Greetings from Bury Park: Race. Religion. Rock 'n' Roll Paperback – 16 Jun 2008
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'Beautiful and moving ... a book to make you believe that we are all more alike than we know' Tony Parsons 'While the book is about many things - the impact of multi-culturalism, a coming-of-age story and a Nick Hornby-style documentation of musical obsession - it is Manzoor's relationship with his father that lies at its heart' Independent 'Every detail rings so true that you feel you have been offered a seat in his living-room. Suffusing all this is Manzoor's warm, humane, unsensational voice: it makes you want to extend the hand of friendship to him' Sunday Telegraph 'A small wonder - the end result is genuinely moving rites-of-passage in which pop music plays an essential role' Mojo
About the Author
Sarfraz Manzoor is a writer, broadcaster and documentary maker. He has written and presented documentaries for BBC 2, Radio 4 and Radio 2. Prior to his broadcasting career, Sarfraz Manzoor was a deputy commissioning editor at Channel 4, and before that spent 5 years as producer and reporter on Channel 4 News. His written work as appeared in publications as diverse as the Guardian, Daily Mail, Marie Claire, the Independent, the Observer, Uncut, Spectator, Prospect and New Statesman.
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Top Customer Reviews
I will pass the book to my son - maybe it will explain some things to him.
And the Springsteen bits were very very good.
I completed this book in little over a night and felt somewhat sad to file it away in my bookcase. Would definitely recommend to anyone, particularly those whose parents came to the UK in the 60s and 70s, as we often forget how difficult life was for that generation and how easy, we, the second generation, have had it in comparison. It certainly allowed me to respect my parents' generation and relate to them on a whole new level.
Sarfraz - well done on such a fantastic piece of work. I look forward to many more literary masterpieces from you in the coming years.
The antidote to the trials and tribulations in Manzoor's home life arrives in the form of Bruce Springsteen and the enthusiasm with which he conveys this life changing discovery is inspiring to say the least. Springsteen's music acts as a healing balm, offering understanding and solace to a young man struggling to reconcile the expectations of his father with his ambitions. Islam and Springsteen may make an unlikely pairing, but Manzoor proves that, in his heart at least, they can sit alongside one another in harmony.
Manzoor's writing takes the reader on a journey that covers the entire emotional spectrum and leaves one feeling content in the knowledge that his battles, and indeed his father's battles before him to create a better life, were worth the pain and effort. Reading this book reminded me of my own relationship with my family and the journey that my parents have made from their homeland. It also made me feel less alone with my experience of being a second generation British Muslim.
This book won't only appeal to Muslims though. This is a story about growing up in an uninspiring English town, the complicated dynamics of family life, and the decisions and sacrifices one can make to influence the path that their life takes. Manzoor is certainly one home-grown Muslim we should be proud of.
Buy your copy now!
I completed this book in 2 nights and shared the story to some of my friends. I will pass it to them so they can enjoy it as well as I did.
Saf Manzoor is bravely honest about his family dynamics and his fears in making something of himself. Two things stand out for me, his humility and his ability to write his observations candidly. He has an eye for the 'not so obvious' that makes many of the anecdotes memorable. The book is a series or themes or essays that have their own beginning, middle and end which means there is overlapping of information (repetition) between chapters. He looks at Faith, Father/ Family, Marriage, the land of the Free...and the Boss to name a few.
I feel I understand Saf's experience (through his good, clear, simple writing) and this helps me to remove some stereotypes and a layer of prejudice that I shamefully may still have. His chapter on Bruce Springsteen was rewarding for me in that I thought I loved music and some artists in particular, but never to the obsessive stages that he took it. For his troubles and effort, I see he pushed his interest to the limits and learnt lots from it. I admire that in him, especially since his peers thought it strange. Forging a friendship with a mate for life and then introducing his sister to Bruce, shows that he did inspire others by being true to his love for Springsteen.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not a bad read....more of a personal story than novel...even makes Luton appear half cool!Published 16 months ago by Shahid Khalil
This is a really good book, for anyone who is interested in multiculturalism.Published 23 months ago by Ms. J. Sinclair Loutit
Fantastic book (bought second hand in mint condition). Love this writer almost as much as Bruce Springsteen, which is no mean feat.Published on 26 Aug. 2013 by rollo
I had seen this writer speak at the Hay Festival and was inspired to read his book. It was a fascinating insight into his life and influences.Published on 29 Jun. 2013 by stephanies40
I found this an enjoyable read - especially if you like Bruce Springsteen! Well written, amusing and poignant in parts.Published on 11 May 2013 by A E WILSON
loved this book as simply explains exactly how people in the area reside. My knowing the area made it interesting.Published on 9 Mar. 2013 by murie allsop
I love books like this so when I read the blurb I had to buy it. It was just ok. I wasn't moved, I wasn't awed and I wasn't inspired and I couldn't wait to finish it. Read morePublished on 17 Dec. 2012 by Debumere
Having lived in an area close to Bury Park, I was interested how it would be portrayed in the book. I was a little disappointed that apart from the reference to the Father wanting... Read morePublished on 27 Jan. 2011 by jonesy