Start reading Pigeon English on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Add Audible Narration
Pigeon English (Unabridged) Narrated by Bahni Turpin £14.99 £2.99
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available
 

Pigeon English [Kindle Edition]

Stephen Kelman
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £5.99
Kindle Price: £5.69 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £0.30 (5%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Audible Narration

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of £2.99 after you buy the Kindle book.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £5.69  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £5.99  
Audio Download, Unabridged £0.00 Free with Audible trial
Book Awards
An Award-Nominated Book
From the Man Booker to the Pulitzer Price, check out the full selection of award nominees and winners in Book Awards.

Book Description

Eleven-year-old Harrison Opoku, the second best runner in Year 7, races through his new life in England with his personalised trainers - the Adidas stripes drawn on with marker pen - blissfully unaware of the very real threat around him. Newly-arrived from Ghana with his mother and older sister Lydia, Harri absorbs the many strange elements of city life, from the bewildering array of Haribo sweets, to the frightening, fascinating gang of older boys from his school. But his life is changed forever when one of his friends is murdered. As the victim's nearly new football boots hang in tribute on railings behind fluorescent tape and a police appeal draws only silence, Harri decides to act, unwittingly endangering the fragile web his mother has spun around her family to keep them safe.

From Autumn 2015, Stephen Kelman's deeply funny, moving idiosyncratic and unforgettable novel will be an AQA GCSE English Literature set text.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Page of Start over
This shopping feature will continue to load items. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading.

Product Description

Review

'Simultaneously accurate and fantastical, this boy's love letter to the world made me laugh and tremble all the way through. Pigeon English is a triumph' Emma Donoghue, author of Room Pigeon English is a book to fall in love with: a funny book, a true book, a shattering book Erica Wagner, The Times Stephen Kelman's [first novel] has a powerful story, a pacy plot and engaging characters. It paints a vivid portrait with honesty, sympathy and wit, of a much neglected milieu, and it addresses urgent social questions. It is horrifying, tender and funny ... Brilliant Daily Telegraph The humour, the resilience, the sheer ebullience of its narrator - a hero for our times - should ensure the book becomes, deservedly, a classic Daily Mail

Review

'Simultaneously accurate and fantastical, this boy's love letter to the world made me laugh and tremble all the way through. Pigeon English is a triumph' Emma Donoghue, author of Room 'Pigeon English is a book to fall in love with: a funny book, a true book, a shattering book' Erica Wagner, The Times 'Stephen Kelman's [first novel] has a powerful story, a pacy plot and engaging characters. It paints a vivid portrait with honesty, sympathy and wit, of a much neglected milieu, and it addresses urgent social questions. It is horrifying, tender and funny ... Brilliant' Daily Telegraph 'The humour, the resilience, the sheer ebullience of its narrator - a hero for our times - should ensure the book becomes, deservedly, a classic' Daily Mail

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 919 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (7 Mar. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004LB4FAA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • : Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,618 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A peak into an all too common world in Britain 9 July 2011
By Janie U VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Harrison is a little boy from Ghana who has come to London with his mother and sister for a better life and finds himself living in a tower block on a rough estate. A boy has been stabbed to death and, with his friend, Harrison decides to investigate.
Through Harrison's eyes we explore the estate and the people who live there. He is surrounded by some truly horrible people and describes them in a way that is unencumbered by social prejudice. The language used has elements of childlike words combined with familiar adult phrases used in slightly incorrect context. Combined with the slang of Ghana, the language is fascinating and is a large part of making the book so interesting.
The plot is not a key element in the book, it is more about social commentary.
The innocent child's view of British society is quite bleak and this is well explored - eg "In England nobody helps you when you fall over, they can't tell if you're serious or if it's just a trick."
Beautifully touching!!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
102 of 108 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
There is an underlying issue with `reviewing' a novel like `Pigeon English' and daring to critique it. It almost makes you wonder should you dare to because the subject matter is a delicate one, in the main it seems that Stephen Kelman took the story of school boy Damiloa Taylor's death and wrote a fictional response about/to it. `Pigeon English is told by eleven year old Harrison Opuku, a young man who is also an immigrant from Ghana now living on one of the tower block council estates in London. This is an area of street gangs, poverty and violence; in fact the novel opens with the death of a school boy who Harrison sort of knew.

Writing in a child's narrative has become something of trend in modern contemporary writing, long before `Room' we had `What Was Lost' (and indeed the theme of child detective comes up in this book as Harrison and his best friend decide to hunt the killer), it is also a hard act to balance when on a tough subject. Can you hold the reader's belief? Does the narrative ring true? Does the simplicity of the voice dilute the events that are happening? Sadly, for me at least, whilst I loved Harrison's view on life, which often made me laugh out loud, it took away the impact of the novel. When you are spending time in the company of this lively witty young man you are also left missing a lot. I never felt I got to know any of the other characters deeply, the other school kids like X-Fire (pronounced Cross Fire) or Killa became almost like cartoon caricatures, his sister and mother has no real back story other than one being the matriarch and the other a bit of a pain. I also felt like there was a whole back story in Ghana I simply didn't know enough about.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking ! 8 Aug. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Although the story centres around the murder of a young boy outside a chicken takeaway shop, it is really Harri's observations of this strange place that he has come to live in. He finds the language strange - lots of words mean the same thing. If something is 'gay' then it means it is stupid, and why are there so many ways of saying that you are going to the toilet? Harri is a typical eleven-year old; fascinated and curious, daring and innocent. He decides that he must solve the murder case and soon he is out with binoculars, interviewing suspects and trying to get some fingerprints.
There is an air of menace about the story, Harri and his friends are growing up in a violent environment - they play 'suicide bombers' at school, they 'chook' each other with compasses. Harri however, doesn't seem to understand just how threatening a situation he is getting himself.
Harri is an endearing, quite authentic character and Kelman has captured the innocence and curiosity of a small boy very well. It's a fascinating look at the world of inner-city gangs with characters who appear real.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is bo-styles (as Harri would say) 4 Oct. 2012
Format:Paperback
Harri Opoku is in Year 7 at school. He likes football, Adidas trainers, superheroes, and telling stories to his baby sister Agnes. He lives with his mum and older sister Lydia on a council estate in London, where they have recently moved from Ghana. The story begins when a local boy is murdered outside Chicken Joe's takeaway... and the police don't seem to have any leads. Harri decided that this is simply not on, so he and his friend Dean (who is surprisingly talented despite having ginger hair) decide to look for clues themselves.

I've wanted to read this book since it was shortlisted for both the Man Booker Prize and Guardian First Book Award in 2011, but it's only now that Bloomsbury have released it for young adults, with an amazing, blarey new cover, that I have. I'm so glad that I did, and very pleased that it is being promoted as YA, because it is quite simply brilliant.

Harri's voice is like a beam of sunshine coming of the page; he's sweet, energetic and unintentionally hilarious in his naivety. Kelman's writing is outstanding, from Harri's second-hand English scattered with street slang (which he sometimes gets wrong) to his perfect ear for dialogue between the teenage boys or Harri bantering with Lydia. The world of gangs, council flats, knife crime and girls is completely new to Harri, so it is incredibly refreshing and interesting to see it through his eyes. The dark undertones are balanced by Harri's cheery demeanour, but the book still manages to look deeply and unflinchingly at the violence (there is a 'Parental Advisory warning logo on the back, which amused me - this is not a PG-rated version of things at all), and it's easy to see how even someone like Harri can slowly become irretrievably tangled up in it.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The pigeon is the only false note in this powerful debut
A debut novel shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize and based on the 2000 murder of Damilola Taylor was always going to be difficult to review objectively. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Dr R
3.0 out of 5 stars Captivating
A book about an 11 year old ... But a commentary on a dark world from the eyes of a different culture
Published 1 month ago by a random reviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Devastating, often funny, unforgettable..
This book is fantastic. Often very funny and yet at times deeply moving, surreal and thought provoking. Especially the harrowing, unexpected climax that had me an emotional wreck! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sam The Man
5.0 out of 5 stars Life of a newly arrived boy from Ghana
Stephen Kelman manages to get inside the thought processes of a young boy who is trying to fit in to a society which is very different to the one he is used to.
Published 1 month ago by Brenda Pennington
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant!
Fresh, joyful, surprising and heartbreaking.
Published 1 month ago by MRSCEG
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A fun read!
Published 2 months ago by JennyK
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time on this.
I found this patronising, reinforcing stereotypes, miserable, badly written with the awful faux naivety of the narrator and the silly pigeon motif.
Published 3 months ago by Ms D A Moran
4.0 out of 5 stars great book
4 out of 5 stars. Easy reading but thought provoking story. Life on an inner city estate from another point of view. Read for book club. Discussion should be interesting.
Published 3 months ago by book club member
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile read
I Loved this book and found it hard to put down. I have never read a book like this before or anything in this genre so I have nothing to compare it to. Read more
Published 4 months ago by pathfinder
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. Marie A. Hancocvk
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category