Saturday, December 1, 2012

"Gabriel's Gift" by Hanif Kureishi *****

  • British Pakistani author
  • Originally published 2001
  • Vocabulary:
    • plimsoll:   canvas shoe with a rubber sole; gym shoe; sneaker.
    • percipience:   perceiving or capable of perceiving.
  • Quotes:
    • p.12..."At night even the most conservative of us becomes an avant gardist....".
    • p.23..."Why would anyone think they could achieve something?  Only because someone believed in them."
    • p.29..."Afterwards she had become too careful with Gabriel, not letting him live for fear he might die."...interesting concept 
    • p.67..."Talent might be a gift but it still has to be cultivated.  The imagination is like a fire or  furnace; it has to be stoked, fed and attended to.  One thing sets another ablaze.  Keep it going."
    • p.67..." dreams the maddest connections are made!"
    • p.96..."Children understood tyrannies, he thought, living with those vicious moody bosses called parents, under a regime in which their thoughts and activities were severely constrained."
    • p.103..."Children always noticed the underneath of things; for a long time, like foot soldiers and servants, they only saw the world from below, a good position for noticing how things worked."
    • p.154..."If you've got it, you get it from yourself and don't you forget it.  You can inherit an old tie but not a gift, that's one thing I know."
    • p.172..."Once hatred is expressed, love has a chance."
  • Notes:
    • the greatest gift in life is imagination or talent
    • the educational system was coercive and "failure was the only sitinction; conformity was a kind of death."
  • Review:  Absolutely loved Kureishi's writing. In a matter of a few sentences the reader is whisked into the mind and heart of an adolescent boy trying to understand the roller coaster which is life.  At the core of this novella is the question of how to hold onto imagination?  How to hold onto losses...a twin, a marriage, the truth, ideals?  Wonderfully crafted, this book is a gem!

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