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Anita and Me by [Syal, Meera]
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Anita and Me Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Product Description


‘Tom Sawyer meets Cider With Rosie en route to India via Wolverhampton. A wonderful book – treat yourself.’
Ben Elton

‘Funny, moving and packed full of wonderful surprises.’
Esther Freud

‘This is a funny, sad book. It made me long to be a kid again, yet grateful I’d grown up.’
Jo Brand

‘Anita and Me is full of pleasure. Syal is as skilful at rendering the saucy, ballsy backchat of the Tollington women as she is at describing Meena’s “uncles and aunties”, her parents’ Indian friends. The book is expertly structured and engagingly written, illuminated throughout by Meena’s ironical irreverance and robustness of spirit. I can give it no higher recommendation.’
Laura Tennant, Guardian

From the Publisher

Special edition of this bestselling classic, to tie in with the release of a major new film of Anita and Me. The film stars Sanjeev Bhaskar, Kathy Burke and Meera Syal herself.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 829 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (1 Nov. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,548 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When an author is already famous for being funny (in this case for BBC's Goodness Gracious Me) I'm always nervous that their books will try too hard to amuse and leave the reader disappointed. A classic example of that is Arabella Weir's one joke wonder 'Does My Bum Look Big in This?' This however is a very different kettle of chapattis - its a novel that happens to be quite funny rather than a shallow comic novel The story takes us to 60's Midlands, the time of Enoch Powell and his 'Rivers of Blood' speaches, a time of the unthinking racism that enables Meena's neighbours to name a dog 'Nigger' and talk about going 'Pakki Bashing' whilst always following it up with a 'we don't mean you, you're just like us'. Whilst the richness of her character's extended family (especially the marvellous magical grandmother) adds greatly to the experience of the book, her race is almost an irrelevance to the exploration of childhood friendships, the need to be 'in' with the right people, the abuse you can put up with for an appearance of being 'one of us' and the fleeting transience of pre-teen friendships. I had an 'Anita' when I was that age - they were the girls who spread the horror stories about sex and periods and stole your childish jewellery if you let them alone in your house. The village life of Tollington is full of surprises - one of my favourites is the war veteran who speaks Punjabi with her grandma and greets Meena with a cheery 'Namaste Chick'.
It's lovely. Stick with it through the rather slow beginning, try not to keep assessing whether she's really the right age for the action that's being described and enjoy this for what it is - a painfully honest but often funny tale of childhood.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anita and Me by Meera Syal is actually one of those books where I found out it existed by seeing the film adaptation first. I am sometimes a little weary of reading books after I've already seen the film because film adaptations tend to alter somewhat from the novels themselves and I enjoyed the film thoroughly and didn't want to end up being disappointed with it once I had finished the book.

It has actually been sat on my bookshelf for about three years, never seemingly managing to get around to it; there always seemed to be books I wanted to read more. I'm not that ashamed I left it so long to read, not because the book is bad in any way but at the moment I had the time to actually sit and enjoy the book and take my time with it.

The story of Meena is a funny, sad, addictive page turner that sings of Indian culture all with a Brummie accent. She's a girl that longs for fish fingers and chips rather than chapattis. At the beginning of the novel we find Meena longing to shed her `Indian' coloured skin and fit in with Anita, the blonde haired `wench' from next door. As we read on however, it is so inspiring to see Meena grow into herself, accept her roots and actually learn to love and appreciate just how different she is. It's a teenager's novel at heart, set in the 60's where working class men are laid off and women are verbally announcing their sexuality to the world.

Syal writes with so much wit and humour that it's hard not to fall in love with Meena's voice. She has the exact attitude that makes young adults so funny and unique, but just as quickly; Syal can turn the story on its head and evoke emotion from the reader. It is one of those few novels that includes it all. Love, anger, racism, community, sex, culture, religion are to name but a few.
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Format: Paperback
As someone that grew up in a small rural village in the countryside in the 70's and 80's, this book brings a lot of memories flooding back. Although not from an asian family, there were many comparisons to be made, as where we lived we were "different" to those around us at the time. This work is a masterpiece of playing on the readers childhood memories, our perceptions of things as they were when we were kids, and also tackles some serious issues surrounding racism, the clashes of cultures and how precarious childhood friendships really are....
Syal's incisive wit is very evident in this work, in a very amusing, laugh out loud on the tube manner, her hidden "comebacks" on things such as the name of some paint, how culturally bereft some people are and the odd in joke in Punjabi (thanks to my translating friends!) and oh yes the farting belching grandmother over from India really do make this work a very enjoyable read.........
To be honest, if books like this were being read in schools today, then the world would be a better place maybe? This is readable by people of any age to be honest....
An absolute must read.........Meera, if ya reading this, a sequal please?
As for other comments about the ending from other reviews, i personally believe once again its very apt......
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By A Customer on 25 Jun. 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a very amusing, accurate and clever insight into life as a child in the seventies. I feel that Meera Syal captures exactly how it felt to be an Indian family member in a predominantly white neighbourhood, yet still maintaining the fears, experiences and changes that many girls have to tackle as they approach adolescence. I read "Life is not all Ha Ha Hee Hee" and felt a totally different angle is needed to approach Anita and Me to appreciate the richness of the author's writing in both novels. Money well spent on this novel I think!
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