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Brick Lane [Unknown Binding]

Monica Ali
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
An hour and forty-five minutes before Nazucen's life began-began as it would proceed for quite some time, that is to say uncertainly-her mother, Rupban, felt an iron fist squeeze her belly. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating story March 11 2005
Format:Paperback
Brick Lane is an amazing story of Nazneen, a Bangladeshi female immigrant who moved to a Bangladesh community in London as a young woman and wife of an old man. Through her, the author successfully captured the Bengali traditions and the clash their contradictions upon the Islamic religion. The misconceptions Bengalis and many other Islamic people have vis-à-vis their religion and culture incompatibilities is vividly portrayed in this book. Hindu practices, traditions and culture are intertwined with Islam to give it a different blend. Nazreen gets married to Chanu through an arranged marriage where she had no choice, thereby cementing her destiny as a housewife. But then the reader soon finds that docile and obedient Nazreen's resigned life is interrupted now and then by her rebellious thoughts, a rebellious side that is unveiled when the path of the attractive radical named Karim crosses he path. This fast paced novel is rich in plot and has a fascinating setting. I highly recommend it along with THE USURPER AND OTHER STORIES.
Also recommended: Disciples of Fortune, The Union Moujik, Kaffir Boy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Details July 26 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
The details in this book are simply incredible. And I'm not talking about the descriptive details, but the minor characters and back stories. The minor characters are fascinating and suggestive. In Bangladesh, there is Makku Pagla, always reading and carrying an umbrella who kills himself by falling down a well. There is Tamizuddin Mizra Haque the quiet barber who always knows the correct information about every thing. In London, there is Mrs. Islam, the money lender with her two sons, Number One and Number Two, as enforcers. There is Razia, Nazneen's closest friend whose husband dies when seventeen frozen cows fall on him in the slaughterhouse where he works. Extremely unusual without being "over the top" this is a fascinating novel. Would also recommend a novel by the title THE BARK OF THE DOGWOOD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dignity, caring, and hope July 1 2005
Format:Paperback
Monica Ali gives dignity to her characters in the stellar novel "Brick Lane," something that a lot of author might not do in and with the particular situations presented here. The fmailial struggles transcend national boundries and traditions and that is what makes this a universal story. Of the three books our book club recently read, this was our favorite, the others being "The Known World," and McCrae's "The Children's Corner." While all were excellent, "Brick" was our favorite. I'm not normally one for English and/or Indian-themed novels, but this one works for me. It will for you too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Seeking Love That is True July 18 2004
Format:Paperback
Wars occur. Deaths bring misery to families. Time moves on and the world changes. Amidst all this, love still occurs, no matter its fashion.
In Brick Lane, author Monica Ali presents the story of two Indian sisters as they seek love. Hasina elopes in a love marriage and seems to fall into love naturally while Nanzeen moves to London as part of an arranged marriage and waits for love to grow in her union. Throughout this modern-day love story, September 11 happens and the war on terrorism begins. What could be a story focused on the state of Indians during our current political climate, in fact becomes a tale of love. What is it and how does one find it?
Ali introduces, as a backdrop to her story, an accepted definition of love by Indian elders. "There are two kinds of love. The kind that starts off big and slowly wears away, that seems you can never use it up and then one day is finished. And the kind that you don't notice at first, but which adds a little bit to itself every day, like an oyster makes a pearl, grain by grain, a jewel from the sand."
Brick Lane starts out seemingly as propaganda for the merits of arranged marriages. Nanzeen marries Chanu, a much older, unattractive man who is pompous and long-winded. However, Chanu provides for her and treats her kindly. Nanzeen first views her husband in disgust as she grooms him and his home. Eventually though, she finds comfort in the stability in her life and wonder if what she feels for him is love.
Hasina flees her home in Bangladesh to marry her love, writing to her sister that, "We have love. Love is happiness. I feel to run and jump like goat." That love soon fizzles, however, and Hasina flees that home and finds herself on the go for many years.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Seeking Love That is True July 18 2004
Format:Paperback
Wars occur. Deaths bring misery to families. Time moves on and the world changes. Amidst all this, love still occurs, no matter its fashion.
In Brick Lane, author Monica Ali presents the story of two Indian sisters as they seek love. Hasina elopes in a love marriage and seems to fall into love naturally while Nanzeen moves to London as part of an arranged marriage and waits for love to grow in her union. Throughout this modern-day love story, September 11 happens and the war on terrorism begins. What could be a story focused on the state of Indians during our current political climate, in fact becomes a tale of love. What is it and how does one find it?
Ali introduces, as a backdrop to her story, an accepted definition of love by Indian elders. "There are two kinds of love. The kind that starts off big and slowly wears away, that seems you can never use it up and then one day is finished. And the kind that you don't notice at first, but which adds a little bit to itself every day, like an oyster makes a pearl, grain by grain, a jewel from the sand."
Brick Lane starts out seemingly as propaganda for the merits of arranged marriages. Nanzeen marries Chanu, a much older, unattractive man who is pompous and long-winded. However, Chanu provides for her and treats her kindly. Nanzeen first views her husband in disgust as she grooms him and his home. Eventually though, she finds comfort in the stability in her life and wonder if what she feels for him is love.
Hasina flees her home in Bangladesh to marry her love, writing to her sister that, "We have love. Love is happiness. I feel to run and jump like goat." That love soon fizzles, however, and Hasina flees that home and finds herself on the go for many years.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Has interesting points....but overall..boring!
I found it really hard to get into this book. It had its interesting points but overall, found it very boring. Read more
Published on April 1 2009 by Kiran Gill
1.0 out of 5 stars oh billlly
What an incredibly boring piece. Found it abandoned on a plane. Now I know why. The story consists of ramblings without an end. Read more
Published on Dec 27 2007 by Barbara Girouard
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable
The core of this book revolves around the themes of submission, immigration and integration. It's the story of Nazneen, a quiet young girl whose life changes when the arranged... Read more
Published on Sept. 1 2007 by I LOVE BOOKS
4.0 out of 5 stars Brick Lane
Although this book was a bit hard to get into, it was worth the effort. There were a lot of names and explanations in the beginning that were a bit hard to get around, but needed... Read more
Published on March 8 2007 by TJ
3.0 out of 5 stars Brick Lane
I have read almost half the book, enjoyed it in the beginning and was hoping there would be some change in story, no change but I kept on reading until I came to the part where she... Read more
Published on May 17 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensual, descriptive, brilliant
Monica Ali has a tremendous talent for creating characters who exemplify the doubts & struggles we all face in life. Read more
Published on July 13 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to Finish
I have a problem with abandoning a book before finishing it because I can't give up the hope that there may be something worthwhile at the end. Read more
Published on July 12 2004 by SunnyD
2.0 out of 5 stars letdown....
i was expecting a novel which was going to be unique since it was nominated for so many awards but was disappointed. The novel drags on and there is no definite path it takes... Read more
Published on July 12 2004 by "mrsawant"
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