Monday, 6 May 2013

Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman

I'd like to think i have some sense of humour. But after reading a few books with a variation of the following sentence on the sleeve: Funniest book ever" or "funniest book I have read in a long time ", but finding them not they funny at all, I'm in self doubt. My latest read, Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman has the following quotes on the cover: " Made me laugh and tremble all the way through" Emma Donoghue. "A gut-wrenching sad novel that makes you laugh out loud" the Guardian. I did not laugh out loud about this book. Pigeon english is, I agree with the Guardian on that one, gut-wrenching sad. It's written lightly and free, and I loved reading it. I totally fell for the maincharacter: a ten year old boy from Ghana, wearing cheap white sneakers and living in the housing estates of a London Suburb. He misses the colors and smells of Ghana, and misses Agnes, his baby sister, who's still there. The book gives you a little insight in the life of immigrants in the UK. But in a lighthearted way. There was a specific scene that stuck in my mind: Harri the main character doesn't not understand the sign next to playground that say' Say No to strangers'' Quote Book: " Me: 'What if they ask Where is the hospital? What if they need your help' Jordan: 'Don't be gay. They never need your help. They just want to take you away in a van and shag you up the arse, innit.' It felt very crazy. Nobody asked to sex me before. Most people just want your help. if I see a stranger I'll ask him first what he's looking for." It was little things like this that made me fall in love with the book, and with the main character. And I learned a new word: Hutious. I think it is hardcore London housing estate slang, so better not used by this white artist type from the dutch countryside.

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