Saturday, 26 January 2013

(52 books: week 3) Pigeon English, Stephen Kelman & The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton

'Pigeon English' by Stephan Kelman + 'The Age of Innocence' by Edith Wharton

ZEE’S WEEK 3 READ: PIGEON ENGLISH, BY STEPHEN KELMAN  (BUY IT NOW

The first library read of the year is definitely not something I would usually read. I knew I had heard of the book somewhere before, but, couldn’t remember where. It was only when having a daily Facebook chat with Belle that she said it was the last book she gave up on. So that was good encouragement…

Harrison Opoku is 11 years old and has moved from Ghana to England, a big change for anybody. The book follows him adapting to life on a London council estate. I described this book to my mother as ‘gang culture seen through the eyes of an 11 year-old’ and yes it does sound pretty grim but I promise you it’s not. The book opens with the death of a friend, and Harrison and his friend Dean pledge to discover who did it. The naivety of Harrison makes this read really gripping and you just can’t put it down.

Also, the style of writing is interesting, as an 11 yr-old Harri’s mind flicks from one train of thought to another and it has no chapters, which is much like life really, running from one event to the next. I would recommend this book to all people, even if it doesn’t seem your usual type of read, it’s a really easy book to read and the mystery elements will also keep you interested. I felt myself really connecting with the characters and the climactic, shocking ending left me breathless and stunned... I really, truly wasn't expecting it.

RATING: 5/5
SIMILAR READS:
‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee- buy it here. 
Does my head look big in this?’ by Randa Abdel-Fattah- buy it here.  
Submarine’ by Joe Dunthorne- buy it here.

BELLE'S WEEK 3 READ: THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, BY EDITH WHARTON (BUY IT NOW)

The novel centres around Newland Archer and his impending marriage to a woman called May. Their marriage (like most novel-based marriages of that time) is threatened by the impact of a scandal, specifically a certain Countess Olenska. The title, despite many attempts to make it fit with the themes of the book, is actually an ironic comment at the true mechanisms of New York society- far from innocent.

The book had everything I needed for utter delight. I seem to revel in the scandal of posh people. Yet, it failed to truly impress me. The plot had some interesting tips and turns, but it just failed to truly grip me to the point that I wanted the book to just end as soon as possible. In fact, half way through the book I actually had to ask my friend what the main character's name was- it had bored me a little bit too much so. 

RATING: 2/5
SIMILAR READS:
'The Beautiful and the Damned' by F.S Fitzgerald- buy it here.

1 comment:

Anna. said...

Wow thanks, always looking for new books to put in my reading pile! Need to get pigeon english, sounds like i would really enjoy it :)

thatnorthernlass.blogpot.co.uk

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