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Small Island (2004)

de Andrea Levy

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
3,7801372,690 (3.89)600
Returning to England after the war Gilbert Joseph is treated very differently now that he is no longer in an RAF uniform. Joined by his wife Hortense, he rekindles a friendship with Queenie who takes in Jamaican lodgers. Can their dreams of a better life in England overcome the prejudice they face?
  1. 70
    Dents blanques de Zadie Smith (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both are novels about multicultutalism which consider Jamaican culture affecting England.
  2. 50
    Amb el cor a la mà de Chris Cleave (whymaggiemay)
  3. 40
    Brick Lane de Monica Ali (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both these excellent novels examine the issues of immigration and assimilation in England, though the cultures and backgrounds are different.
  4. 30
    The Inheritance of Loss de Kiran Desai (kathrynnd)
  5. 10
    Invisible Man de Ralph Ellison (tcarter)
  6. 00
    The Same Earth de Kei Miller (alalba)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 137 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This was a difficult read for me, primarily because of Levy's handling of racism in Britain. But that's not necessarily a bad thing - it's important to look at the past, as ugly as it might be, and I liked getting the opportunity to see things from a British perspective as an American. The contrast between the frankly revolting attitude of Bernard (the American sentiment) juxtaposed with Queenie's (British) well-meaning but ultimately just as harmful assumptions was interesting.

The sections about Bernard were my least favorite of all, and at first I would have called it a fault of the novel, but now I wonder if that was Levy's intention - he certainly seems to aggravate everyone he comes into contact with, so perhaps the reader is meant to be just one of many. I found the last quarter or so of the novel to be a slog as a result, and I almost wish Bernard had been replaced with another character entirely.

I'll admit I was put off at the beginning with how Levy attempted to capture and describe accents. I can't say for sure how accurate it is, so I'll leave that for someone else, but I personally don't care for that technique in general. Slurs are used incredibly frequently which, while realistic, can also be a turn-off, and sometimes I just needed to put the book down for a little while and go do something else for a bit to not feel quite so gross. Ultimately, however, I'm glad I stuck this one out, although I can't say I enjoyed the read or would read it again. ( )
1 vota bumblybee | Jan 5, 2022 |
After WWII the story of returning soldiers. Jamaican serviceman Gilbert and local Bernard connected through Queenie. It is the story of Hamaicans wanting to make a new life in Britain but s as Leo for locals who have to adjust to these newcomers. An immigration story that still goes on today.
this novel is well written and interesting. ( )
  Smits | Dec 4, 2021 |
Small Island by Andrea Levy (2004)
  arosoff | Jul 11, 2021 |
(LEVY is daughter of Jamaican Mother & ex Chasidish Father--she has this "chip on her shoulder" against Jews)
excellent writing, an immigrant story through 4 voices. Coming from Jamaica to England in 1948 after fighting against the Germans in the RAF or finishing school as a teacher, then coming to the "Mother Country" as an immigrant. very good book ( )
  evatkaplan | Apr 15, 2021 |
Had a hard time finishing this book because the racism got me so upset, but a really interesting read. ( )
  curious_squid | Apr 5, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 137 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Levy's greatest achievement in ''Small Island'' is to convey how English racism was all the more heartbreaking for its colonial victims because it involved the crushing of their ideals. Gilbert is astonished to discover that although he can reel off the names of England's canals and list the major industries of each English town, most English people can't even find Jamaica on a map. ''How come England did not know me?'' he asks. Hortense's training as a teacher counts for nothing in England, and while she may have won a prize for reciting Keats's ''Ode to a Nightingale'' at school, she can't make herself understood by a London taxi driver.

Levy understands the complex relationship between color and class. Light-skinned Hortense has been brought up as a lady, and she initially despises Gilbert for his coarser manners. She also looks down on Queenie for being less educated than she is. The slow development of Hortense's respect for her husband as she begins to understand the challenges he faces (many of which she will confront herself) is one of the most moving aspects of the book. ''Small Island'' is too thoughtful a novel to promise its characters a happy ending, but it is generous enough to offer them hope.
afegit per kidzdoc | editaNew York Times, Fatema Ahmed (Apr 3, 2005)
 
Small Island operates on a larger canvas than Levy's previous novels. Set in India, England and Jamaica, it is as far-reaching a work as White Teeth. Yet it is written in a plain, homely style, one that is keen for us to attend to the subtle shifts and twists that its characters undergo. Levy undercuts any assumption that race alone defines them, and is keen to highlight those symmetries and parallels in their life experiences. One can easily see it being turned into a popular drama. It's neither splashy nor experimental, but for thoughtfulness and wry humour cannot be faulted.
afegit per kidzdoc | editaTelegraph, Sukhdev Sandhu (Feb 24, 2004)
 
Apart from everything else, Small Island is a great read, delivering the sort of pleasure which has been the traditional stock-in-trade of a long line of English novelists. It's honest, skillful, thoughtful and important. This is Andrea Levy's big book.
afegit per kidzdoc | editaGuardian, Mike Phillips (Feb 14, 2004)
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (11 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Andrea Levyautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Haughton, RichardFotògrafautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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Returning to England after the war Gilbert Joseph is treated very differently now that he is no longer in an RAF uniform. Joined by his wife Hortense, he rekindles a friendship with Queenie who takes in Jamaican lodgers. Can their dreams of a better life in England overcome the prejudice they face?

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