This isn`t tricksy, ironic, detached, dealing with huge important issues of race, gender class and `Art`, it`s an engaging, warm story which I see no reason can not be on the GCSE reading list for fifteen year olds, or whatever it is they have now in education. Reminiscent of the best novels told from a teenage point of view, `Kes`, or with a teen protagonist Roddy Doyle/Nick Hornby, it takes elements from his other works: the rock star character from `Buddah`, the sentimental education of `Black Album` and sprinkles it with magic realism to tell a charming tale which doesn`t outstay its welcome. The hero has, as a lot of Kureishi chracters do, an artistic talent,drawing, but this time it is deftly and unpretentiously dealt with. The kid`s father is one of Kureishi`s most successful characters; a musician who once played with someone famous and has been living off it ever since. The huge star he backed makes delightful appearances in some of the funnier sections. Although the female characters aren`t as deftly achieved, this novel is an excellent excavation of the relations between a father and son, which is fairly developing into a major theme in Kureishi`s work. Who would have thought with his sophisticated,bohemian,ironic style of earlier books that Kureshi would have developed into a more emotional version of the writer Nick Hornby would have liked to have been. Let`s start facing it, with Amis, Barnes, Self and Rushdie writing nothing about nothing, Kureshi is the most intriguing and talented writer we now have. Docked one star because the last twenty pages aren`t as brilliant as the rest, and the novel gets a little too `twee`. But a great fairy tale for modern kids with as usual excellent sense of place and time. It needed something gritty in there, some meat, but a success nonetheless. Also unlike other writers his work forms a body of work with motifs going all the way back to `Sammy and Rosie Got Laid` sprinkled through it all; it`s Kureishi`s usual characters moved on in years and from a new perspective.