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Thursday, November 7, 2013


I liked this book initially when I heard about the modern Britain background. I thought the mix of ethnicities will add such flavour to the book. I was disappointed once again with a book (happened to me last week as well). This is particularly heavy going for me. It is difficult to source books and then you get someone like Zadie Smith disappointing you. 

The stories told by Archie (failed marriage, suicidal) and a Bengali who is British to the core - Samad. Serving together in a war the pair are such unlikely comrades but they are. Archie then marries a Jamaican woman in her twenties Clara and Samad marries Alsana in a proposed marriage. Both produce children a girl in Archie's case and twin boys for Samad. 

There are two distinct worlds here - the one of the Archie Jones and the one of Samad Iqbal. Circuitous, different and at the same time similarities  - the chaos of different generations, race and social factors all rolled into one. I did not like any of the characters but maybe that should be superfluous to a review of the book. I just could not get into this one. They left me dissatisfiied and faintly annoyed.

On a non book note, thank you for the good wishes for the quick recovery of my husband. His is an illness which is taking a toll on him - because from being a very active man he is now confined to the house which does not sit well with him. We box on the best way we can. 


  1. My husband bought me this book for Christmas years ago, and I still haven't read it. For some reason I feel intimidated by it.

  2. My cousin recommended this to me highly, and when I read it I wasn't as impressed with it as she was. I am glad I am not the only one who felt that way!

    I hope your husband feels much better soon.

  3. I read one of Smith's books and felt the same way about it.

  4. I liked this one, but it is so hyped that I don't think it could ever live up to it.

    I hope your husband is feeling better soon!

  5. Mystica,

    I liked the book but would not have purchased it. It had some interesting info on French beauty products but once you have read a number of these books it did not say anything new.

  6. What a disappointment; sounds like it had great potential it just didn't live up to for you. Hope your husband is feeling better soon!