Nancy’s review of Brick Lane > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by suzy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:47AM) (new)

suzy Thanks for the warning!


message 2: by Jay (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:58PM) (new)

Jay Aquilanti can i borrow that ice pick!?!?
i chuckle reading this review because i started this book 2 years ago and can't bring myself to finish it. I read A Fine Balance just prior and thought another indo-ethnic book would be interesting....Dead wrong.

Maybe I'll finish it one day...when I'm fighting insomnia or something...


message 3: by Debra (new)

Debra Forced myself to read this book for a book club. Great review...may have to bring your review to the meeting. I think I was the only one who finished the book.


message 4: by Roger (new)

Roger I agree with many of your comments. After 150 pages I kept flipping ahead a few pages saying, "Who cares?" Reading a little more and then flipping ahead again. Stolid, boring, uninteresting...


message 5: by Jen (new)

Jen Exactly! Ditto! All of the above! I wasted weeks of my life on this book when I usually finish a book in a matter of days.


message 6: by Annika (new)

Annika I completely disagree with what you have said, for anyone with any experience of this culture, this book would make a lot more sense, and therefore probably be a lot more interesting. The book beautifully depicts the sacrifices so many women have to make on a day to day basis.


message 7: by Susie (last edited May 31, 2009 10:58PM) (new)

Susie I haven't finished it yet. I have to agree with you, I am forcing myself to read a portion of it everyday, and it isn't working anyway. This, is outrageously incredulous for me. You are reading the text of a girl who has troubles putting books down, who reads until 05 in the morning, almost no matter what kind of book it is! I have given up on extremely few books, but I almost wonder if I shall leave Nazneen's life to people who for some questionable reason would enjoy reading about it.


message 8: by Thomas (last edited Oct 31, 2009 04:35AM) (new)

Thomas I couldn't agree more with everything you've all said, apart from Annika (sorry). We've been given this book to read for our Baccalaureate; we had the choice between Great Expectations and this. And the teachers chose this. Unfortunately.
We've had it for two years now, and I've only got through about half the book (but I didn't -couldn't?- read Hasina's letters).
And I usually quite like reading. I got through Germinal, le Père Goriot, 1984, or Bel-Ami quite easily. But I simply could not finish this book. I'll just have to rely on chapter summaries and stuff...

It's the kind of book you start full of good will. But before long you end up flicking through the pages to see how many are left before the end of the chapter. Usually with this book you also groan when doing this, despairing at the idea that you've still got more than half the chapter to read. And then you fall asleep. And you haven't finished your daily chore-chapter


message 9: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Annika wrote: "I completely disagree with what you have said, for anyone with any experience of this culture, this book would make a lot more sense, and therefore probably be a lot more interesting. The book bea..."


I'm late to this party -- I recently joined goodreads and am just checking out books I loved or hated, and this falls in the latter category.
Annika, I love novels set in similar cultures to this; I grew up in a country with a strong Hindu-Muslim population and I identify strongly with such people. I go out of my way to find such novels. But this book -- I hated it with a vengeance, for exactly the reasons given in this review. Unfortunately, I could not even read the letters of Hasina. They were a torture to read, so I just skipped them.


message 10: by Maria (new)

Maria I couldn't agree with you more. I checked out the reviews after i started reading it. I wanted to see if i was the only one who didn't appriciate this higly praised book. It has never taken me longer to read a book and i still i have only gotten through half of it. i hate it with a passion.


message 11: by Roos (new)

Roos Agree completely, have to force myself to finish it for a university module. After pushing myself through 400 pages, I kind of want to finish it, but I couldn't care less about Nazneen at this point. I just have an aversion to passive people and she is a classic example. In my opinion, the book isn't bad, it just isn't.


message 12: by Maggie (new)

Maggie Roessler A lot of good points in your review, but I actually loved the grammar of Hasina's letters. I thought they were meant to be translations of the mistakes that Hasina made in Bengali and it showed how quickly and passionately she wrote, in opposition to Nazneen's carefully edited letters. And in themselves, I found the unusual rhythm had a haunting beauty.


message 13: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Saurborn I felt this book was as well-received as it was due largely to its 9/11 reference, and publishing date during the first few years post-9/11. Being culturally relevant doesn't mean it's good!

I had to force myself to finish it. It was short listed for the Booker Prize, which I usually find is a sign of a good read. Not this one. Yawnsville.


message 14: by Ramon (last edited Aug 21, 2013 11:42PM) (new)

Ramon James I don't need to review this book now and can get back to my loathing of it. Thanks for summing up what I was feeling! :-)


message 15: by Amy (new)

Amy why read a book just to not like it? there are too many books to enjoy. if you don't like after 50 pages just put aside and pick up something else.


message 16: by Sonia (new)

Sonia Mansata The book is a less like a book and more like an ailment on paper! Your review diagnosed the ailment beautifully!


message 17: by Areej (new)

Areej My thoughts exactly, Nancy!


message 18: by Summer (new)

Summer Embler I'm already o far into it that I have to finish. I neither hate nor love it. I find myself skimming parts, which I only do with boring parts of books. But, I've been doing it a lot with this one. I, personally, after reading 50 pages of a book don't always ave a definitive opinion and, usually, after 50 pages, I have to finish it.


message 19: by Hisun (new)

Hisun Huge One of the things I liked the most about this book was the wonderful language in the letters. If it had been proper English I would not have enjoyed it. Sorry you thought the book was boring, I loved it. Funny how people are so different.
Be well.


message 20: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Pickstone I loved this book...and yes, I sympathised with Chanu, as well.


message 21: by Rob (new)

Rob Fantastic review, I really wanted to like this book but I just couldn't. That I read Thomas Pikkety's Capital in the 21st Century quicker says it all.


message 22: by Andy Hoang (new)

Andy Hoang This review hits it on the head for me. I've struggled through this airy, pointless book and found the characters lifeless and completely without merit. The dialogue is dull, nothing at all happens for the entire book and it's covered in rave reviews on the cover that made me convinced that I had missed the point. Glad that I wasn't the only one that found this a yawn-inducing pile of over-hyped rubbish


message 23: by Rose (new)

Rose Gladdish I've just finished this book and agree with this review - I found the last 75 pages or so were the best.


message 24: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Your review of this book is perfect.


message 25: by Katrina (new)

Katrina Glad to see I'm not the only one who struggled with this, I didn't mind the first 100 or so pages and then struggled with it. It did have it's good parts but I skim read a lot. If it was half its size I think it would have worked better - and I love big books.


message 26: by Erin (new)

Erin Cade I came here to make sure I wasn't being too hard on this book. Apparently I'm not. It's poorly written. There were times when I had to reread a paragraph because there was no transition and I was wondering if I was reading the same story. There's no rhythm or flow to this. Today I read the back cover again and I'm wondering when we get to the affair and if it's even worth it. That description has nothing to do with this book.


message 27: by Hisun (new)

Hisun Huge I loved this book. I don't understand the negative reviews.


message 28: by Seema (new)

Seema Dubey Thank you. Just finished the book. Felt better reading your review!


message 29: by Amy (new)

Amy This review nails it.


message 30: by Amy (new)

Amy I so agree with Nancy. I kept plodding through this book, waiting for it to pick up. It seemed to drag even through her relationship with Karim. Ali doesn’t give us much heat in those parts.Where was her editor? Do I have to read again about her cooking in the kitchen? The end of the book (no spoilers here) was also totally anticlimactic.
I was hoping at one point that one of her daughters would have some interesting side story but no - that didn’t happen. Perhaps Ali wants us to feel the pain of her drudgerous life? Ok! Got it! Felt it! Success on that level! Yes, I felt the monotony of her life. I do feel accomplished that I finished it as it was a challenge.


message 31: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Wish I’d read this review before starting this dull, dull book. I’m toying with skipping to the end...


message 32: by Anji (new)

Anji Also, briefly, why does Monica Ali have to portray the love marriage as a failure? Was she perhaps worried about offending her Muslim culture? Arranged marriages are so much better aren't they? What does love have to do with anything? Are we as women not allowed to make our iwn choices in life? Muslim, Hindu women of the world rebel and snatch a bit of happiness, take a chance, why you should all continue to become domestic drudges and sexual objects, it seems happiness and independence are not for you.


message 33: by Yusir (new)

Yusir I couldn't agree with you, or the other dull souls who dislike this book, LESS.


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