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Publisher's Summary

The hero of Hanif Kureishi's debut novel is a dreamy teenager, desperate to escape suburban South London and experience the forbidden fruits which the 1970s seem to offer. When the unlikely opportunity of a life in the theatre announces itself, Karim starts to win the sort of attention he has been craving, albeit with some rude and raucous results.
©1990 Hanif Kureishi (P)2003 BBC Audiobooks Ltd

Critic Reviews

"An astonishing book, full of intelligence and elan." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

A bit disappointing

I had read the Book and I had seen the BBC Miniseries amd I liked both very much. The problem with this Audiobook is the Reader. To be frank, he sounds as he was about to fall asleep. I have heard many brilliant british Readers. This one, is not one of them.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible production quality

Any additional comments?

Audio is fuzzy and static-y. More annoying is the constant sound of people talking in the background, very distracting if you're listening on headphones. There are no pauses between chapters, so it feels as though we launch into the next chapter seemingly mid-sentence! Different sections of the audio sound markedly different, so different it seems like a different narrator has taken over. The narration itself is fine but the sloppy production quality made this very, very hard going for me. Do not buy.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I am unhappy with the audio.

Would you try another book from Hanif Kureishi and/or Christopher Simpson?

yes

Has The Buddha of Suburbia turned you off from other books in this genre?

no..

How could the performance have been better?

I love Hanif Kureishi's work, but the audible was very bad. There is a nagging background noise of a dripping tap and various other muffled sounds. It just ruined the listening experience for me...

Any additional comments?

Audible needs to do a review on the quality before the consumer commits to a purchase.
Its a catch 22, 1st you like the author so you buy the book to listen to his/her work & 2nd since its paid for one is stuck with poor audio quality. I find this unacceptable.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Noteworthy

This book is somewhat reminiscent of "White Teeth" by Zadie Smith. Both deal with meeting of immigrant (Indian in Kureishi's novel, Bangladeshi and Jamaican in "White Teeth") and European cultures. This is shown happening across several generations. Immigrants have children and the traditional generation gap that arises is still widened by civilization differences. The children often face identity problem.

The reader is competent. Not too fast not too slow, and doing a good job with accents. The only downside to this production is the quality of sound. Various parts of this audio give the impression of being recorded in different environments of which I was able to distinguish a dungeon and a bathroom.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Christine Caluori
  • 10-12-05

Buddha of surburbia

I first saw this as a series on TV and heard part of it on the radio, an excellent book let down badly by the audio version - the narrator of this book does little to conjure up a sense of the main characters; Knowing the area well, the accent feels completely wrong.

I would however try this book again should it become available with a different narrator - a lesson in always listening to a samplw first!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • scarletangel
  • 02-27-08

The Buddha of Suburbia

I listened to it all the way through, but it was painful to say the least, it seemed nothing short of a diary without any interesting bits, I couldn't find a purpose for the book and the narrator did nothing to enhance it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-21-18

Was this recorded in a bucket?

The worst audiobook production I think I’ve ever heard. Was it recorded on a ‘70s cassette recorder from Woolworths in a, sadly mis-fucking-guided, stab at authenticity? You’ve completely bollocksed an amazing book. For shame.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • melanie.darke@btinternet.com
  • 07-28-16

Wonderful story but spoilt by the awful narration

I loved the book , have read it several times and have seen the TV dramatization several times but this for me was nearly spoilt by the standard of the recording. The tone of the narrators voice changed in different periods of the recording which I wonder was a fault in the production as on passage of narration would sound completely different to the next.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Annie
  • 10-25-12

Who would think a Buddha could be so boring?!

I am reading this book with a group. There is only one version, so I was unable to choose another. As soon as there is one please let me know!