Wednesday, 21 June 2006

Londonstani

The blurb says the book "exposes a city where young Asians struggle with white boys to assert their own, singular brands of Britishness" but it's really about machismo among (largely) young British Asians. It gets an enthusiastic review from a 17-year old on Amazon.co.uk, but personally I agree with Sugarhill.

I found the book hugely irritating to read, written as it is in a combination of text-messaging (b, 2, u, ur..) fonetik spelling (fone, da/dis/dat/dem/dey/dose, wid, somefink - more often someshit - in't, din't, "an" for and, "a" for "of", as in "all a us", "any a it"...) and gangsta/desi/British Asian slang , e.g. ho, blud, bruv, wikid, innit, bhanchod. Nor is the story worth the irritation, because a twist at the end seems to me to make the whole premise of the book unbelievable.

However, there are some nice shifts in register, as in "(Bollywood) films'll always tell you that same shit: that you shouldn't get all hung up about your pride an izzat and that.." (izzat = honour); then from an English teacher "Bollywood offers all kinds of important insights into the tragic dysfunctionalities of sociocultural structures when people confuse the concept of pride with the concept of honour." And it is at least different. So, "respect" to
Gautam Malkani for writing it.

3 Comments:

At 21/6/06 11:50, Blogger boo said...

i love bollywood films dey :p

 
At 21/6/06 12:47, Blogger Mridula said...

My eyes hurt at at spellings you have put in the post! I don't think I will read this one.

 
At 21/6/06 14:06, Blogger Stu said...

I'm with mridula - I'm not sure I could cope.

 

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