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My Revolutions

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  1,019 ratings  ·  160 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
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Hardcover, 280 pages
Published January 24th 2008 by Dutton Adult (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,936)
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Janet
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
Stephanie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie
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.
Ciara
Dec 24, 2008 Ciara rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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
Gerund
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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Eric
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
Dale
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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Ruth Seeley
Hari Kunzru is one of the world's surest, smoothest contemporary writers. You don't so much as wade into the clear waters of his prose worlds as you immerse yourself in them as you would a hot bath. And for the next 24 hours or so you inhabit a world with his characters, in this case Chris Carver aka Mike Frame, Miranda, her daughter Sam, the excessively pragmatic Miles and the ever-elusive Anna. Kunzru points out in his afterword that little is known or was reported of the Angry Brigade and/or ...more
Bobby
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
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
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
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
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.
Mark Kennedy
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
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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.
Susan Strickland
My Revolutions couldn't be more different to Transmission or The Impressionist. Kunzru put me quickly and directly into the mind of a disillusioned young Englishman in the 1960's, finding meaning in his life through political action, falling into obsession with another activist, and following her into more dangerous missions, until his old identity is no longer safe and he has to take a new one. These aren't spoilers; the reader knows all of this by the fourth page.

It was the least disappointin
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Liz
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
Eric
Dec 07, 2008 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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Gloriagloom
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
tartaruga fechada
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Billy
This is the story of a far left terror cell in the late 60s and early 70s in England. The group is very like the Weather Underground in the US at that same time. The main character, Pete, starts out as an alienated idealist (of course), but gets deeper and deeper into very shaky ground politically. He eventually goes underground. The book takes place in the 90s as Pete is found by someone from his past.

The author does a fantastic job recreating both that period (the 60s-70s), especially the inte
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Ken Brimhall


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
Jesse
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Todd
Michael Carver (a.k.a Chris Carver) has been hiding from the violent idealism of his youth in the late 1960's. He has built an idylic yet rather boring life with his wife Miranda and step daughter Sam. While on vacation in the Langdueoc with his wife he spots a woman reminiscent of an old lover, except she was killed during a protest. When he gets back to Britain an "old friend" from his days as a student radical shows up and suddenly Mike sees his whole world collapsing. His wife and Stepdaught ...more
Veronica Beverley
This is the second volume by Kunzru that I've read--I really enjoy his non-linear plot lines. I was reluctant to read a book about the Vietnam war, and this novel certainly is about to war, but it's a fictionalized account of real events in early 70s UK (the Angry Brigade). The main character is hiding out from his life as a former "terrorist."

It's well researched, from the UK to Thailand and Palestine, etc. I was bored by the typical English couple at first, but that seems to be a device of Kun
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Jasmine
This is a great book. It's really boring which is impressive since the topic is actually not at all boring. Think weathermen in england. Actually at one point the book makes fun of the weather underground as rich posers who blew themselves up or something like that. There is something disconnected about the way that british people write, it never feels quite like they really care. Yeah sure he blew a bunch of things up but really that was some other person some other time.

Interestingly my revol
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Barry McCulloch
Make no mistake about it; this book is very readable and easy to digest. The author's apathy and disillusionment towards the current political system in Britain is appealing and timely - his anger well placed. Reading this novel offered a different lens through which to witness the ensuing political and economic crisis: that is, the lack of ideological diversity. The contrast with today’s acceptance of the failure of market capitalism is stark.



Yet, the author ultimately fails in his task. Sure
...more
Sal
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
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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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Gods Without Men The Impressionist Transmission Memory Palace Noise

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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.” 9 likes
“Legality is just the name for everything that's not dangerous for the ruling order.” 8 likes
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