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A Black Englishman

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  315 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
India, 1920: exotic, glamorous, and violent, as the country begins to resist England's colonial grip. In the midst of this turmoil, Isabel, a young British military wife, begins a passionate liaison with Sam, an Indian doctor and Oxford graduate who insists, against all odds, on the right to be both black and British. Their secret devotion to each other takes them across I ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 15th 2005 by Picador (first published November 24th 2004)
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Julia Grundling
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
oh, how i absolutely loved this book. i felt emotionally drained when i finished it this morning.

initially i thought it was maybe going to be too much of a love story, as i don't enjoy the typical love story. something made me want to continue reading ... the author writes so beautifully. i personally don't enjoy paragraphs that are too long - words filling up the whole page without much dialogue and breaks. i tend to skip over a few words or sentences if this happens, but with this book i want
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the story overall, even tho it's not my usual sort of read. Lots of history of India and the customs of the raj during the ealry 1920's. The author has a way of making the scene very real and you can almost feel the humidity! I found the writing to be a bit of-putting. Embedded conversation made it difficult to read, and a few more paragraphs would have helped - but that is my opinion! Other members of my book club loved the writing style.
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 07-dubbioso
Pretenzioso e furbo, ma senza slancio. Narra una passione ma senza passione nella scrittura.
Isabel, dopo una traumatica (ed appena accennata) storia con Gareth (che poveretto ci rimette salute mentale e fisica nella Grande Guerra) accetta (abbastanza sconsideratamente) di sposare Neville, pur di lasciare l'Inghilterra.
Ahimè, Neville è quella bestia che la mamma italo-gallese di I. aveva predetto, e la vita della moglie di un sergente in India è una gran noia. Per fortuna, I. non fa in tempo ad
Sooraj Subramaniam
It wasn't love at first sight - the detail of the first few pages meandered through a dreary path: too much richness felt as though nothing truly important or interesting was happening. The slow start, however, merely sets the tone for a compelling read ahead. Seemingly unbelievably stilted characters give way to candid obliqueness and honesty - I found resonance with this complexity.

The narrative is simply written and easy to follow. The metaphors, while intricate, were a little to the right of
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The descriptions of India during the fall of the British Empire are fascinating, with enough historical detail to be informative but without taking away from the core story. At times the novel feels a bit disjointed, skipping over months and moving hundreds of miles across the subcontinent, but its other strengths outweigh this weakness. The complicated feelings the main characters have about race and identity were explored thoroughly without being resolved or exp ...more
Cats 274
Oct 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many things are being taken for granted if you're white and born in Europe. A Black Englishman makes one think hard about so many of the amenities that we have. It is a novel, but a demanding one, of a kind that puts questions in front of a reader and then answers with giving more questions.

And although the typeface used to print my book is ridiculously small, I'm really glad I made an effort and pushed past first few pages.
Dec 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is a wonderful story about the strengthening of a strong woman. I have a thing for books based in India, and this was another really good read. The story of a free-spirited woman caught in the violent web of her vengeful husband, and breaking a lot of social mores to conduct an affair with a black Indian educated in England, and set in the 1930's, this was a really good read.
Feb 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
I gave up on it. IMO, the summary is false advertising (or good marketing). I found the writing very average, the story a bit anemic, and Isabel annoying. Even the dramatic events in this novel are not delivered in a way that elicits an emotional response from the reader. Overall, a bit of a yawn, when I have more interesting reads waiting on my shelf. Not worth my time.
May 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever read. I love the lovers who transcend love and create this amazing tapestry of emotion and hope that really drew me into their lives and inspired me.
Jul 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Not the strongest plotting, not the best writing style, but the places and characters come alive. Also, touches on several interesting issues and historical moments—the inspiration from the author's grandmother's unhappy ending to create this piece of historical fiction is particularly fascinating.
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