The Buddha of Suburbia

Hanif Kureishi, Author
Hanif Kureishi, Author Viking Books $18.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-670-83342-9
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
Midway through the first page of this delectable first novel by screenwriter Kureishi ( My Beautiful Laundrette ; Sammy and Rosie Get Laid ), the 17-year-old narrator--``My name is Karim Amir, and I am an Englishman born and bred, almost''--observes that the plodding existence he has shared with his Indian father and English mother is about to undergo a disorienting change. The catalyst is the father, a civil servant and self-proclaimed guru whose falling in love with one of his followers precipitates events that propel his restless son out of the suburbs and into the fast lane. Karim relates these developments in a series of erotically charged episodes no less charming for their undercurrent of desperation. Though continually yanked about among disparate cultures, classes, colors, even genders--``I felt it would be heartbreaking to have to choose one or the other, like having to decide between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones''--Karim never loses his capacity for affectionate mockery. Resembling a modern-day Tom Jones , this is an astonishing book, full of intelligence and elan. 25,000 first printing; first serial to Mother Jones; QPB alternate;author tour. (May)
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