We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Pigeon English | [Stephen Kelman]

Pigeon English

Lying in front of Harrison Opuku is a body, the body of one of his classmates, a boy known for his crazy basketball skills, who seems to have been murdered for his dinner. Armed with a pair of camouflage binoculars and detective techniques absorbed from television shows like CSI, Harri and his best friend, Dean, plot to bring the perpetrator to justice.
Regular Price:$19.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor Reviews

Welcome to 11-year-old Harri Opuku's world, where fast running is exalted, girls make him feel "funny," and the rules for rock, paper, scissors are very serious. He's an innocent – a Ghana immigrant to the London projects who often humorously misuses English words – living in a corrupt, poor, and crime-ridden London slum. He tries to make sense of his new surroundings, and the evil he so often finds in them. So much so, that when a boy at his school is murdered, Harri and his best friend Dean set out to solve the crime, using their best impressions of detective work, as seen on their favorite television show, CSI. But their fun game turns dangerous when they stumble upon real evidence.

With the perfect mix of little boy earnestness, child-like wonder, and a spot-on Ghana accent, Turpin breathes life into the naive, but observant Harri. Slang phrases that may be hard to comprehend when simply reading the story like (“ahsweh”, for “I swear”) are easily understood when rolled out in context by Turpin's tongue. Her brogue talent is only magnified when she effortlessly switches between Harri's voice and the strong Cockney accent of his British school friends.

The only misstep of the novel are the short narration breaks throughout, where a pigeon takes over with his observations. It's almost like a guardian angel, but it's in the form of a bird. They're superfluous and head-scratching, but Turpin breezes through them and re-establishes Harri's narrative with ease. If you're looking for an intense murder mystery, keep looking. But if you enjoy intriguing and poignant slice-of-life stories, this book is for you. Not since The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time, has there been a child protagonist that is so thoroughly and uniquely captivating. —Colleen Oakley

Publisher's Summary

Lying in front of Harrison Opuku is a body, the body of one of his classmates, a boy known for his crazy basketball skills, who seems to have been murdered for his dinner. Armed with a pair of camouflage binoculars and detective techniques absorbed from television shows like CSI, Harri and his best friend, Dean, plot to bring the perpetrator to justice. They gather evidence - fingerprints lifted from windows with tape, a wallet stained with blood - and lay traps to flush out the murderer. But nothing can prepare them for what happens when a criminal feels you closing in on him.

Recently emigrated from Ghana with his sister and mother to London's enormous housing projects, Harri is pure curiosity and ebullience - obsessed with gummy candy, a friend to the pigeon who visits his balcony, quite possibly the fastest runner in his school, and clearly also fast on the trail of a murderer.

Told in Harri's infectious voice and multicultural slang, Pigeon English follows in the tradition of our great novels of friendship and adventure, as Harri finds wonder, mystery, and danger in his new, ever-expanding world.

Splendidly narrated by Audible favorite Bahni Turpin (The Help).

Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room, raves, "Simultaneously accurate and fantastical, this boy's love letter to the world made me laugh and tremble all the way through. Pigeon English is a triumph."

©2011 Stephen Kelman (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.2 (109 )
5 star
 (23)
4 star
 (33)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (19)
1 star
 (19)
Overall
3.3 (75 )
5 star
 (17)
4 star
 (24)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (15)
Story
3.9 (76 )
5 star
 (36)
4 star
 (17)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (9)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-20-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    130
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Could it understand it"

    I know it's "Pigeon English" but I had a hard time understanding. I thought the more I listened the more I'd understand, but couldn't get very far into it. Stopped listening. Sorry, looked like it'd be good

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louisiana 02-03-12
    Louisiana 02-03-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stopped listening after about 20-30 minutes"

    Sorry, but I really did not like this book. I was expecting a story, but the beginning is almost free-association narrative dealing with all-negative emotions, & did not capture me at all. I didn't like any of the characters, & just didn't want to spend any more time listening. The reader did a good job, however.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lea warner robins, GA, United States 08-15-11
    lea warner robins, GA, United States 08-15-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Not what I expected"

    I'm not good about reading other peoples reviews first given our varying tastes... and maybe should. Only one person saw the good in htis one...l I tried, and the narrator, who I’ve enjoyed immensely before, helped... some. But that can not save a meandering, pointless story from itself. Maybe there will be a point made eventually, including what happened to the dead boy introduced right from the start, but I give up… and it takes a lot for me to do that because I’ll listen to a poor story but I’ve moved on!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alcairha Brooklyn, NY 08-03-11
    Alcairha Brooklyn, NY 08-03-11 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    101
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    201
    40
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    0
    Overall
    "fascinating characters, but zero action"

    The good: Fascinating characters that spring to life, vivid descriptions, very atmospheric. Outstanding narrator, does a wonderful job with the accents
    The bad: absolutely nothing happens for pages and pages and pages...as much as I liked the characters, I got extremely bored and finally gave up. It's kind of like the "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency", only even slower paced - if you liked those books, you might like this one.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 08-02-11
    Jennifer 08-02-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    90
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "well done"

    Wow. Great story. Nicely narrated, well written. I would totally recommend. It is not the ending you want or would hope for but it completed the story well.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Overland Park, KS, United States 12-12-11
    Elizabeth Overland Park, KS, United States 12-12-11 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What was I expecting?"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Listening to this book was time well spent, because it gives the reader a perspective from a child immigrant who is living within a partial family and missing those family members left behind. A comparison of the day to day life of the child when compared to his contemporaries in other settings is bleak. Yet one can not help but admire him for his spirit and his survival skills.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When this middle school age boy says goodbye to his close girl friend, with whom he shares a wonderfully innocent friendship, at the beginning of the summer vacation, she surprises him by sharing her feelings for him. Her feelings very closely mirror his; however he has previously felt too shy to articulate them.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    There are some violent parts in this book that would most probably keep me from seeing it as a movie.


    Any additional comments?

    I felt that this book started rather slowly. The hero spends alot of time explaining the meaning of words and phrases that are probably needed to develop the story. When the story line began to develop, I was hooked.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer MARIETTA, GA, United States 10-07-11
    Amazon Customer MARIETTA, GA, United States 10-07-11 Member Since 2004

    WildWiseWoman

    HELPFUL VOTES
    218
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    35
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    27
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "True to life, but life is boring..."

    This narrative comes through as an authentic story voiced by an authentic 11-year old boy, a new immigrant from Ghana to England. The problem is immediately evident that 11 year old boys aren't very interesting, and once you get past his cutesy misunderstandings about sex ("she talks about all the boys she's sucked off - that means really hard kissing") and the world of grown ups in Africa and the UK, and his precious take on British slang, you are left with the monotonous stories of schoolboy life in urban England, as told by a child with limited means of expression. The accent, as provided by actress Bahni Turpin, seems genuine and is easily understood, but the story goes around and around. At the center is a murder, but that is barely touched on for half the book, and barely makes it as an excuse for having written the book in the first place. On the edges of this urban life is an actual pigeon, whose infrequent observations are also voiced by the same reader -- not a good idea. The whole "pigeon" thing doesn't work, and as a device to play on the phrase "pidgin English" was a poor choice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    zelda j schadt 08-01-11 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    215
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Not for me..."

    Pigeon English is a decent narration of a terrible story and does not measure up to the publisher review. The dialect is interesting and the rest is just dreadful. Save your credits for a better story, with better characters, and something to offer besides the occasional turn of phrase.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    08-10-11
    08-10-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "waste of a credit"

    difficult to get into. not my favorite style of literature. i could compare this book to 'a tree grows in brooklyn' for the style of the story, except this book is full of foul language.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BlueMotmot Chico, CA USA 08-10-11
    BlueMotmot Chico, CA USA 08-10-11 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    100
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Doesn't make much sense"

    the reader is fine but the story line is confusing and hard to follow. Wish I hadn't bought it, and won't be finishing it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 11 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.