The Body
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The Body

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  513 ratings  ·  40 reviews
"After a bit you realize there's only one invaluable commodity. Not gold or love, but time."How far are we willing to go to stay young? Hanif Kureishi -- acclaimed author of "The Buddha of Suburbia" and "Intimacy" -- explores the possibilities in this provocative story of an older man whose brain is surgically placed in a younger man's body by a network of underground doct...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published February 17th 2004 by Scribner Book Company (first published 2002)
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mai ahmd

...هل فكرت يوما ماذا يؤول إليه حالك حين يصبح جسدك عبئا عليك , حين يمتد بك العمر طويلا ويكون جسدك الذي حملك طويلا وأنت في موفور صحتك شبابك عافيتك ونشاطك مجرد جثة هرمة تتعثر بها فلا تعرف الأفراح طريقها إليك ! ويصبح عليك أنت أن تبحث عن الفتات منها هنا وهناك , حين تلتفت ستجد أن هناك الكثير من الأحلام التي خلفتها ورائك , وهناك الكثير من الأماني التي سعيت لتحقيقها لكن وقفت الظروف جدارا بينك وبينها , هل يمكن أن تتدارك كل هذا وقد وصلت إلى الأحاسيس التي تشعرك إنك خارج هذا العالم !
حنيف قرشي وجد الحل متجاو
...more
Charlotte
Kureishi uses sci-fi as a way to explore some of the philosophical questions that haunt all his work: What is my relationship to my body? To your body? How necessary is the pursuit of pleasure? How can we come to terms with old age? Can I reinvent myself? How much of myself do I owe my partner? In other words, Who am I? "The Body" is different from his other work in style as well as genre. The style is almost contemporary Japanese, like Haruki Murakami or Banana Yoshimoto. (It actually reminds m...more
Paul Eckert
Adam is a famous playwright who is floundering through his twilight years. His body isn’t what it used to be, and neither is his patience. He isn’t dissatisfied with his life – he has children, a wife that still loves him, and he has succeeded in making a living, and a name for himself, from his creative works.

One night at a party, a young man tells Adam he is a big admirer of his work. He offers an opportunity to be young again by undergoing an operation that would transplant his brain into a...more
abcdefg
What if you could have your brain transplanted into a younger body for a second chance at life?

Well, that's what this book explores. Adam is an aging playwright and teacher living in London who undergoes a pioneering medical "miracle" by having his brain transplanted into a dead, young body. He then leaves his home and family in London for six months to take a "vacation." What ensues is a hedonistic debauchery as he wanders through Europe encountering women and eventually ending up in a New Age...more
Dina
From the greatest writers I expect to be revolutionary, unconventional, to shake me, make me think about something I​ have never though​ about.... To make me change myself, or to give me a completely new perspective of an old dilemma. To push the boundaries. To be 1000 steps ahead of me.

That's why I like Kureishi. His books have traces of that. He's playing with tricky, delicate questions.

This book is about our relationship with our body, what it means for our lives. How the way we see us, and t...more
Audrey
This is beautiful prose with a gem of speculative fiction plot. Kureishi handles a successful man at mid-life beautifully, not going for the obvious. And he gets women so right, which I sometimes feel even the best male writers have a difficult time doing. Made me think.
Barry
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rosiehope
I really wanted to like this more as it was a present from a friend whose opinions on books I really respect.

It was well written, and it gave me a lot to think about, but it all just seemed a bit too well-planned, a bit too technically great. I didn't really care about the characters- I felt he was exploring the nature of the human condition all the time rather than thinking about how an actual person would actually behave.

The first story sees an older man has his brain transplanted to a young m...more
Jay
May 21, 2012 Jay rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
Imagine you could exchange your body for a whole new one, placing all your memories and accumulated experience into a fresh new body -- one you could select to better match your image of what you would like to be -- and continue to live. This short book takes that idea and delves into what that really means. Not just psychologically, but realistically... how a person who now has money, experience, and time will behave. The brevity of the text probably increased the time I have spent thinking abo...more
Sam
The first Hanif Kureishi book I read was The Buddha of Suburbia, which tells the story of a clueless young man sowing his wild oats, carousing and generally coming of age. The Body is literally about the coming of age. The edition I read included and a few short stories in addition to the main short novel. Nearly all featured older, often rueful, regretful narrators. The joy of drinking all night and sleeping with whoever walked by -- a damn the consequences! -- had given way to the inevitable b...more
Mkeirsbi
This one started off pretty interestingly. What would you do if you could live your life again in a different body, but have all your experiences and memories transplanted as well? This poses some really interesting issues -- issues Kureishi does touch upon, but the story digresses to some sort of cat and mouse game. I get Kureishi wanted to have some suspense in his story, but this story just goes completely off the rails in pursuing that suspense. All the interesting moral issues are just left...more
Alicia
Slim but quite thought-provoking. Interesting idea, well-executed.
sisterimapoet
[Read as part of my ongoing quest to see whether I can truly enjoy short stories]

I really quite like Hanif Kureishi, especially when he writes about the kind of philosophical wonderings that preoccupy me.

A couple of times over the last year I've drifted into a daydream about the possibility of a brain transplant and what the result might be - which is what he deals with in the long short story that occupies the large part of this collection.

The other stories weren't quite as strong for me. But...more
Sandrine
For me, the best surprise in this collection of short stories wasn't the main one, "The Body" (even if it was quite entertaining with its sympathetic main character, an old man willing to try a second youth), but the touching story untitled "Goodbye, Mother", in which a middle-aged man analyses his relation with his mother. I would also recommend "The Real Father". In my opinion, those two illustrate pretty well the lack of understanding that can exist between people who are supposed to be close...more
Jen
The short stories were a surprise cos I didn't read the front cover... Felt they were a bit of a rip off of Carver short stories - but perhaps after reading Carver, everything feels like that!

The novella was pretty absorbing and I was disappointed when it seemed to come to a rather abrupt halt. However, I do think this subject has been covered pretty fully in other literature - namely, of course, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Kevin
Instead of a novel of 240 pages, it appears that the book I was holding contained one novella and 7 short stories. I didn't expect the end yet, and it was therefore much too abrupt for my taste. What happens with the main character (Adam or Leo as you wish)...? Does he confess to his wife? I would have liked a more 'conclusive' ending...
Patrick
My advice would be to read the main story 'The Body', which is a well-written story of an ageing playwright who gets his brain transferred into a much younger and healthier body, and has a touch of The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror about it, and skip the seven short stories that make up the second half of the book.
Sophie
Raises questions on the nature of identity and self. Very very thought-provoking. I found this book on our $4.95 paperback table, but Kureishi is a prolific and highly respected British writer so track his works down, wherever you can find them!
hagar
This is a short, quick read--a novella--about a topic that is very salient: our quest for perfection and youth. It's a kind of sci-fi, fantastical plot that's actually not that far-fetched. Not deep, but fun. Good plane ride reading.
Damjan
neverovatna je. ne-ve-ro-va-tna. autora svakako čitam posle Tela.
"Ako umire i sama ideja umiranja, smisao i sve vrednosti zapadne civilizacije će se promeniti, od Grka do danas. Izgleda da smo etiku zamenili estetikom."
Ronny
"The Body" by Hanif Kureishi has an interesting premise (an old man is given the opportunity to experience life in a younger body) but it is so badly developed that, despite its short length, it is unbearable to endure.
Alvin
This speculative fiction about the buying of new bodies is well thought out, well written, and grim, grim, grim. Probably right on target too. I suspect we'll find out soon enough (groan).
Barbara Ulen
Stories in this book are actually better than novel. But it is an intriguing story, though. Just the dynamic was all too fast, he could elaborate it a bit and not jump so much.
Glynn
May 24, 2008 Glynn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Humans
Recommended to Glynn by: Ex-ex-ex-girlfriend
Shelves: favorites
Five stars for The Body - a really gripping story of man who acquires a younger body, and struggles to get his old one back - but I can take or leave the other seven stories.
Marina
i read this book a very long time ago but I remember having hated it. Perhaps I should re-read it in order to write a more honest review
Ksania
Loved it.. not anything like what I normally read ;)
Maaian Arditi
Awful book, like 50 Shades of Grey's predecessor. It gets a (very weak) 2 stars because the premise is good if badly executed
Selena
Science Fiction? Moral story? Questioning of the
Cartesian binaries of body and mind? 'The Body' is all of them.
Nuphile
An interesting book by Kureishi, vaguely sci-fi, but again touching on his favorite topics of age and sexuality.
Brooks
Old man - young body.what is all the fuss about - very average. Other stories good / weird but a bit 'samey'.
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Kureishi was born in London to a Pakistani father and an English mother. His father, Rafiushan, was from a wealthy Madras family, most of whose members moved to Pakistan after the Partition of India in 1947. He came to Britain to study law but soon abandoned his studies. After meeting and marrying Kureishi's mother Audrey, he settled in Bromley, where Kureishi was born and worked at the Pakistan E...more
More about Hanif Kureishi...
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“Behind every vocation there is a fetish.” 4 likes
“إن الأشخاص الذين يعيشون حياة ثانية، كالأشخاص الذين يتزوجون للمرة الثانية، يأخذون كل ما يقومون به عادة على محمل الجد على نحو أكبر مما كانوا يفعلونه من قبل. إذ"يبدو لهم أن كل لحظة هي أثمن من اللحظة التي سبقتها” 2 likes
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