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"Ingenious . . . Pigeon English packs a wallop." -- Cleveland Plain Dealer
"The mystery is secondary to the pleasures of listening to Harri as he prattles on winningly in a mix of street slang and Ghanaian expressions." —Christian Science Monitor "Pigeon English is a fascinating look at a culture pushed to the margins by a nation’s economic and empathic indifference." —Time Out Chicago "A startlingly assured piece of work . . .With a very light touch, Kelman makes us view from a new perspective the kind of story we’re used to reading about in the newspapers . . . Kelman is a writer to watch." —Mystery Scene "The humour, the resilience, the sheer ebullience of its narrator—a hero for our times—should ensure the book becomes, deservedly, a classic." —Mail on Sunday (UK) "Pigeon English is a book to fall in love with: a funny book, a true book, a shattering book . . . If you loved Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time or Emma Donoghue’s Man Booker–shortlisted Room, you’ll love this book too." —The Times (UK) "Fantastic . . . it seems hard to believe this is the author’s first book." —Guardian (UK) "Like Harper Lee’s Scout Finch and Miriam Toews’ Thebes Troutman, Stephen Kelman’s Harri is an original who seems to breathe real oxygen" —Winnipeg Free Press (Canada) "Rich with lingo, energy, and occasional terror, Pigeon English is a stark and funny look at life in London’s rough housing projects. A compelling anatomy of our inner cities, Stephen Kelman’s debut novel navigates the hectic, modern world while coping with its most violent accompaniments." —Tony D’Souza, author of Whiteman and Mule "Utterly convincing and deeply moving, this is a book that we should all read if we want to understand the ugly world that we have somehow managed to create on the edges of society." —Clare Morrall, author of the Booker-shortlisted Astonishing Splashes of Colour and The Man Who Disappeared
Stephen Kelman grew up in the housing projects of Luton, England. He has worked as a careworker, a warehouse operative, in marketing, and in local government administration. Pigeon English was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Desmond Elliot prizes and was named a “best first novel of 2011”* in his native England; it has been published in twenty countries.
Bright, funny and rambling but not really a novel.
Really enjoyed this book, wonderful use of language and cultural references that really made you feel like you were living in the characters mind.
So I think it is a mostly successful novel, but I do not think it deserves to be shortlisted for the Booker.
Beautifully written! You are drawn into the character's lives. Once the book is finished you find yourself often revisiting it in your thoughts. Read morePublished 9 months ago by CTK
This is a book you have to be patient with at first then you get into it and it's intriguing. Gives an insight to a world of the innocent child in a very volatile tough... Read morePublished 10 months ago by angela hogan
Very entertaining novel, almost a classic in many respects, but watered down and ultimately ruined (at least for me) by the religious mumbo-jumbo that is insidiously woven into the... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Donald E. Gilliland
A first-person, jaunty and cheeky novel about a young, immigrant boy caught in a tough world in England. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Arthur Dobrin
Harrison, the main character, a young boy who has recently moved to England from Ghana is utterly adorable and has a unique perspective on things. Read morePublished on April 17, 2013 by Laura Besley
This is a solid book. Well crafted. It does not aspire to some sweeping epic tale, and that is fine. Read morePublished on March 12, 2013 by Nancy Robinett
It seems to me that using a child's voice to tell a story has become a favorite technique among novelists these days. Read morePublished on December 22, 2012 by Reader from Singapore
For the first part of the book I could not figure out why I kept picking it back up again, but then I suddenly found myself within Harri's world, sharing his confidences and... Read morePublished on December 13, 2012 by laumilobill
"The best bit is running in the rain. If you point your face up to the sky at the same time as running, it nearly feels like you're flying. [...] just run as fast as you can. Read morePublished on December 12, 2012 by emmejay