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fldsfslmn
23-08-2005, 04:15 AM
Nearly finished Kureishi's The Black Album. Summer of 2005 is a particularly good time to read this book, I think. What do people think of it and of Kureishi generally?

nomos
25-08-2005, 03:41 AM
The Black Ablum is brilliant I reckon. It sort of parallels Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing in the way the complex tensions between Shaheed's two worlds play out. None of the characters has a monopoly on virtue. I really liked the bits about being dragged to raves by his prof. The 'Strapper' character is interesting too in a proto-junglist/'new ethnicities' sort of way.

I'm also a fan of his other early work - The Buddha of Suburbia, Sammy and Rosie and My Beautiful Laundrette. I've been meaning to check out My Son the Fanatic. I'm not sure about his other recent work though.

owen
25-08-2005, 04:21 PM
I'm very fond of 'the buddha of suburbia', though there is something distinctly cosy about it

but 'love in a blue time' and 'midnight all day' are total rote london literati angst fare, sort of sub-chekhov wallowing, with occasional (and utterly disastrous) kafka tributes...the story/film 'my son the fanatic' is excellent however, and kind of timely...

jenks
31-08-2005, 04:19 PM
i found the self appointed 'writer of importance' mantle all a bit too much for me - buddha a bit twee - all chopper bikes and joss sticks ( liked the bowie soundtrack to the tv thing though) the stuff about his uncle trashing trains on the way to football unbelievable and frankly newsround in its level of analysis.
then the black album - again more over inflated tripe - as if rushdie had never written.
in fact if i am honest, the only thing i have liked is intimacy and that mainly for its forensic examination of being a total bastard, one of the few times that the word unflinching deserves to be used. however at the time it was suggested thta this was a barely concealed autobiography and if so would explain his ability to portray a totally selfish, self obsessed, self justifying (and any other self words you care to mention) wanker

nomos
01-09-2005, 01:10 AM
then the black album - again more over inflated tripe - as if rushdie had never written.
But the The Black Album had loads to do with the fact that Rushdie had written.

jenks
01-09-2005, 10:08 AM
yet was writtem in such an uninspiring manner - as if rushdie had never given life to the issues hanif then kills with his ham fisted prose. yeah it's all'about' the satnic verses conflagration but bears no relation to the subtle and sophosticated appraoch to british islam that rushdie had written about so well.
jobbing is a good adjective to describe the black album

intertonic
21-09-2005, 03:27 PM
Hi fldsfslmn and others

Just saw your thread on Kureishi and thought I would pitch in, it seems that responses to the thread so far were few and bare. I have read all his non-fiction, plays and novels and seen all that has been dramatised or written for television at least up to 1999.

On Hanif Kureshi-I think he (obviously) is of his generation and it is one that straddles mine and that of my parents. It is close to my older brothers and so therefore his work often has starkly identifiable elements to which I can empathise. However while I find it emotionally engaging, I find that intellectually it leaves me unmoved. At least he's a big Bowie fan.

On the Black Album-this in fact was the last thing I read of his, I did like some if the dramatic twists, and the very current time (the now of it) writing. I believe it is his 'best' novel alongside

Intimacy-Short like the Black Album, I enjoyed the departure from his usual 70's teenager Anglo Indian massala recipe.

On Buddha of Suburbia-I hated it, it was too familiar, but also too suburban for me to swallow. Too shallow, titillating, over-sexed and under-researched, over-autobiographical. Maybe you need to hear from someone from Harrow or Brent rather than a Hackney boy. The best thing was the inspiration it gave for Bowie to finally return to form with a couple of decent tracks for the television adaptation.

On his plays-London Kills Me and My beautiful launderette. And for television Sammy and Rosie and My Son the fanatic. I think if one wants to see Kureishi at his peak the above mentioned four are where his true talent shines. I think this is particularly so because they werenít based like Buddha and others in the decadent 70ís past, but try to maybe analyses of the current/ present. And they stand up in the pantheon of the best British novels, television dramas, films and plays i.e. Midnights Children, Boys from the black stuff, Kes and the Comedians. I wish he would concentrate more on this style and form of writing.

It is all in all clear that his work makes up in visual dramatics (hence the never-ending serials of adaptations to screen) where it falls in literary vigor. And that he is very sweet-and thought-provoking at times esp. in his short essays, his critical work on music I think is often brilliant.

But yes I (as this site has recently become obsessed with Vs.) prefer Salman Rushdie because he is not straddling generations but if a generation beyond me so I learn so much from the literary style and form and also receive an potted yet illustrated history lesson at the same time. But thatís enough from me.

I have read recently or currently reading: Lovely Bones, Star of the Sea, Life of Pi, Gordon Brown-Tom Bower, Cracking India- Bapsi Sidhwa - Point of Departure-Robin Cook, Alastair Campbell-by Peter Oborne, Catcher in the Rye-J D Salinger.

Be Well.
Intertonic

nomos
21-09-2005, 06:36 PM
prefer Salman Rushdie because he is not straddling generations but if a generation beyond me so I learn so much from the literary style and form and also receive an potted yet illustrated history lesson at the same time. But thatís enough from me.
Well put. I think, ultimately, I find more to latch onto and think through in Rushide than Kureishi. Still, Kureishi will always be a favourite for The Black Album, and the film adaptations of Laundrette and Sammy and Rosie which, and, to a lesser extent the TV version of Buddha. In the first three in particular I think he deserves recognition for, quite adeptly I think, capturing those periods and hashing through their 'empure strikes back' politics to a degree that few were attempting during that period.