The Black Album

( 1 )

Overview

The second novel from one of the most celebrated voices in British fiction and film, The Black Album is an exhilarating multicultural coming-of-age tale featuring Shalid, a sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll-loving Pakistani student torn between a love affair with a gorgeous, free-spirited college professor and his desire to please his conservative Muslim community.

The second provocative, exhilarating novel from the author of The Buddha of Suburbia. Having put more ...

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Overview

The second novel from one of the most celebrated voices in British fiction and film, The Black Album is an exhilarating multicultural coming-of-age tale featuring Shalid, a sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll-loving Pakistani student torn between a love affair with a gorgeous, free-spirited college professor and his desire to please his conservative Muslim community.

The second provocative, exhilarating novel from the author of The Buddha of Suburbia. Having put more energy into sex and music as a teenager and less into his schoolwork, Shahid Hasan now is stuck at a lackluster community college in London, striving to please two incompatible camps--the conservative Muslims in the flat next door and a gorgeous, radical college lecturer.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Again cleverly mining the chaos and contradictions of multicultural, postmodern England, Kureishi (The Buddha of Suburbia) follows the turbulent social and spiritual education of an impressionable young Pakistani at an inferior London college, where he struggles with conflicting personal, familial and cultural allegiances. The year is 1989, and the publication of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses has caused an international controversy. Shahid Hasan has left his bourgeois family in Kent to study in the city. As he falls in with a group of crusading young Muslims whose charismatic leader lives next door, Shahid also becomes deeply involved-both intellectually and sexually-with his liberal, humanistic professor Deedee Osgood, who has assigned him a term paper on the rock icon then known as Prince. Irresolute to the point of spinelessness, Shahid allows his beliefs to vacillate until a violent confrontation erupts. Kureishi insightfully probes issues of faith and individualism against a memorable landscape of urban and academic upheaval. While Shahid's lack of conviction and personal loyalty make him a less than likable protagonist, there is ample fervor in the colorful supporting cast, and the author's wit and considerable narrative talents easily embroil the reader in the novel's unfolding drama. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Kureishi's first novel, The Buddha of Suburbia (LJ 3/15/90), won England's Whitbread Prize; he is also famous for writing the screenplay of the film My Beautiful Laundrette (Faber & Faber, 1986). This, his second novel, is a portrait of Shahid Hasan, a young Pakistani student torn between a love affair with his college professor, DeeDee Osgood, and his political work with Islamics fighting racism. Kureishi portrays a bleak, drug-infested world full of offbeat sexual encounters. But like the student he depicts, he asks many questions: Can anywhere really be home for an immigrant living between two cultures? Should friends share similar values? Does wisdom come from what we know, or what we don't know? But this makes the novel sound too planned, too arranged. Instead, it's a rollicking, cross-cultural look at modern London life: sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll seen through the eyes of a minority not sure of what path to follow. Recommended for most collections.-Doris Lynch, Bloomington P.L., Ind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684825403
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 10/29/1996
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Hanif  Kureishi

Hanif Kureishi won the prestigious Whitbread Prize for The Buddha of Suburbia and was twice nominated for Oscars for best original screenplay (My Beautiful Laundrette and Venus, which starred Peter O’Toole). In 2010 Kureishi received the prestigious PEN/Pinter Prize. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2000

    Going nowhere

    Kureishi began as playwright and you can see that in this book with its never ending presence of dialogue.This is a major problem I found with this book.The oft mentioned importance of the story with its ability to enchant and transfix is not something that in my opinion features at all. Add to that the stagnant nature of the book going nowhere . Our friend Shahid is surrounded on all sides by various forces that seek to shape him and he in turn seeks some enlightenment .We have the Muslims on one hand who try to show him their way of living and then we have the Deedee Osgoood , his love interest who is everything the muslims are not.Shahid is caught up in the middle of these forces .He is not strong and he just wants to enjoy himself , especially with Deedee Osgood . But he is not averse to the Muslim life.However in his attempt to appease, he fails and he has to choose but he doesn't want to and he doesn't.What he does do is not care and have intoxicating fun-with Deedee Osgood. It is a common feature of books nowadays to give the human experience and forget about some kind of plot in which the human experience may be reflected.It's a sad state of affairs because such books are depressing and only serve to say there is no purpose to human existence(Thank you ,Jean-Paul Sartre). Such books go nowhere. But I will not deny the human experience as expressed in this book , though it has no sauce to give it extra flavour. And to be fair ,it is a fair book that shows both sides.

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