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on 27 April 2004
Mr Kureishi's collection of stories opens with "The Body" in which theprotagonist, Adam, is an ageing professor of literature and writer. Hiswife Margot claims that men tend to get "particularly band-tempered,pompous and demanding" when they reach a certain age. Furthermore, one ofhis students nearly offends Adam when he states that he now looks anythinglike his picture on the back of his books. All this happens as Adam meetsone of his admirers, Ralph, at a party. Ralph explains to Adam that someold - and rich - people are now having their living brains removed andtransplanted into the bodies of young dead people. He assures him that theoperation has already been performed successfully hundreds of times, aswas the case on himself. Finally convinced by the numerous women eyeingRalph at the party, Adam decides to undergo the operation and selects froma broad variety of dead corpses at the clinic the body of an athletic andvery handsome young Italian footballer, settling for a "shot term bodyrental" of six months. The outcome of the operation is successful and sobegins for Adam - now Leo - a very surprising new life indeed.
MrKureishi's short stories are witty, incisive and funny. He is a keenobserver of the human condition and he treats subjects like love,parenthood and the problem of happiness very skilfully.
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on 3 January 2003
This is Kureishi on top form. I really felt, reading this book, that he has developed as a writer. His structure and syntax is faultless, and he has a confidence in his characters and their slightly surreal, absurd, mundane, fantastic and erotic circumstances that jumps off the page and grabs you.
I was pulled into his world and enjoyed reading all these pieces; I got the book for Christmas, had read it by Boxing Day, and reread it by New Year.
One thing I will say, although this is his finest prose, I believe the stories in his earlier two collections were finer constructions of fiction. But Kureishi's spare and honest writing brushes aside anything his peers have done in this last decade that he has been working as a fiction writer.
I prefer Kureishi's shorts to his novels and plays. They are valuable contemporary British literature.
Worth every penny.
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on 10 January 2006
This volume comprises the title story – a novella – and seven short stories. "The Body" is an intriguing exploration of issues surrounding ageing and identity: what if you could have a younger body for a while, or forever? By contrast, the short stories, exploring the lives of a variety of uniformly miserable characters, feel short either of ideas or entertainment. They have the feel of having been added on to make the book up to a respectable size.
Summary: if you like literary fiction, the main story is worth a look. But the rest is disappointing.
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on 28 December 2004
Hanif Kureishi's collection of stories make for an enriching afternoon- full of literary allusions, insightful social commentary and philosophical thought, Kureshi manages to say a lot as always, without being heavy or ponderous. These works leave you with much to mull over.
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on 14 October 2014
I received the item fast and it was as described in informationbox. Lovely
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on 4 April 2016
Thought provokingly brilliant!
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on 16 October 2015
great book
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