Sunday, 17 August 2008

Sunday Salon: A Review - Intimacy by Hanif Kureishi


A fairly good reading week for me, I managed to finish 4 books: A Woman of My Age by Nina Bawden, Theft: A Love Story by Peter Carey, Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips and Intimacy by Hanif Kureishi - all of the good reads but nothing to rave about unfortunately. I only have two weeks left of the summer holidays and really need to start preparing for the classes I will be teaching when I get back, so I'm not sure I'll be reading so many books next week. I am hoping to finish Eldest, which I'm loving. I have Gut Symmetries by Jeanette Winterson to start this afternoon, and I hope to read In Cold Blood and possibly start Pawn of Prophecy if all goes well.

Intimacy by Hanif Kureishi

Years ago I read Kureishi's novels The Buddha of Suburbia and The Black Album, and earlier this year I read Gabriel's Gift all of which I really enjoyed. So I picked up Intimacy and expected to enjoy it, I guess I also expected to read a book written in a similar style as those books of his which I had read before, but this wasn't so.
Intimacy is a first person narrative of a man who is leaving his wife and two small children. The novella is based on his thoughts the evening before he leaves, we see him playing with his kids, remembering elements of his marriage, remembering the affairs he has had, in particular the mistress he fell in love with.
I'm not sure if we are meant to feel for him or not, personally I ended up hating him. He claims to love and adore his children, yet he is leaving without letting anyone know, let alone giving an explanation. He talks about his wife as if he never loved her, she is just someone he seems to leave fairly regularly. And he talks about his countless affairs as if he is entitled to them. He lives a very good life, working only in the mornings and obviously having a fair amount of money and luxury around him, yet he just whinges about everything. He seems pretentious, selfish and shallow, so I came to the end of the novel thinking it would be better for the wife if he did leave and she could meet a nice bloke instead.

Challenge:
1001 BYMRBYD

Other Reviews:
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6 comments:

gautami tripathy said...

a productive week for you! Mine, no way!

Do check out my Sunday Salon posts :D

SS 1: Review of The Dark Child

SS 2: Musings about books

Table Talk said...

Is the Bawden a book intended for adults? I know her children's work well, but haven't read anything for older readers.

Literary Feline said...

Many of the schools in my area started back already, but I know a few that won't begin until yours as well. Just in time for my vacation to start! :-) I'm counting down the days.

I haven't gotten to Eldest yet, but I am looking forward to eventually reading it. I enjoyed the first book in the series.

I am not familiar with Hanif Kureishi's book. I will have to look for his earlier work and give that a try.

Have a great week!

wisteria said...

I'm like you feeling the pinch of the end of summer. I have a grad course M-F next week and then we start school on the 25th. I can't believe it. Did you know that Brisinger, book 3 is being released on Sept 20th? Just an FYI. I love the series and so do my students. Have a restful two weeks.

katrina said...

Table Talk, yes the books is for adults, I wasn't aware that she had written adult books but she seems to have completed quite a few.
Wisteria, yes I've seen Brisinger advertised in the local book shops but will probably wait for the paperback as I want the series to match. I know someone who is likely to buy it straight away so I may steal it and read it before the paperback gets released.

katrina said...

Table Talk, yes the books is for adults, I wasn't aware that she had written adult books but she seems to have completed quite a few.
Wisteria, yes I've seen Brisinger advertised in the local book shops but will probably wait for the paperback as I want the series to match. I know someone who is likely to buy it straight away so I may steal it and read it before the paperback gets released.