Customer Reviews for

Brick Lane

Average Rating 3.5
( 59 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(14)

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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  • 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 July 31, 2007

    A slow, boring, dreadful book

    This summer, I had to read Brick Lane for a school assignment. After reading the back of the book and seeing that it was critically acclaimed, I thought that it couldn't be too bad. However, I was wrong. First off, this book is poorly written. At times, it jumps all over the place and you can't even figure out what is going on. The book just plods along until you finally reach the end. Brick Lane is also very repetitive. It seems like the same exact events occur in every chapter! One of my biggest complaints were the letters written by the main character's sister. Because they were so poorly written and gramatically incorrect, the letters were almost impossible to read. I do not recommend Brick Lane to anyone. I enjoy reading and do not hate many books. However, this book was awful and at times I wanted to put it away forever.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2007

    Mixed Feelings

    The culture of this story is fascinating..but sometimes it's hard to find. As a book, it was a slow read but as a teaching instrument (of Bangladesh culture) it was good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2006

    Not What I Expected

    I was so looking forward to reading 'Brick Lane,' but was disappointed with the extremely slow pace. I had a very hard time getting into it and would not recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2006

    not worth the hype

    this novel took way too long to read ... and it wasn't worth the effort. as a bangladeshi i thought this work would be something worth praising and being proud of, but i felt far from wanting to praise this book. it was slow, it was dull, it didn't capture anything that i can remotely relate to as a second-generation bangladeshi-american ... and i've read far better works than this that have been able to capture the immigrant experience of bangladeshis. i also found the experiences of the two women to be far-fetched and not exemplary of the bengali experience. i also did not appreciate the usage of broken english because most bangladeshis speak english pretty well, and the broken english didn't even give any signs of being an actual direct translation of anything someone would say in bengali. i spent hours trying to figure out what was trying to be said in bengali that the english translation would look so disjointed and broken.

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2005

    not there yet

    Nice try, the objective of this novel was perhaps a bit beyond the author's ability. It was a great attempt but it failed and was long with characters who all felt the same, paragraphs that shouldn't exist, and a lot of added details which fail to support the 'climax.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2005

    Great read actually

    I read it from start to finish (without many breaks) and was disappointed to heve finished it as I enjoyed 'watching' the charaters develop and move on in their lives. The finale was great!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2005

    Nothing great

    This book was an ok read but nothing about it stood out and I basically completely forgot about it once i finished it. It was a bit too slow, and it got frustrating reading Hasina's letters in broken English. I didnt really care about any of the characters, and the only one i could slightly connect with was Shahanna, being a first generation migrant myself

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2005

    Disappointing

    Upon purchasing Brick Lane I was very eager on reading about a forgein culture since cultures have always been interesting to me. Sadly, Brick Lane does not have enough depth or impact in the plot. It seems that Monica Ali (The author) writes about anything that comes to her mind, similar to a journal, even it if does not have any reason to be part of the book. The book could easily have been half as long. Very Disappointing...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2004

    Ok story- excruciatingly slow

    I was anxious to read this book, and began it immeadiately. I finished it two days ago.....4 months later. Ali's intentions with this story are good- it's not a bad story, unfortunately the only character that is fully developed is Chanu- Nazneen's blubbering idiot of a husband. He is the only character that is completely developed. I found that at the end of the book he was the only one I had some inkling of feeling for. It took me four months to read this book because it just wasn't that interesting most of the time. The characters didn't call to me when I closed the book. My mind never ran across them while washing dishes or taking a walk. At some points (especially when Nazneen recalled stories of and told to her during her youth)it felt as if the author was saying, 'let me put all I can in this book whether it is pertinent information or not. I just want to get all of it out there'. You could literally skip entire chapters, and nothing much would have changed. I wouldn't buy this book, I would borrow it. It's a slow read- good to start in June and finish in September. Tuck it in your beach bag, and plod through it bit by bit. You may feel differently about it than I did. Happy reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2004

    Nice Read!

    Like most people have posted in their review, I myself was very anxious to read this book. At first you dont want to put it down but it then starts becoming a very very slow read... however, I really love the author's style. All in all, its a good book that attempts to point out the freedom that each woman deserves despite religion or culture.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2004

    Terribly Slow, Skips Around

    The book starts too slow, then skips around so that I often found myself confused. The author did a good job of portraying struggle Nazneen endured when dealing with her adultery. Unfortunately, I would not recommend this book to a friend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2004

    too slow

    It was okay. I was so bored though, sometimes I skipped a few pages and it was so repetitive, I understood exactly what was happening after skipping like 10-12 pages. Did not connect at all with the characters. Too Slow for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2004

    75% Bore, saved by the other 25%

    This book has received too much hype. The book drags on, and you find yourself skipping paragraphs only to realize that you didn't miss anything. Being a south asian immigrant myself, the last 25% of this book was a touching and very human recounting of lives. It may not be worth getting to the end though, if you like your novels to have tempo.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2004

    Not worth the read..

    I must rather say that I am quite disappointed. Being a child of immigrants, I thought that I would have some sort of deep connection with the characters in the book (by being able to understand their struggles, their dreams and cultural conflicts) - but it was very hard to get into this book. For starters, there was some letters from the main character's sister, Hasina, that were written in broken English. It was just difficult to follow through with the broken English letters. However, the story and the plot was excellently constructed but this was not enough to get the pages going. I don't think it has the 'hook' that I hoped it would have (or at least for me, because I'm hearing rave reviews everywhere else about this book and I don't see a reason to agree with them)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2003

    Excellent, Poetical deeply moving

    I bought this book and Jhumpa Lahiris 'The Name sake' yesterday and have finished reading both. Both books have lot in common as it is the story of Immigrants from the same part of the world in the UK and the US written by new authors both women. Monica Alis debut novel 'Brick Lane' is brilliant, moving and very poetical. Being an Immigrant coming from that part of the world I can feel the pain and understand the cultural conflicts. But It is portrayed not as a simple narration of the obvious as in 'The Name Sake'. It goes into the minds and dreams of Nasneen, Chanu, and Haseena.The vibrant, mystic, magical, and exotic childhood of Nasneen and Haseena in a Bangladeshi vilage. The life inside the estate of Brick Lane of Immigrants and second generation Bangladesis. All these characters are very original. This book also gives a glimpse of current Third World in a global economy and the plight of women in these countries. At the same time the book depicts the conflicts a Muslim faces in the post 9/11 world from the view of a not so 'worldly' Muslim Woman. But the book is about Nasneen and her dreams. One thing which I didnt like about the book is the end, which had a cliched Hollywood movie end. If the book ends were Chanu goes home and a few lines after that it would have been beautiful. Here you have Nasneen dancing to a Pop song and going ice skating in Sari. I guess the author wanted to show women empowerment. But that was obvious to the reader right when Nasneen sleeps with Karim or when refuses to leave to Bangladesh. Also Haseenas letters in broken English. That was difficult to read despite the fact that I am an Indian, and those letters were crucial for the story telling. But this is an author to watch out for. I loved it better than 'The name sake' which was shallow and 'The God of small things' which was pretentious though very poetical than Brick Lane. I saw the jacket of the British edition and it looked very artistic while the US edition which i bought resembled of a recent movie poster. I hope Monica Ali wins this years Booker prize.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2003

    Could not put down!

    Excellent fast-moving mixture of culture adaptation, women becoming successful against incredible odds and reality. The characters and situations are believable without seeming overly tragic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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