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Title: Londonstani
Author: Gautam Malkani
Number of Pages: 343 pages
Book Number/Goal: 28/75 for 2009
My Rating: 4/5

Jas used to be a geek, but now he has new friends and he's desperate to fit in, rejecting mainstream white British culture in favor of all things Indian and gangsta-rap-related.

Reading this reminded me a lot of reading Trainspotting, not just because they're both written entirely in slang and dialect, though that was the first thing that pinged me as similar. Renton's decision not to "choose life" is very similar to Jas and co's attitude. They've all failed their A levels and would rather get rich stealing phones and spend the money on fancy clothes and stuff than be "productive members of society".

I enjoyed this a lot, though I was unfortuntely spoiled for the ending due to the fact that at one point when I flipped to the back to see how many pages there were, I accidentally saw a very spoilery bit.

It's hard to talk about the book without talking about the spoiler, so I'll just say it's really enjoyable and I liked it a lot. And as for spoilery stuff (highlight to read), I thought it was great, but at the same time I feel like it was trying a little too hard. There are some bits I find it pretty unbelievable that no one would say "dude, you're white" or at least look at him funny. Overall Jas just seems to be lying by omission and never mentioning to the reader that he's white, so I don't think I'm supposed to think he lied about people's reactions or how conversations went, idk.

The author has some Q&A stuff on his website where talks about the spoiler as well as his reasons for some other stuff, and one of the things he says is (highlight to read) that he wanted to write a book for people who don't normally read, which is why Sanjay was such an over-the-top villain. The Sanjay plotline was probably the main thing that kept me from giving it a five, especially his long "I'm am the villain, here let me stand here for five minutes and give you a monologue on my evil plans" speech and the fact that the whole thing with him and Jas's dad's shop just felt really contrived. So I'm not sure how I feel about people writing books for people who don't normally read, since chances are people who do read a lot are actually going to be the ones reading.

Mooch from BookMooch


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