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Brick Lane

Average Rating 3.5
( 59 )
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(16)

4 Star

(14)

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(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 December 11, 2007

    A year later...

    I read this entire book minus the last 20 pages approximately a year ago. It was probably the most dreadful thing to have lost the book completely when I was so engrossed in the plot... But after reading some of the other reviews, I felt the need to share my emotion and sentiments that I felt so strongly while reading this book that I still remember it a year later. The transformation that occurs in this book towards the ending was beautiful. The formation of the Bengal Tigers, the need for the community to come together, the debates and the social tension was so real. The conflict between identifying with your race and your religion and the country you were born in is true. This is the first book I have ever read that accurately portrays some of the many emotions that I felt as a South Asian Muslim Woman after Sept. 11th. And as a side note- a letter written in broken English from a woman who may not speak English and probably has little education does not detract from a plot line. It is more real than a letter written with perfect grammar.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2007

    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 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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Filled with humor and pathos, lifts the veils we all hide behind

    Filled with humor and pathos, lifts the veils we all hide behind.

    An unspoilt girl from the village, new bride Nazneen is brought to England to live in London’s tower blocks. She stares out now at a very different village, through windows soiled by grime. Her husband finds her “satisfactory” and no one asks what she thinks. Meanwhile Nazneen's sister has married for love back in India, and no one seems to care what she thinks or experiences either.

    Clipping nostril hair and corns for her spouse, cooking meals, learning to live with neighbors who each in their own very different way accommodate to a new world, Nazneen dreams of helping her sister and of staying true to herself. Meanwhile her husband dreams of riches and returning home in state, while he lives in unfulfilled failure.

    Under the skin, whether it be burned away by acid and fire or rendered transparent through the eyes of an author who sees what lies beneath, we’re all of us the same. Debates on Brick Lane as America’s towers fall aren’t so different from elsewhere in London, even if the debaters are mostly Muslim. Brick Lane’s defeats as drug money flows, Brick Lane’s lonely women at their sewing machines, and Brick Lane’s disaffected youth all come to life… The tattoo woman hides her skin under pictures till the weight is too great, and Nazneen hides her soul under images of Fate. When Nazneen finally wakes to a lover’s touch, will she be anything more than an unspoilt village girl after all these years?

    Filled with bitingly honest humor and searing pathos, Monica Ali’s Brick Lane describes not only the immigrant experience, but also the belated coming of age of individuals and society, the lies we hide behind like colored tattoos, and the many layers that make up truth. A long, powerful, enthralling novel with a pleasing strength in its ending, this is a tale of culture with as message of self-determination and a musical score that will keep you longing for more.



    Disclosure: I borrowed a copy from a friend during my visit to England.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Great

    Great

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2005

    A fascinating story

    Brick Lane is an amazing story of Nazneen, a Bangladeshi female immigrant who moved to a Bangladesh community in London as a young woman and wife of an old man. Through her, the author successfully captured the Bengali traditions and the clash their contradictions upon the Islamic religion. The misconceptions Bengalis and many other Islamic people have vis-à-vis their religion and culture incompatibilities is vividly portrayed in this book. Hindu practices, traditions and culture are intertwined with Islam to give it a different blend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2004

    Captivating!

    Brick Lane is a timely and captivating book. It's about two Muslim sisters. Nazneen, the main character, goes to London for a traditional, arranged marriage. Her sister, Hasina, stays in Bangladesh. Ali uses the sisters' lives to compare and contrast the different ways Muslim women are forced to live: The constraints are like an invisible burkah. Ali writes about 9/11 and its effect on Muslims. This broadens the reader and calls for compassion. Fiction can tell truth more than non-fiction, because it can get under your armor and make you feel empathy for people who live differently. During this post 9/11 period, when people are gripped by fear and judgment, war and terrorism, this is very important gift to embrace.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2004

    alive and breathing

    It is just inconceivable to me that the characters in Brick Lane are not living, breathing human beings out there, somewhere in the world. I can conjure up very vivid mental images of these charcters and by the end of the novel felt as though I knew them personally. What an interesting and elegantly simple story with colorful and unique characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2014

    Firework

    ME! IN THE STORY! NOW! :3

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2014

    Candy

    Great! Did l mention that l think Sanya should fall in love with a pony?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2014

    LEGO The Five Golden Brick Temples: Chapter 1

    A red Mixel walked alone, on his way to the Mines. Suddenly, a twig snapped, making the Infernite jump.<br>"Hello?" he called out. After a moment of silence, the Mixel shrugged, putting it off as mere imagination. Once again, the Infernite continued on his path. Suddenly, a white cloth with a sharp smell was pressed against his beak, causing muffled sc<_>reams. The last thing the Mixel saw before everything melted into darkness were cold yellow eyes.<p>***<p>Toxio was walking down the streets of Ninjago City, talking to her newfound friend (and warrior), Sonya.<br>"Did you catch the basketball game last night?"<br>"I did! I can't believe that the Canterlot Cougarsss beat the Ninjago Sssity Sssamuraisss! I wasss really hoping that the Sssamuraisss would make it the the finalsss!"<br>The two suddenly bumped into Berry Jelly, another friend of Toxio.<br>"BJ! How ya doing?" the Venomari said.<br>"Just made a delivery of apricot jam for Cole and I'm now heading to Mixels Land to deliver blueberry jelly for Krader!"<br>"May I come? I haven't ssseen Hoogi in a while!" Toxio hissed.<br>"I like to come, too. I've never seen Mixels Land, before," commented Sonya.<br>"Sure!" The trio then walked to Mixels Land.<p>***<p>The Serpentine, MiniFigure, and Earth Pony walked to the Mines, home of the Cragsters. Along the way, they found the said tribe looking for something.<br>After handing the buck-toothed leader of the Cragsters the blueberry jelly and being pa<_>id, Berry Jelly asked the Cragsters, "What are you are looking for?"<br>"We look for Flain. Flain say he go hang out with us, but he not at Mines," replied Krader. As if on cue, Flain appeared along the path from the river to the Cragsters' home.<br>"Hi Flain!" Seismo greeted.<br>His best friend blinked. "I'm sorry, do I know you?"<br>"You no remember me?" the cycloptic Mixel said, taken aback.<br>"I've never seen any of you in my life." With that, he walked away.<br>"That'sss ssstrange. Flain isss friendsss with you guysss, yet he doesssn't recognize you," Toxio hissed to the Cragsters.<br>"Maybe Flain joking?" Shuff suggested.<br>"I don't know anything about your friend, but he used too much of a serious tone to be kidding," Sonya said.<br>"I'm going to collect some coconapples to see if they work as a jelly," Berry Jelly stated, then trotted towards the river.<br>A few minutes later, Toxio said, "I'm gonna go sssee Hoo-" "Eruption" by Van Halen, the ringtone she used for BJ, suddenly came from her phone.<br>Toxio answered it. "'Ello?"<br>"You need to get over here, quickly!" said Berry on the other line.<br>"What happen!?"<br>"Just come over here!" Then BJ hung up.<br>"I'm going to sssee what's going on." Out of curiosity, Sonya and the Cragsters came as well.<p>***<p>Along the path, BJ was standing over an un<_>conscious body.<br>"Berry Jelly, what'sss going on?"<br>"I think that was a Changeling we met earlier."<br>"What are y-" Toxio stopped mid-sentence when she saw the un<_>conscious Mixel.<p>The Mixel was Flain.<p>((Flain: Knock me out? That's going easy on me?<p>Epicness: Hey, it's better than almost being ki<_>lled by Nixels!<br>Flain: ._.<br>Toxio: Ssso, what will happen next?<br>Epicness: You'll have to see next chapter!))

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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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 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 January 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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