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Something to Tell You [Paperback]

Hanif Kureishi
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

25 Dec 2008
Jamal Khan, a psychoanalyst in his fifties living in London, is haunted by memories of his teens: his first love, Ajita; the exhilaration of sex, drugs and politics; and a brutal act of violence which changed his life for ever. As he and his best friend Henry attempt to make the sometimes painful, sometimes comic transition to their divorced middle age, balancing the conflicts of desire and dignity, Jamal's teenage traumas make a shocking return into his present life.

Frequently Bought Together

Something to Tell You + Intimacy + The Buddha of Suburbia
Price For All Three: 20.87

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  • Intimacy 5.59
  • The Buddha of Suburbia 6.29

Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (25 Dec 2008)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 0571238769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571238767
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 254,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'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


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

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Little to tell you. 7 Sep 2010
By M. Stevens VINE VOICE
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughed ...... a lot!! 22 May 2009
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
3.0 out of 5 stars A different Kureishi 27 Jan 2012
By steelo
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very big 'so what' 17 Mar 2009
I'm a big fan of Hanif Kureishi but you wonder with this book whether he's turning into a Prometheus of authors, forever bound to tell the same story about the same people over and over again - but slightly worse each time. With yet another book about the middle-class Indian experience in London, where does Kureishi go from here?

The dialogue is often awful and most of the characters irritating or unbelievable - a mix of the capital's low-lives and its luvvie media set.

I'm not sure if the reader is supposed to be impressed or disgusted by the book's social world of lunches at the Ivy, football with novelists and politicians and their sons in the park on Sunday morning, filthy sex clubs and criminals - not to mention the directionless ramblings about psychoanalysis. Either way, it leaves me totally cold.

I wish I'd re-read The Black Album or The Buddha of Suburbia instead. Or something by someone else!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Written from the heart
Intimacy is a very brave , honest and painful account from a male perspective , of a marriage break down.
Published 5 months ago by Keren Hazlehurst
3.0 out of 5 stars Physician, heal thyself - 3+
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,... Read more
Published on 26 Aug 2012 by Blue in Washington
1.0 out of 5 stars Shallow self-indulgence
I was not impressed by this book. In fact I found it irritating. It characterises a certain middle-aged, reasonably well-off, professional middle-class of social commentators... Read more
Published on 3 Jun 2012 by Random Reader
2.0 out of 5 stars Self Indulgent
I used to love Hanif Kureishi's books. He wrote smart, witty, thought provoking and funny dramas about real life that just sparkled with life. Read more
Published on 29 Jun 2010 by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book - Can read any time
Like reading this book whenever I'm in the mood. Lovely Read. Kureishi is a fantastic writer
Published on 24 Nov 2009
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious drivel.
This has to be one of the worst books I have ever read. The characters are all incredibly shallow, and if the world was completely like the one depicted in his novel then God help... Read more
Published on 3 Aug 2009 by Pen pal
1.0 out of 5 stars deeply disappointing excuse for shallow voyeurism
I found this to be a deeply disappointing book, full of excuses for voyeurism, good if you want a survey of the fetish scene, awful if you were influenced by William Boyd's glowing... Read more
Published on 4 Jun 2009 by M. Barnett
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating characters in a weird lifestyle
I enjoyed reading this book although it took quite a long time to read and I can't really explain what hooked me in. Read more
Published on 27 Feb 2009 by Janie U
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