'Charming, brilliant, affectionate and quietly impassioned ... it manages to be balanced, humane and life-affirming. I hope it sells out faster than cases of Chalky's "Coat de Roen"'. (Guardian 20050416)
'Tarquin Hall is right at the heart of what he writes about . . . Hall's new friends spring brilliantly to life off the page . . . it's hard to imagine a more moving or more telling record of lives on the edge' (Caroline Gascoigne, Sunday Times 20050417)
'Forthright and funny' (Daily Telegraph 20050416)
'I was absolutely riveted. It's funny, enlightening and very moving . . . I'm recommending it to all my friends just because it's such a good read.' (Kate Fox, author of Watching the English
'He has a fine ear for the myriad speech patterns of the East End's varied inhabitants.' (Daily Mail 20050422)
'Entertaining . . . Hall cannily plays the bewildered public schoolboy to a range of different characters . . . allows us to hear the wonderful patter of the East Enders' (Times Literary Supplement 20050701)
'Fascinating and funny' (Sunday Times 20050710)
'Such a light, playful book and yet with a compelling tow which takes you into the myriad realities of life in the East End of London.' (Yasmin Alibhai-Brown 20050225)
'A thought-provoking read . . . fascinating insights into fractured lives. And Hall's affectionate portrayals of eccentric acquaintances enhance this touching portrait no end'
'Tender and harrowing'
(The Times 20050326)
'He brings a sharp eye and a dry humour to his descriptions'
(Anthony Sattin, Sunday Times 20051127)
'A gem of a book that reveals a hidden world lying right on our doorstep. As the stories unfold, so does our appreciation for Tarquin Hall's acute eye and for the gentle power of his narrative'
(Saira Shah, writer and broadcaster 20051127)
'Salaam Brick Lane is a compelling journey of discovery by an outsider in his own city and offers an explicit glimpse of this quarter of London'
From the Publisher
SALAAM BRICK LANE provides a rare view of London's underbelly, providing an insight that no other contemporary account has achieved. Hall meets and befriends an extraordinary cast of characters and it his keen observation and sympathetic eye that makes the book such an enthralling read. Theres Mr. Ali, his freeloading slum landlord who runs a sweatshop in the basement; Sadiy, the cantankerous Jewish widow downstairs who hides a painful secret; the Afghan searching for his brother, lost on the journey from Pakistan; Chalky, an eel poacher who sells hooky gear in the Sunday market; Mrs. Abdul Haq, the estate agent's cloistered wide who is suddenly plunged into independence when her controlling husband drops dead; and Naziz, the former Bangladeshi gang member who has turned his back on crime and spends his days in the depths of the Whitechapel Library, once known to the East End Jews as the University of the Poor. As unlikely chast of characters as you ever likely to find -- all from very different backgrounds with no apparent connection to one another, but all neighbours living on or around the extraordinary street that is Brick Lane.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.