Customer Review

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What can I say?, 1 Mar 2012
This review is from: Pigeon English (Paperback)
Well, I started to read this book because of its title. When I saw the title "Pigeon English" I was at first irritated because I thought the title was an ignorant misconception of Pidgin English. Then, I read the blurb and I realised that the title was probably a play on words, and that this might actually be a good book!

Hmm. Well. I didn't like it. My first gripe is the pigeon. I know many people have complained about it, and I feel that I have to add my own voice to the multitudes. Those bits in the book written from the bird's point of view were so boring and useless I just skipped over them. Ignoring the fact that the animal Harri's character bonds with is a pigeon (WHY???) these point-of-view bits are very badly written. Kelman could have done much better.

Next, the main character himself. I'm sure that an 11-year-old boy from Ghana couldn't be as naive as Harri is. How does he not know what a visa is? How does he believe half the lies his family and friends tell him? I'm sure I wasn't that gullible when I was his age! Also, I felt like the simplistic writing style didn't allow me to fully understand what was going on in the little sub-plots. For example, I was intrigued by Harri's aunt and his family back in Ghana, and I wanted to know more about them. Oh! His use of language. I get that he's Ghanaian and obviously, they have their own slang back there. So the repetition of words like "hutious" and "asweh" didn't annoy me, like they seemed to most people on here. But if you're not Ghanaian, it's difficult to understand some of the words he uses until you see them in context several times. And even then, there were still a few words/phrases that could escape comprehension.

Lastly, was the stupid ending. Harri had walked to school with his sister and his friend for extra protection, so why did he walk home by himself afterwards? What happened afterwards was just entirely predictable. Plus, the return of the pigeon in that scene didn't make it any easier to bear!

So, overall, I was disappointed with this book. Next time I'll go with my instinct and ignore any books with covers that irritate me on first sight.
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