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Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman
Topic Started: Jan 3 2012, 08:43 PM (146 Views)
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This was one of the nominations for the Man Booker Prize 2011.

Pigeon English is the story of an 11-year-old Ghanaian boy, Harrison, newly arrived in UK with his mother and older sister, who live on the ninth floor of a block of flats on an inner-city housing estate.
When a boy is knifed to death on the high street and the police appealing for witnesses get only silence Harrison and his friend decide to investigate themselves. His youth and innocence are his downfall as the local gang, with whom he initially tried to ingratiate himself, realise that he is likely to go to the police with his suspicions with the inevitable consequence for Harrison.

Woven into this story is an immigrant child’s efforts to make sense of his surroundings, maintain his optimism, form friendships and the difficulties in trying to “belong” in an alien environment.

I didn’t particularly enjoy reading this book but I found it poignant, as I had no problems in feeling empathy for this kid.

The pigeon has a little story of its own and seems almost to be some kind of guardian spirit for Harrison!!! A bit odd!

The language is, I suppose, the way Ghanaians speak English but it felt somewhat stilted to read.
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I didn't mind reading it; as it was a quick read, but I wasn't that impressed. For a book to be nominated for a prize you would expect something more profound.

I can't really add more than what Ribs said. No doubt it will be one of those books you'll forget in a couple of years.
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