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Psychoraag [Hardcover]

Suhayl Saadi
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 April 2004
Taking place during the six hours of a radio broadcast, this is the mythic, yet utterly modern tale of a raga-rock DJ who finds his and his family's ghosts catching up with him.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 438 pages
  • Publisher: Black and White Publishing; 1st edition (27 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845020103
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845020101
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 14.6 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 409,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Psychoraag is not just Midnight's Children-meets-Trainspotting because Saadi is more thoughtful than Welsh or Rushdie. -- The Sunday Herald

Suhayl Saadi is emerging as a unique and important voice in Scottish writing. -- The Herald

About the Author

Born in Yorkshire but an adopted Glaswegian of many years, Suhayl Saadi is a novelist, dramatist, poet and award-winning short-story writer. His collection of short stories, The Burning Mirror, received much critical acclaim -– with one story from it winning second prize in the Macallan/Scotland on Sunday Short Story Competition in 1999. In addition, The Burning Mirror was short-listed for the Saltire First Book Prize and was widely hailed as an eclectic masterpiece.

Suhayl Saadi has worked extensively on BBC Radio and with the British Council and the Scottish Arts Council and has performed readings of his work on the European mainland, in various cities of South Asia and in New York. A Millennium Commission Award winner, he also manages to find time to work as a physician in Glasgow.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Suhayl Saadi's considerable talent was already evident from his remarkable short story collection "The Burning Mirror", and his debut novel was always going to be interesting. Well, the unique, high-octane, Scots-Urdu hallucinatory intercontinental multigenerational epic that is Psychoraag is nothing if not interesting.
Zaf is a bright but directionless Glasgow-Asian lad who is working as a DJ on the Night Shift for Radio Chandni (well, what else do you do with a degree in Ethnology?), a local Asian station which only has a temporary broadcasting licence and is due to go permanently off-air at 6 a.m. As Zaf kicks off at midnight with what will be his last Message to the Nation, he has decided not to take any phone-in requests, but instead to play an extremely eclectic mixture of music from an extraordinary variety of times and cultures, which will be a sort of playlist of his life. This gives Saadi the chance to wander off on a stream-of-consciousness narrative which gradually reveals details of Zaf's past, along with the stories of his parents (who escaped Lahore for rainy Govan after an illicit love-affair, driving from Pakistan right across Europe in a clapped-out Ford Popular).
At the heart of the narrative is Zaf's relationship with his parents, and with his two very different girlfriends: the white biker-chick Galloway nurse named Babs, and the troubled Zilla who blames Zaf for her descent into a heroin habit funded by prostitution. Saadi pulls off the admirable trick of allowing both girls to remain well-rounded and sympathetic characters, while still effectively contrasting the two relationships to make some subtle but telling points about race and racism.
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3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars you'd have to be mad to read this... 16 April 2006
There is no heart to the narrative. Lots of ideas and soundbytes but no actual story. It's a complete waste of time.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Concept That Tries Too Hard 29 May 2012
By 20three - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading the first 100 pages of this novel about a DJ doing his last show on a pretty unpopular late night radio station. The novel eventually becomes scrambled and boring and I feel like the comparisons between Zaf's current and ex girlfriend are made hundreds of times throughout the novel and get old incredibly fast. Psychoraag is somewhat interesting for its concepts of identity and music (but don't except anything mainstream because according to the protagonist those songs are awful and only 30 minute, trippy, obscure Indian music is the only kind worth listening to). This book is an OK read but it can be difficult to relate to Zaf if you aren't multicultural and don't like his kind of music.
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Psychoraag and the geography of Glasgow 0 4 Sep 2007
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