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Something to Tell You Paperback – 25 Dec 2008

22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (25 Dec. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571238769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571238767
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 3.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 153,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'An entertaining series of glimpses of London's demi-monde, from the late seventies to the present day.' -- The Times

'Engaging ... there's more than enough incident and insight to keep things interesting.'
-- Guardian

'Teeming with unusual characters, acute observations of life in London and insights into the complexities of sex, families and middle age.' -- Sunday Telegraph

Review

'An entertaining series of glimpses of London's demi-monde, from the late seventies to the present day.'

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Stevens VINE VOICE on 7 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having loved most of Kureishi's other books, I anticpated oh so much more. It's not rubbish, but not brilliant either (I managed to pick it up and read in large chunks, but am unsure whether that's because I was desparate to know what happens, or desparate to finish and get on with something else); the latter probably wins.

The story follows 50(ish) Jamal as he looks back over life, and the devestating events by which he lost his first love. All of the characters come across as shallow, living for nothing more than kinky sex and drugs. After the revelation of what Jamal has to tell us, there is little more to the story, and even that is predicatable, with clues given up to this point, which is less than halfway through the novel.

I personally found both Miriam (Jamal's sister) and her beau Henry particualrly irritating.... roll overs from the 80s "luvvies" who still live in the manner that decade imposed on them.

One for Kureishi comppletists; if you are new to his writing, please, I implore you, read The Buddha of Suburbia, which you will find infinetly more rewarding!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Linda Daley on 22 May 2009
Format: Paperback
Well Iloved it; every word. It was funny and the self-depricating middle age stuff I can completely relate to being 55. It may not be a life style we all relate to but so what, that's true of so much fiction. I loved the way he held the tension all the way through about the 'murder. I thought the descriptions of his sister and her struggles showed a lot of insight of someone struggling with so many conflicts, likewise Bushy and Wolf. He could have made the whole thing utterly tragic but instead he just stepped back and showed how ridiculous life can be. Since reading Intimacy I've always admired HK's ability to show his own vulnerability, to laugh and often sneer at himself. He shows an insight into the male psyche that many women abhor and want to deny, so the temptation is just to pathologise him. As a parent watching the developing relationship with Rafi is very poignant and also in this age of so many separated couples and kids wanting their parents back together I thought it captured a lot of what couples go through even if it's not their life style.
I have found it compelling reading and urge you not to be put off by all the 'disappointeds'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Neil Russell-Bates on 20 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well, our all-male book club, me included, got drawn in by the cover jokily depicting scenes form the Kama Sutra while critics praised it and just inside the cover we were reminded that this same author had delighted us with My Beautiful Laundrette and Buddha of Suburbia...we really should know better. Tempted by a little light relief and gratuitous sex we were instead treated to pretentious drivel written in the first person that casts grave doubt in my mind on this author's view of himself.

The plot was thin and lacked credibility, the dialogue was clunky, and this book should definitely have had a nomination for the Literary review's annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award with lines like "When I did eventually come - it was hard work: I felt as if I'd shoved a heavy train through a long tunnel". I have never highlighted so many passages in a book on my Kindle before because I was struck by how bad they were.

I read a review which suggested Kureishi had skillfully built the tension about the murder. Well, I was obviously reading a different book because no such feat was pulled off in the book I was reading and at the end this supposed tension was left to just implode into nothing. Woe betide that the central character should carry any blame or fault. When male authors write in the first person and their characters are seemingly irresistible to women, blameless in everything even though they have done dodgy things, successful, intellectual, handsome etc. am I only one who suspects a bit of projection is going on? Stieg Larsson got away with it because his characters are so fascinating and the plot is enthralling, Kureishi cannot.

So glad to have finished this book and be able to move on to something else.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By steelo on 27 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover
having loved the Buddha of Suburbia by the same author, I was curious to see what he had to tell me in this book....but after barely managing to read I have to say that his attempt at writing about something other than the hybrid identity of Indian/Pakistani individuals in England has led to a flop in my eyes.

Sure, if I hadn't read his first book I would have been less harsh in my criticism, and my expectations would have been lower, but his characters, especially that of the narrator's sister, Miriam, are just so unbelievable and so farfetched in their decadence that I found it hard even to laugh at several parts in which his observations were definitely accurate and to the point.

The idea of a psychoanalyst talking about his secrets is compelling, but for some reason the book felt like Hanif Kuerishi was trying to play a part he always wanted, but didn't fit in.
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By Blue in Washington TOP 500 REVIEWERTOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
Jamal Khan, the central figure and narrator, of Hanif Kureishi's colorful and highly literate new novel, "Something to Tell You," leads a cast of the most interesting, if neurotic, self-indulgent, self-pitying characters in recent serious fiction.

The novel is based on the recollections of the middle-aged Khan, an Anglo-Indian psychoanalyst, of his life as a quiet, rather confused son of an Indian Muslim father and middle-class English mother and the brother of a neo-hippy, earth-mother sister. He eventually finds professional solace and success as a shrink to some of London's most prominent and least prominent mentally-challenged citizens. While his professional life is stellar, Dr. Khan's personal life has frequently been a sex-driven shambles.

Largely driven by a "busy Id", he seriously louses up the great passion of his life and eventually loses a wife that he once was obsessed with. His one constant, unwavering love is the one that he jealously guards for his twelve-year old son, Rafi.

The story is ultimately an agonizing--for the protagonist, Khan--attempt to find some balance between sex and love in a life littered with obsessions, dysfunctional family relationships, professional success and A-list recognition, and personal failure. This is equally the story of arrested-development, excess and lack of personal restraint. Not surprisingly, these are exactly the qualities that make this novel wildly interesting, hilarious and even lovable. Reading the book is roughly akin to watching several simultaneous trainwrecks in progress at different times stretching from the early 1960s to 2005 when major-league terrorism visited Britiain again.

This is a great read, with wonderful use of language, marvelous characters and non-linear story-telling.
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