'A compelling tale of a young man's shift from ordinary British tennager to Muslim Radical'
'[I was} Very impressed by it... remarkably good almost too good... linguistically extremely alive... it reminded my of Clockwork Orange' --Radio 4's Kevin Jackson
'A controversial book that takes us inside the mind of an ordinary man who decides his vocation is to become a jihad martyr... Imtiaz is vulnerable, angry, funny... the details of his life are entirely believable' --Marie Claire
'In impressive debuts of the year... Sunjeev Sahota... audaciously attempts to make us feel sympathy for a suicide bomber' --Observer - 'The Year Ahead'
'An eye-opening and, at times, uncomfortable read. Sahota's debut is engaging and thought-provoking, making it a good bet for the book club.' --Image Magazine
'Gripping...a pacey, unsettlingly sympathetic tale...a solid psychological thriller.' --Metro
`This is a sad, panicked story of physical, mental and moral decay. Imtiaz is not a villain or a monster, but nor is he exonerated; rather, he is a frustrating, lost boy frantically searching for something to attach himself to. What is most chilling, and most successful, is that it all seems so familiar, so close and so easy.' --Sunday Times
'The narrowness of Imtiaz's vision and lack of insight make this, although well written, a shockingly sad little book.' --Mirror Book of the Week
'a fresh and urgent take on a subject that, sadly, could not be more topical.' --New Internationalist
'Sunjeev Sahota conjures a . . . dizzying effect with his extraordinary debut novel. Ours are the Streets is a memoir of Imtiaz Raina and the accent in which the book is written is pure Sheffield. However, Imtiaz is no typical son of the city . . . What Sahota creates is not an exploration of the psyche of a suicide bomber, but an exploration of a man. Reminsicent of Hanif Kureishi's Intimacy, in which a man confesses infidelities to himself and his wife through his writings, Sahota brings to life a damaged young man who was so close to a life of utter normality. . . It would be easy to dismiss Imtiaz as a lunatic, were his voice not so familiar and written with such clarity in this highly impressive first novel that sets out not to offer answers, but to explore the mind of a man.' --Yorkshire Post
'That's not to say that young British writers aren't trying to tackle big "issues"; it's just that the canvas they use tends to be smaller . . . Sunjeev Sahota's gripping . . . debut is the story of a young British-Muslim from Sheffield who becomes a suicide bomber after his father's death. Inspired by the 7/7 bombers who attacked London in 2005, and written in the form of a confessional letter, the novel also foreshadows the case of Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, the Luton man who blew himself up in Stockholm in December. Sahota's treatment of his unlikely jihadi, Imtiaz, is convincing and sympathetic. The result is an intense psychological miniature. For all its geopolitical concerns, Sahota's debut remains an old-fashioned coming-of-age story, or Bildungsroman - which is traditionally what so many first novels, from Henry James's Roderick Hudson to Martin Amis's The Rachel Papers, have been.' --Financial Times
'Ours Are the Streets is both a thoughtful exploration of religious fundamentalism and a reflection on the cultural dilemmas faced by young Asians in today's Britain . . . The language that Sahota employs in Imtiaz's confession dovetails brilliantly with the themes of the novel, peppered as it is with bursts of South Yorkshire dialect and elements of Punjabi, Urdu, and pidgin English. Without overdoing any of these, he creates a linguistic mosaic that reflects the complex cultural issues that the book explores. It's the clash of cultures that lies at the heart of this deeply impressive debut.' --Waterstone's Books Quarterly
Imtiaz Raina, born in Sheffield, young father, young husband, son of loving parents, has decided to die. He has convinced himself that he believes in his cause. And before he leaves home for a final time, he wants to be sure his family understand why. So he decides to write for them, to leave his journey behind. Raw, funny, tender, furious, vulnerable, selfish, desperate, proud: this is his story. From the grey hills of Sheffield to the mountainous border of Afghanistan, it's a story about a longing for acceptance that becomes so extreme he will stop at nothing. It's a story about grief, about belonging, about being lost. It's the story behind the news story. A story for our times. I'm having to stop myself from reading back through what I've written. Keep myself going forward. Need to get to the end.