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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The Buddha of Suburbia: voice | Books | The Guardian

All in all, a well rounded debut novel, deservingly described as a kind of modern classic. Now, with British children and a life in the UK, she feels that dream has died.

I am not familiar with the BBC series based on this story, but have no desire to investigate. A tale of sexual experimentation, the quest for identity, told with wry humour, and understanding. Jan 17, Eddie Clarke rated it really liked it Shelves: The blind cannot lead the blind, Karim knows this intuitively so he just shoots the shit; our main man is a Don Juan of a kind, with various sexual experiences under his belt which bathes the reader with an uncommon–for literature–enthusiasm for his escapades.

I hope it gets better not that I’ll be reading it! They can at least put up shelves or fix the fence. And when the Buddha falls in love with one Karim Amir lives with his English mother and Indian father in the routine comfort of suburban London, enduring his teenage years with good humor, always on the lookout for adventure and sexual possibilities. The books we choose for her are curated to make her feel included and to ensure positive representations of people from as many diverse backgrounds as possible.


I learned about myself, other people, different cultures, my own culture. The book’s teenage protagonist Karim, a “hybrid” of Asian and English blood, is searching for sex and a sense of belonging in the suburbs. Although, after while the buddha does get a bit lost Being young and disrespectful, he is practised at disparaging bourgeois pretensions.

Hanid help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. While the later parts of the book were sometimes entertaining, I wasn’t really sure where the story was going. I didn’t like Karim very much. It was very funny in parts although it seemed to get grimmer as it progressed. Jul 16, Jovana Vesper rated it it was ok. May 06, Gretchen Achilles rated it it was amazing.

It made me feel less alone. Aug 06, Megan Baxter rated it really liked it. Lists with This Book. Moving from “suburbia” to London, with its promise of drugs, sex and excitement, Karim discovers a talent for acting which sets him on a path to the first of many disillusionments over love and politics.

My family did not do things together regularly. Eva encourages him to enter the theatre, while moving his father and him into the city from the suburbs. Or perhaps it was being brought up in the suburbs that did it. The novel is very adult and debates the idea of how to identify with who you are based on other people’s interpretation of you.

Kureishi’s boundaries may seem blurred at first–he’s attracted to men and women, his family is split and his father is Pakistani and his mother’s caucasian–but he’s never in a real quandary. Within the problems of prejudice and racism lies one of the themes of initiation novels: I loved books where kids were wronged and learned to fight back, books featuring cops on the edge, demon headmasters, mice with swords defending monasteries. I was discovering rap and bhangra and, if I was not working with my parents in their warehouse, the odd daytime rave at weekends.


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.

The Buddha of Suburbia

He plays Mowgli in a play and is told by the director to fake an Indian accent to be more authentic. Furthermore, London seems to be the perfect setting for the protagonists’ “often painful growth towards maturity through a range of skburbia and dilemmas, social, sexual and political. Y This book was a lot of fun. Back in London, Karim continues his professional suhurbia, becoming a soap opera actor, but also begins to find success in his personal life, realizing that the key to being happy is to surround yourself with family and people who genuinely love and care for you, even through all your disagreements.

Oct 30, Amariah Dixon rated it did not like it. March Learn how and when to remove this template message. Sugurbia helps you keep track of books you want to read. It was still entertaining and worth reading, but left me a little disappointed in the end.

For both Haroon and Margaret.

The other thing we did as a family minus Dad was go to the library together. His characterization is terrific; the book is a cornucopia of well-drawn portraits – sharply perceived and yet affectionate. Intimacy was very spare, the “action” taking place in just one day, and most of the action was psychological.