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HarperCollins Publishers, Oct 1, 2009 - Fiction - 384 pages
6 Reviews

‘Londonstani’, Gautam Malkani's electrifying debut, reveals a Britain that has never before been explored in the novel: a country of young Asians and white boys (desis and goras) trying to work out a place for themselves in the shadow of the divergent cultures of their parents’ generation.

Set close to the Heathrow feed roads of Hounslow, Malkani shows us the lives of a gang of four young men: Hardjit the ring leader, a Sikh, violent, determined his caste stay pure; Ravi, determinedly tactless, a sheep following the herd; Amit, whose brother Arun is struggling to win the approval of his mother for the Hindu girl he has chosen to marry; and Jas who tells us of his journey with these three, desperate to win their approval, desperate too for Samira, a Muslim girl, which in this story can only have bad consequences. Together they cruise the streets in Amit's enhanced Beemer, making a little money changing the electronic fingerprints on stolen mobile phones, a scam that leads them into more dangerous waters.

Funny, crude, disturbing, written in the vibrant language of its protagonists – a mix of slang, Bollywood, texting, Hindu and bastardised gangsta rap – ‘Londonstani’ is about many things: tribalism, aggressive masculinity, integration, cross-cultural chirpsing techniques, the urban scene seeping into the mainstream, bling bling economics, 'complicated family-related shit'. It is one of the most surprising British novels of recent years.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jayne_charles - LibraryThing

Set among the ‘rudeboys’ of London’s Asian community, this might look like a tough read – it’s written entirely in phonetic gangster-speak (notably the word ‘of’ is rendered as ‘a’ throughout) and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - milti - LibraryThing

An interesting look into London's dark side, sort of on the lines of Martin Amis. But I did not like the ending of the novel. I thought the ending was contrived - the descent into big city mafia type ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Gautam Malkani was born in Hounslow. He edits the Financial Times Creative Business Pages. This is his first novel.

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