
Karim lives with his Mum and Dad in a suburb of south London and dreams of making his escape to the bright lights of the big city. But his father is no ordinary Dad, he is 'the buddha of suburbia', a strange and compelling figure whose powers of meditation hold a circle of would-be mystics spellbound with the fascinations of the East. Among his disciples is the glamorous and ambitious Eva, and when 'the buddha of suburbia' runs off with her to a crumbling flat in Barons Court, Karim's life becomes changed in ways that even he had never dreamed of . . .… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porRennie80, sharvani, emrsalgado, v_library, lanceparkin, GiovanyGracia
Bibliotecas LegadasGillian Rose, Juice Leskinen
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Inglês (39)  Espanhol (3)  Hebraico (1)  Todas as línguas (43)
Mostrando 1-5 de 43 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
An interesting story about a young man coming of age in 1970s suburban London - deals with issues of sexuality, class, and race. I enjoyed this book, but it seemed a bit fluffy somehow, even though it dealt with serious issues. Maybe I'll check out the TV miniseries version. ( )
  unsquare | Feb 16, 2021 |
This novel, published in 1990 but set in the 1970s, offers a view of life, love and growing up by Karim Amir, a mixed raced teenaged son of an Asian father and English mother living in Beckenham in the south east London suburbs (in the borough of Bromley, next door to my own borough of Bexley). Karim is a few years older than me, but I can identify with many of his (non-racial) cultural reference points as a fellow product of the 1970s suburbs. This is also of course, though, a novel about the naked racism faced by Asian and black people particularly severely at this time, when the National Front held frequent marches and in an era long before the Stephen Lawrence murder when the police frequently appeared to be, and no doubt in many cases actually were, indifferent to or even casually sceptical of the racist violence suffered by families like the Amirs: "The lives of Anwar and Jeeta and Jamila were pervaded by fear of violence. I'm sure it was something they thought about every day. Jeeta kept buckets of water around her bed in case the shop was firebombed in the night." This is not a heavy novel, though; Kureishi writes with a lightness of touch and a humour about the situations and the very rounded, realistic and believable characters. Their lives are complex - Karim's father leaves his mother and moves in with another white woman, Eva, while Karim's cousin Jamila is forced into marriage with a stranger from India after her father Anwar nearly kills himself on a hunger strike to bend her to his will. I found the first half of the novel in Beckenham very enjoyable, but when Karim grows up, moves to London and gets involved with the acting fraternity, my interest tended to wane; while still written very well, I didn't really care for any of these characters. Karim falls in and out of numerous sexual relationships with both women and men, but still feels somewhat of an outsider. After a brief sojourn with his acting circle in New York, he returns gratefully to London, where despite his problems, he feels much more at home. With its quintessential 70s setting in cultural and political terms, the novel ends with the watershed election of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government in 1979. A very good read and a superb recreation of a time and place. ( )
  john257hopper | Oct 11, 2020 |
I picked this one up because it came recommended to me as a novel of place - that place being London in the 1970s. Having recently traveled to London, I felt drawn to dive into a novel in which the story was inextricable from its London setting. This one is that and more. My full review is over here. ( )
  markflanagan | Jul 13, 2020 |
In the early 70's, South London, we meet teenager Karim, the son of an English mother and Indian father, Haroon, whom Karim nicknames both "God" and "Buddha of Suburbia" after Haroon begins leading groups of middle-class English suburbanites in his brand of living room Eastern mysticism. That the woman who is encouraging Haroon in the new career is also seducing him away from his family is obviously to Karim, who wants his family to survive but who also is entranced by both the woman and her handsome teenage son and wants to see what will unfold.
Over the next few years the reader follows Karim as he drops out of college, lies to his parents, gets brutally truthful at times, and has various crushes and encounters with both men and women, and makes good on his pronounced desire to be an actor. There's an awful lot of graphic sex, and some hilarious scenes, especially with Changez, a physically repulsive and lazy man who Karim's uncle was tricked into bringing over from Bombay to marry his daughter and help with the family business. That everyone else loathes Changez just makes him more interesting to the contrary Karim. ( )
  mstrust | Apr 23, 2020 |
Karim is a mixed race teenager, son to a Indian father who is working as a dull bureaucrat, and an English mother and living in the South London suburbs. His only aim is to escape to the bright lights of the city, not far geographically, but a place of opportunity and excitement. 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.

In the meantime his parents have split up. 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. 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. Terry who is Welsh, utterly working class and an avowed Trot and Eleanor with her upper middle class background and working class views who becomes his lover.

Rooted in 1970‘s suburbia, this is an bawldy, amusing and frank novel of a young lad reaching adolescence in the Seventies. It is full of the colours, sights and sounds of that era. Karim is neither English nor Indian and this makes it a pointed satire of the time, as he fits in neither camp. 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. Kureishi has written a novel that I mostly I liked, it was pretty graphic at times though. Two to two and half stars. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Hanif Kureishiautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Cotroneo, IvanTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Robben, BernhardÜbersetzerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Smith, ZadieContribuidorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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My name is Karim Amir, and I am an Englishman born and bred, almost.
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Karim lives with his Mum and Dad in a suburb of south London and dreams of making his escape to the bright lights of the big city. But his father is no ordinary Dad, he is 'the buddha of suburbia', a strange and compelling figure whose powers of meditation hold a circle of would-be mystics spellbound with the fascinations of the East. Among his disciples is the glamorous and ambitious Eva, and when 'the buddha of suburbia' runs off with her to a crumbling flat in Barons Court, Karim's life becomes changed in ways that even he had never dreamed of . . .

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