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My Revolutions

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  1,158 Ratings  ·  177 Reviews
Critics have compared him to Martin Amis, Zadie Smith, Tom Wolfe, and Don DeLillo. Granta dubbed him “one of the twenty best fiction writers under forty.” Now Hari Kunzru delivers his “finest novel yet . . . bringing to the angry activism of the young in the late sixties all the suspense of a spy thriller.” (Lisa Appignanesi, author of Unholy Loves)

Chris Carver is living
...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published January 24th 2008 by Dutton Adult (first published 2007)
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Janet
Nov 16, 2013 Janet rated it it was amazing
An exceptionally exciting and well-written novel about the radical seventies, the novel begins with a man quietly living as middle-class husband and father, when his past intrudes into the carefully-crafted, quiet life he has constructed for himself in the boosterish post-Thatcher England of the late 90s. Kunzru just hits it out of the park. This novel would be a good companion in many ways to Rachel Kushner's The Flamethrowers, though the politics here are front and center, attentively and care ...more
Nigeyb
Jan 29, 2016 Nigeyb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An incredible achievement, brilliantly written, skilful, subtle, well researched, very evocative of the era, and compelling

In October 2015, I was casting about for a book about revolutionary terrorists operating in the 1970s, and in particular the Angry Brigade. I know, I know. Welcome to my world. Anyway, my research suggested that "Strange Days Indeed: The Golden Age Of Paranoia" by Francis Wheen might be just the ticket, and so it proved to be. Click here to read my review of "Strange Days In
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Stephanie
Mar 03, 2008 Stephanie rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie
Dec 28, 2008 Katie rated it it was ok
Bleak. Usually I can still like, and sometimes love, books where there are no sympathetic characters (see "The Confederacy of Dunces") but I really disliked everyone in this book and I couldn't get past it. I couldn't dredge up the slightest care about what happened to anybody, and that doesn't make for good reading.
Dale
May 29, 2008 Dale rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Chris Carver was a member of a radical left-wing group in London in the late 60s to early 70s. He fled the country and eventually returned to England under the assumed name of Michael Frame. Now married and with an adopted daughter, his life begins to fall apart when he sees a member of his old cell in a small town in France.

In the world of My Revolutions, Carver became radicalized primarily as an act of rebellion against his emotionally abusive father. Carver doesn't have a coherent world-view;
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Gerund
Mar 12, 2009 Gerund rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
FOR the generation that came of age in the 1960s, youth will always be associated with rebellion -- not just the kind where you are rude to your parents, but the kind that involved organised protests, acts of civil disobedience, and in some cases even a home-made bomb or two.

Meet Mike Frame. To his long-time partner Miranda and step-daugher Sam, he is just a washed-up former hippie who now works part-time at a bookstore in their sleepy coastal town. However, as he nears what his passport says is
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Ciara
Sep 23, 2008 Ciara rated it liked it
Recommends it for: soppy immature boys, 1968 fanatics, european radical history surveyists, political fugitives
i bought this right after i read the company you keep for the second time. i was thirsting for another sixtie fugitive-on-the-lam, having-to-come-clean-to-his-family story. & lo & behold, there sat my revolutions on the remainders table, for only like $5! so i bought it & it satisfied my jones because it's about a dude who was a radical in ye olden times of the late 60s/early 70s, got mixed up with some incedniary bombers & such forth, & changed his identity after a political ...more
Owen
Sep 18, 2012 Owen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Really well done and satisfying tale of Michael Frame, whose past as radical terrorist Chris Carver is about to be exposed. In present tense he tells of his hasty flight from his comfortable middle-class existence (as househusband to natural-beauty-products entrepreneur Miranda and stepfather to her daughter Sam) towards the one trace of his past life he hopes he can still locate; the bulk of the narrative is in the past tense, Michael/Chris describing the history of his radicalization, from the ...more
Eric
May 21, 2008 Eric rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A good case of how an innovative narrative structure can enhance the experience of a story rather than dilute it. "My Revolutions" is a fictional account of the making, unmaking and then remaking of an English radical in the 60s, and the fallout thirty years later, but it's told in a non-linear format, sometimes piling flashback upon flashback, that reflects well the unsettled nature of the main character, Michael Frame/Chris Carver. While the ending might feel a little pat and unfinished, it at ...more
Bobby
Jan 18, 2009 Bobby rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is a story of a British 60's radical activist who has more-or-less settled into his middle life and a middle class lifestyle with a wife and step-daughter who are not aware of his past...when suddenly figures from his past surface, which leads to the unfolding of his life story. With its dark tone and content, this book is more about the 60's of Vietnam war and disillusionment, as oppose to the carefree hippies dancing about in San Francisco while tripping on 'shrooms. So make sure you know ...more
Atharva
Jan 26, 2013 Atharva rated it liked it
Shelves: ok-ok
Ok. I don't believe this man wrote the wonderful 'Gods Without Men.' How the hell did he manage to write something as boring and... well, boring, generally, as this novel? For one thing, he didn't have any first hand experience of the 60's revolution, so he couldn't really construct much off it. I am not saying that for a person to write, he should have a first hand experience, that's not what I mean to say, and definitely not when I read 'Gods Without Men.' But certainly, Kunzru did not grab me ...more
Jayne Charles
Aug 31, 2011 Jayne Charles rated it it was amazing
This was one of those books that had me racing for the end to find out what would happen whilst at the same time dreading having to say goodbye to it. From Chapter 1 I was sucked into its world of squats, causes, activists and terrorists. I finished it infinitely wiser about the world than when I began, and the standard of the writing never dropped below brilliant.

I particularly admired the way the author showed the gradual slide of the central character from a genuine belief in CND to involveme
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Annie Holmes
Aug 03, 2011 Annie Holmes rated it really liked it
By the end, I really couldn't put it down. It's as layered as you'd expect from Kunzru even though it takes a while to bite. (See New Yorker review: is he establishing a quiet normality, blandness, on purpose?) Fascinating enquiry - 70s revolutionaries and the complexity of their perspective looking back: are they remorseful about the damage, sarcastic about their naivety, or faithful to the intentions underlying the actions they now acknowledge as mistaken? In this novel, a combination of the a ...more
Catherine Siemann
Oct 20, 2009 Catherine Siemann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Frame, leading a relatively conventional life with his partner Miranda and stepdaughter, has a secret. Once he was Chris Carver, radical activist turned terrorist. Kunzru captures the atmosphere of late 60s-early 70s London and its political activists vividly. Chris's political evolution is less well-demonstrated, as it seems to center on his romantic obsession with Anna, a fellow-radical who goes much further down the path, rather than on convictions or beliefs.
Paul Messersmith-Glavin
This book is ok. I read it in China, and actually met the author there, at a little ex-pat bookstore. I wondered if I wasn't in China if this book would have kept my interest all the way through. At the very least it gives you a sense of what it was like being a radical in England in the late Sixties, whereas most writing either involves the US or Germany.
Joseph
Feb 25, 2010 Joseph rated it really liked it
Shelves: british
Good read. I was interested in the the 1960s radicals (fictional or otherwise) and what became of them in England.
Eric
Jan 05, 2017 Eric rated it really liked it
After reading Hari Kunzru's God's Without Men, I was very interested in reading more of Kunzru's work. Without too much thought to which of his previously written works I'd select, I picked up My Revolutions. The lead character of this novel, Michael Frame (or Chris Carver, as we come to find out), doesn't present a lot of positive qualities the reader can latch on to. He is an emotionally numb, middle aged man who barely presents the picture of working, largely being supported by his entreprene ...more
Matthew Metcalf
Jan 11, 2017 Matthew Metcalf rated it really liked it
Great book, but bit slow on the Audiobook narration
Derek Baldwin
Jan 15, 2017 Derek Baldwin rated it liked it
Interesting and thoughtful novel about idealism and what can happen when it gets out of hand. It wouldn't be fair to say much more than that as the lurch over into spoiler is hard to avoid with this one. What I will say is that our callow hero should have remembered one of life's golden rules: never trust someone named Miles. So, too, if you leave a Buddhist monastery after several years with an untamed ego then, really, you can't have been paying attention.

And if you're an author trying to con
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Gloriagloom
Dec 09, 2011 Gloriagloom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gran bella sorpresa questo libro di Hari Kunzru - scrittore inglese della benemerita scuderia Granta, pluripremiato in tutta Europa,ma qui da noi, nonostante un paio di libri pubblicati da Einaudi negli anni passati, quasi del tutto sconosciuto: anche questo libro viene colpevolmente tradotto, in modo tra l'altro eccellente, con quattro anni di ritardo rispetto alla sua uscita- che riesce elegantemente laddove, specie dalle nostre parti, hanno tutti fallito: travasare nella fiction quel magma ri ...more
Jesse
Apr 02, 2008 Jesse rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diane
I've read Hari Kunzru's The Impressionist by Hari Kunzru and really enjoyed it, so when I saw the audio version of My Revolutions, I thought I would give it a go.
First the audio: Simon Prebble was a good pick. He varied his accent for different characters but did not over do it. He was interesting to listen to and I felt as if I was hearing Michael/Chris tell his story. The structure of the novel was layered with flashbacks varying in time within a segment, i.e. Mike/Chris could be talking in the "present" then go back to 19
...more
Quinten
May 14, 2008 Quinten rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to change the world
Shelves: lit
Compelling read about a man caught in an activist group that increasingly is escalating towards violence. As the group devolves (in the past), Chris/Michael is watching his new life in the present under an assumed name start to unravel. Threading through both the present and the past are the mysterious Miles, and Chris's love for two women: his maturing step-daughter, and a self-abusive figure from his past who may have started her own new life.

Despite the blockbuster storyline, this is an intro
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Eric
Dec 06, 2008 Eric rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of American Pastoral
Not many authors born after 1968 have taken on the subject of 1960s counterculture in fiction, and it seems even less common for a British author. London’s Hari Kunzru has used the British scene in the late 1960s as a counter argument to the widely held belief that all counterculture activity took place in the States. Kunzru’s evocation is vivid enough for the publisher to lean on Bill Ayers for a blurb, which is surprising not only because the book published well before “palling around” became ...more
Mark Kennedy
May 11, 2014 Mark Kennedy rated it liked it
I suppose that the times of our lives and the changes we witness can be a fascinating journey. Hari Kunzru was born in 1969, so his memories of the sixties would barely qualify as anything at all. It is a testament to his intense novelist powers that his tale "My Revolutions" seems to be drenched in authenticity.
Of course, life with my sixties were childhood in suburban Toronto, not hippie revolutionary activism in London, so I am very capable of being fooled.
I felt that "My Revolutions" suffer
...more
Liz
Jun 07, 2011 Liz rated it liked it
first two thirds were a bit of a snooze; the characterisation was a little flat, and I don't generally go in for middle-aged white dude angst. it probably suffered from me reading it straight after eat the document by dana spiotta, which uses the tension of the political fugitive motif to better effect in its pacing, and also is a less bleak and airless book, and also has more interesting things to say about women. however! it's all worth it for the last third or so, when chris/michael's revolut ...more
Christine
Feb 04, 2008 Christine rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those inclined to or just curious about revolution
Shelves: fiction
In the 70's, Chris Carver was an idealistic revolutionary activist living in London. He joins up with a group of like-minded people out to change the world but, as the dynamic of the group shifts and grows, they become less ideal and more violent. The results are not pretty, and Chris goes into hiding. When the book opens, it is 30 years later and Chris is now Michael Frame. But he can't hide forever and this is abruptly confirmed as the reappearance of an old friend and a violent past both come ...more
Sal
Feb 08, 2010 Sal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It had a lot of things going for it. The premise of the story was very cool. I've always had a soft spot for the leftist revolutionaries of days past, and I was intrigued by the world that Hari Kunzru so vividly brings to life in these pages. He has an incredible feel for the hotbed of radicalism that was 1960s-early 1970s London. The shady characters, the thrill of taking action, the triumphs and failures of trying to bring about change, the places, the sights, the smells.. ...more
Ken Brimhall
Aug 25, 2013 Ken Brimhall rated it really liked it


The Ghosts of Revolution

I wanted to read a book by Hari Kunzru because his story in the New Yorker, “Raj, Bohemian,” was one of the best short stories I’ve ever read. The Impressionist didn’t appeal to me, so I dived into My Revolutions. I entered a moonscape. It seems so far away now. Did stuff similar to this really happen in the late ‘60’s in Western Europe and the USA? The characters are right out of those ancient headlines, as is the revolutionary question: Do we use violence to change soci
...more
Chris
May 28, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it
This novel takes a look at London's anti-war counter-culture activists from the early 70s. The main character got caught up with a group who grew increasingly violent, (by today's standards - "terrorists". Ultimately their actions escalated, setting writing comuniques, building bombs,fighting the state until they were either caught, killed, or in Chris/Michael's case - went underground. Present day, Michael is married with a step-daughter, neither of whom know anything about his radical past. Me ...more
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Hari Mohan Nath Kunzru (born 1969) is a British novelist and journalist, author of the novels The Impressionist, Transmission and My Revolutions. Of mixed English and Kashmiri Pandit ancestry, he grew up in Essex. He studied English at Wadham College, Oxford University, then gained an MA in Philosophy and Literature from Warwick University. His work has been translated into twenty languages. He li ...more
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“There was, as she put it, nothing to stop me. So I followed the path of educated misfits through the ages and got a job in a bookshop.” 14 likes
“Legality is just the name for everything that's not dangerous for the ruling order.” 9 likes
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