Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Coconut Unlimited” as Want to Read:
Coconut Unlimited
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Coconut Unlimited

3.23 of 5 stars 3.23  ·  rating details  ·  147 ratings  ·  19 reviews
'Coconut Unlimited' follows the adventures of three hapless, hip-hop obsessed Asian boys in an all-white private school. It is the debut novel from London-based writer and performance poet Nikesh Shukla. Shortlisted for Costa First Novel Award 2010.
Paperback, 200 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Quartet Books (UK)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Coconut Unlimited, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Coconut Unlimited

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 269)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
David Hebblethwaite
Nikesh Shukla’s first novel is the story of Amit; he and his friends Anand and Nishant are the only Asian boys at their private school in early 1990s Harrow. They find themselves struggling to be accepted anywhere: their ethnicity marks them out as different at school, and their schooling marks them out as different amongst the other Asian kids in town. The boys find refuge in a shared love of rap, and decide to start their own hip-hop band, which they name Coconut Unlimited (after Amit’s sister ...more
Teresa
I am a married, white female, more into Indie rather than Hip Hop in my youth, so according to the law of averages/preconceptions, I shouldn’t have enjoyed Coconut Unlimited at all but, contrary as ever, it ended up as one of my favourite reads in November. This is one of the joys of receiving a wide variety of novels to review – many thanks to Quartet Books for sending this gem my way.

Our narrator, Amit, is a bit of a misfit, an Asian youth on whose narrow shoulders are placed the weighty expec
...more
Georgia Smith
Eh. I have the feeling this is more of a book written for friends and family than for the general market - the author reminiscing on the past for the sake of it being his past. I didn't really enjoy the writing style or the characters, the conclusion was vaguely disappointing and the overwhelming feeling was of awkward teenage humiliation. It felt like the type of story you could tell someone in five minutes for an easy laugh, but probably not substantial enough to build a book around.
Liz Wilson
I thought this book was going to be so much better than it was, but it was a real slog to get to the end. I see that it was trying to show a genuine portrayal of adolescence and cultural differences, but it lacked warmth for me and I did not really empathise with the characters. I appreciate that I was a teenage girl not boy growing up, but it all seemed a bit pointless and generic....didn't all teenage boys want to be rappers in the 90's?!? Disappointing.
Books HQ
The charm of this book comes from the author’s sympathetic treatment of the characters involved. As readers, we like then, we understand their embarrassment and their dreams. Their experience is so common, that awkward teenage stage when you’re trying to find your place and be seen as cool. For me personally, a thirty-something white girl, this took me back to my youth, when I had Beastie Boys posters next to Kylie posters. My friend and I formed a rap duo (called The Rap Girls) and listened to ...more
Maria Longley
This is the (fictional) memoir of Amit as a teenager in Harrow and atteding a private school as one of very few Asians. He and his friends get into hip hop and form a band: Coconut Unlimited. It's a coming of age story full of mishaps and comedy and I liked the feel-good ending. There were moments to cringe sympathetically alongside the perceived coolness and actual "pretty cool"ness of the characters, and sometimes that was a bit too much for me, but overall I enjoyed the read.
Kayleigh
An easy read and a good offering for a debut novel. The question of it being fiction could be raised; the feeling of it being more autobiographical than fictional lies heavy throughout the book.
That does no harm to Coconut Unlimited though, as it's heartfelt, personal and full of the worries and humour that hark back to the schooldays of us all. A nice storyline with a nice outcome...readable but not necessarily memorable.
Jackie
A book that brings back loneliness of being a teenager & not knowing who you're supposed to be. The aching need to both assert your individuality and, at the same time, to belong.
The characters and events just rang so true. And the music references brought back all kinds of memories: the good, the bad and the excruciatingly embarrassing.
Andrea
I wasn't (and still am not) into hip hop, so I found this highly amusing.

I think it's a good debut novel in that it has a well-paced and thought-out plot, interesting characters, and doesn't try too hard.

(I have dealt with Nikesh Shukla in the past in his role at BookTrust and have been intending to read Coconut Unlimited for some time.)
Adam Beddoe
An easy read - this book focuses on the difficult transition period of teenage life when you are moving from being a child to an adult. This is set against the backdrop of Britain becoming increasingly racially aware and more dominated by US culture. The construction is basic and interesting themes are never really explored.
Louise
A pleasant book, easy to read, didnt tax the brain too much.
A nice story of growing up in Harrow, obsessed by hiphop and standing out as one of the few asian kids in the school.

I think Shukla hit all the right notes on cringeworthy teen behaviour, and styles, and obsessions.

enjoyable.
Elaine
Jun 04, 2011 Elaine rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
This book was fine. Not having much access to the subculture it celebrates, I felt a litte anthropological reading it, but that's fine. Perfectly pleasant, even if the amount of action, character development, etc. was perhaps more suited to a long shor story than a 200 page novel.
Patrick
We could have been contendaz! Surprisingly effective blending of Nick Hornby/coming of age with teenage gangster rappers, with a very moving conclusion.
Olivia
This is just a lovely, lovely debut novel. There are some absolutely wonderful set pieces in it. Really gentle, not very much happened, but I loved reading it.
Aria
Really enjoyed this book, looking forward to the next one already!
K
Dec 11, 2010 K rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
I liked the ending but I probably wasn't the intended market.
Nishan
Great memories of growing up in Harrow
Shriya
Jan 11, 2013 Shriya added it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Maybe another day.
Poppy
Poppy marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2015
Yasmin
Yasmin marked it as to-read
Aug 02, 2015
Anjana Menon
Anjana Menon marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2015
Alison
Alison marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Crimson China
  • Pao: A Novel
  • One Million Tiny Plays About Britain
  • The Dead Women Of Juárez
  • Facts are Sacred: The power of data
  • The Shrink and the Sage: A Guide to Modern Dilemmas
  • After Such Kindness
  • You Kant Make It Up!: Strange Ideas from History's Great Philosophers
  • Untying the Knot
  • A Group of Noble Dames
  • The Sky's Dark Labyrinth (The Sky's Dark Labyrinth, #1)
  • Helter-Skelter
  • The Long Dry
  • Solacers
  • The Poisonous Seed (Frances Doughty, #1)
  • My Cleaner
  • Desertion
  • The View from Garden City
Meatspace The Time Machine Happy Birthday to Me: A contemporary collection of Asian literature and interviews Two Dosas Too Much Too Young

Share This Book

“I was proud to be brown in my own way. Well, I was at school; at school I was brown about the funky stuff that came with being vegetarian, like being really arrogant about it, declaring proudly to a room full of beefeaters when Mad Cow disease initially broke that it was 'Vishnu's way of telling y'all to stop eating and start worshipping'.” 2 likes
“While 'Rap Trax!' recorded, Neel found some scrap paper and we started writing our first lyrics. Bandying about subject matter and title, we got stuck on the idea of 'cool', so my first rap song became 'Pretty Cool'. It was a symbol of our confidence. We weren't awesome cool or mega cool. We were only... pretty cool.” 1 likes
More quotes…