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My Beautiful Launderette

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  629 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Omar is a restless young Asian man, caring for his alcoholic father in the hustling London of the mid-1980s. His uncle, a keen Thatcherite, offers Omar an entrepreneurial opportunity to revamp a dingy laundrette, and ambitious Omar rolls up his sleeves, enlisting the assistance of his old school-friend Johnny, who has since fallen in with a gang of neo-fascists. Omar and J ...more
Paperback, 69 pages
Published February 21st 2000 by Faber & Faber (first published 1986)
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Community Reviews

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Anna Kļaviņa
London, 1980s.

What can be common between a Pakistani and an ex-National Front member?

Omar and Johnny were childhood friends and teenage sweethearts before Johnny become a neo-Nazist and naturally that ended their friendship.

Few years later they meet again and the story starts...

Wonderful story of racism, cultural differences and sexuality.

Jul 21, 2015 Sarika rated it liked it
Saw the movie when it first came out and was mesmerized by the story and by the actors playing Johnny and Omo. I haven't seen it since but in my mind it has remained one of my favourite love stories.

This story was well worth revisiting.
May 11, 2008 Sabrina rated it it was ok
Johnny and Omar hooking up = hot.
Inauthentic postcolonial immigration from a partially white guy = not.
It was an interesting opening-point, given that I read this keeping in mind the sociopolitical context in which it was written (at the time), in discussing the negotiation of the dual identity, between that of the diaspora and the British ‘natives’. I don't feel anything personally for this read, but #litmajorwoes, you inevitably take away something or the other from a text. For me, for this one, the dynamics of defining one’s identity, and the strategies that lie under an individual’s decision ...more
Apr 23, 2012 Lia rated it it was ok
It's always difficult to enjoy a story in which almost the entire cast of characters is thoroughly unpleasant. Even the less nasty characters aren't admirable, just pitiable. I liked reading it more than I liked the film though. And now I like it less after reading The Buddha Of Suburbia, his novel published five years later, which I think covers many of the same themes but with more depth to the ideas and more developed and sympathetic characters.
Mar 12, 2013 Alaina rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Alyssa
Shelves: fiction, queer
I don't know why I love this screenplay/movie, I just do.

Reading this made it much more comprehensible than just watching the movie. It's not the accents or Britishisms that throw me, it's the strange acting style common to Indie movies and older films. I suppose it's an acting style derived from the stage.
Sara Farooqi
Jan 05, 2015 Sara Farooqi rated it it was amazing
Loved loved loved it! My favorite work by Hanif Kureishi - the piece reflects well the socio-cultural and political tension between the Pakistanis and Brits at the time, and how the protagonist faces some difficult situations.
Dec 10, 2012 StrangeBedfellows rated it did not like it
I seem to be in an extreme minority of people who hate this story. Dysfunctional relationships, hypocritical social elitism, bigotry, obnoxious characters, disjointed events and dialogue . . . I fail to recognize the brilliance of this literary masterpiece.
Jul 27, 2014 Wendle rated it liked it
Recommended to Wendle by: Daniel
I've not seen this film, and so many nuances are absent in scripts. I think i would have enjoyed this so much more as prose. As it is, i enjoyed it.
Apr 22, 2008 Naomi rated it it was ok
This is one case of the title being more seductive than the story. I enjoyed the interplay of characters but could hardly keep interested enough to finish it in the end.
This short story was an example of postmodern British literature I read in college. We also watched the movie. Can't say I'm a real big fan of postmodernism.
May 01, 2009 Taemoor rated it did not like it
Maybe this ist the point in the whole story, but there is absolutly nothing special about the book. Nothing cheerable. Everthing is it can get. So one out of five.
Roger Cottrell
Oct 22, 2008 Roger Cottrell rated it it was amazing
Kureishi is a brilliant writer and this remains one of his finest novels that has really, really stood the test of time.
Oct 11, 2010 Chrissey rated it liked it
a very upstirring book, in my opinion. as if a same-sex relationship wasn't hard enough at that time, their different religions just made it even harder.
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Jaime Walker
Dec 17, 2015 Jaime Walker rated it it was amazing
fantastic book
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Hanif Kureishi is the author of novels (including The Buddha of Suburbia, The Black Album and Intimacy), story collections (Love in a Blue Time, Midnight All Day, The Body), plays (including Outskirts, Borderline and Sleep With Me), and screenplays (including My Beautiful Laundrette, My Son the Fanatic and Venus). Among his other publications are the collection of essays Dreaming and Scheming, The ...more
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“NASSER: In this damn country that we hate and love, you can get anything you want. It's all spread out and availble. That's why I believe in England. You just have to know how to squeeze the tits of the system.” 2 likes
“PAPA: This damn country has done us in. That's why I'm like this. We should be there. Home.
NASSER: But that country has been sodomized by religion. It is beginning to interfere with the making of money. Compared with everywhere, it is a little heaven here.”
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