Pigeon English

In October it was my turn to choose a book for us to read at bookclub. I decided on Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman. One reason is that I wanted to read all the Man Booker Prize Shortlist books and this was one of them and the second is that it has been compared to "Room" by Emma Donoghue, which I loved.

Harri Opoku has just moved from Ghana, along with his mother and sister, Lydia, to England. They live in a South London housing estate, where gangs and crime are rife. They have left behind a grandmother, their father and baby sister, Agnes, who remain in Ghana, unable to immigrate. Harri often reflects back to the simple life he had in Ghana, which fiercely contrasts to the urban life of the Dell Farm Estate. Here he makes new friends, is faced with a school crush and comes into contact with the Dell Farm Crew, a gang of local ruffians. When a boy from their school is killed in a stabbing, Harri and his friend embark on a murder mystery, which results in a shocking outcome.

I really enjoyed this book, especially the London slang mixed in with local terminology from Ghana. I especially liked the pigeon that looks over Harri and the observations it makes. All in all a good read.




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