Customer Reviews for

Brick Lane

Average Rating 3.5
( 55 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(4)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

let's you live a different life ... from the comfort of your own

I'm only halfway through this book but I am completely engrossed and unlikely to be let down because ... Monica Ali is a wonderful writer. So far what I've read about Nazhneen and her sister, husband, children, neighbours, relatives, and prospective lover, makes me thi...
I'm only halfway through this book but I am completely engrossed and unlikely to be let down because ... Monica Ali is a wonderful writer. So far what I've read about Nazhneen and her sister, husband, children, neighbours, relatives, and prospective lover, makes me think that the news tells us what happens in the world, history tells us how events happened, but novels like Brick Lane can show us WHY human beings do what they do within the constraints of their circumstance, and this is the most illuminating for understanding and appreciating others.

posted by Anonymous on April 22, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

It was just ok

While the story had potential it lost my interest midway through.

posted by 8106052 on April 15, 2012

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  • Posted May 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The simple story ...

    This was the first book that I read by Ms. Ali and she instantly became one of my favorite authors. I love to read and learn about different cultures and countries. Ms. Ali did not let me down. From her descriptive prose, I have been able to create an image of Bangladesh (and later London) - one that feels very real, including the sights, smells, dusty roads, etc.. As the characters developed, we were given glimpses into Bangladeshi and Muslim beliefs along with the Bengali people. It presented a nice introduction for the sheltered American. The story was simple: girl enters into arranged marriage, leaves her family behind, becomes the submissive partner, realizes her own self worth and finally stands on her own. Unlike some readers, I found the book to be a quick and enjoyable read. I recommend to those interested in immigrant life and those wishing to expose themselves to different cultures.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The story of a different life

    For those of us who grew up as part of a Western society and have never known anything else, Brick Lane tells the story of a woman who must reconcile living in Western society with her own cultural beliefs. Nazneen is not representative of a whole country, as some have protested, but she is representative of women who come from an isolated area and who learn to live in a culture that is very different from the one in which they grew up. Brick Lane is a story not just of Nazneen, who comes to London from Bangladesh with her husband, but also that of her sister Hasina, who remains in Bangladesh. The contrast between the women's lives highlights the role of Fate in Nazneen's decision-making process; Hasina is defiant, choosing her own path through life, while Nazneen accepts changes in her life as part of the path chosen for her. As the novel progresses, Nazneen comes to challenge this belief and it is Nazneen's growth as a woman, wife, and mother that drives this novel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2008

    Author should have 'trimmed the fat'

    This book has a great story line. I enjoyed the way the characters developed and matured. I thought the author did an excellent job of sharing the lives of Bengali people, Muslims, and the immigrant experience. I disagree with the criticism that she made Bengali people 'look stupid', and I feel this is an extremely harsh and overly sensitive criticism. I was also not bothered by the fact that she chose to not have the letters written in standardized English. In fact, when you think about it, it makes sense. The sister clearly did not have a significant amount of formal education. I really enjoyed the plot, and I can understand why this book won a lot of awards. My criticism is that the book is too long. The author could have cut out a lot of unneccesary details. After awhile, I actually found myself skipping pages and speed reading. This book could have been cut by at least a quarter. The end of the book makes up for this flaw. I was very pleased with the character's growth and I feel she is an inspiration to all women. A part of womanhood is learning to find your voice, self realization, and learning to stand on your own. For this reason alone, I recommend this book so you can witness her journey. Good book, but it would have been great if the author had 'trimmed the fat'.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2009

    Interesting Story

    I read this for a book club. I found it to be an interesting story with a good perspective, told from the female protagonists point of view. I was able to put it down but always got drawn in again when I picked it up. Characters are well developed and the plot flows well...I thought it was intruiging and a good book club novel as it can spark a lot of conversation regarding arranged weddings, the submissive role of women in some cultures, etc.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2007

    A reviewer

    The book is well observed, full of wonderful imagery and vivid characterisations. It is very moving. It doesn't comdemn Bangladesh culture, it in fact shows a lot of the beauty of Bangladeshi beliefs and culture. At the end of the day it follows the lives of a few families. People who read the book know not to generalise to the whole of Bangladesh.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2005

    Unexpected Ending

    I can understand why some would feel this book was a failure or too long-winded. However, Nazneen's life is a long buildup to self-realization, which the story manages to be as well. I really felt something at the end. The letters from Hasina served an important purpose, but there didn't need to be nearly so many of them. This book brings understanding of backwards immigrants in strange countries, the birth of radicals from normal people, and that love comes in different shapes and sizes. I really enjoyed the time spent on this book.

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    Posted January 2, 2011

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    Posted August 2, 2009

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    Posted August 15, 2011

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    Posted January 27, 2009

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    Posted July 28, 2009

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    Posted September 2, 2010

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