Read Gabriel's Gift by Hanif Kureishi Online


Gabriel's father, a washed-up rock musician, has been chucked out of the house. His mother works nights in a pub and sleeps days. Navigating his way through the shattered world of his parents' generation, Gabriel dreams of being an artist. He finds solace and guidance through a mysterious connection to his deceased twin brother, Archie, and his own knack for producing realGabriel's father, a washed-up rock musician, has been chucked out of the house. His mother works nights in a pub and sleeps days. Navigating his way through the shattered world of his parents' generation, Gabriel dreams of being an artist. He finds solace and guidance through a mysterious connection to his deceased twin brother, Archie, and his own knack for producing real objects simply by drawing them.A chance visit with mega-millionaire rock star Lester Jones, his father's former band mate, provides Gabriel with the means to heal the rift within his family. Kureishi portrays Gabriels' naive hope and artistic aspirations with the same insight and searing honesty that he brought to the Indian-Anglo experience in The Buddha of Suburbia and to infidelity in Intimacy. Gabriel's Gift is a humorous and tender meditation on failure, redemption, the nature of talent, the power of imagination--and a generation that never wanted to grow up, seen through the eyes of their children....

Title : Gabriel's Gift
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780743217132
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Gabriel's Gift Reviews

  • أحمد شاكر
    2019-04-11 15:47

    حنيف كتب قصة فيلم. لذا كانت النهاية تليق بفيلم اجتماعي أكثر من رواية. طبعا، شغل الحوار مساحة شاسعة من الرواية. وتتالي المشاهد، على امتداد فصولها، بصورة واضحة، يؤكد ذلك. في النهاية، لو تعاملت مع الحكاية كفيلم أو تعاملت معها كرواية، ستخرج بفائدة. حيث يستعيد قريشي أجواء الفن في الستينات الصاخبة، ويتتبع مسار عائلة غابرييل.. مثلا، في الفصل الثالث يتوقف حنيف، عند معنى (الموهبة والخيال والإمكانيات الشخصية)، وكيف يتغير قدر الإنسان بامتلاكه لها. تلك الأشياء العصية على التفسير أو الفهم: فحتى الآن لم يتوصل أحد لمعرفة كيف تعمل أو تنشأ الموهبة، مثلها مثل الحب، لا يمكن قسرها أو حصرها، أو تحويلها لشخص آخر. ومع ذلك فهي تحتاج إلى رعاية خاصة وتغذية مستمرة لتبقى النار مشتعلة. يقول بشارة الخوري: إن المواهب لا فضل لصاحبها/ كالصوت للطير، أو كالنفح للزهر. وفي حوار بين غابرييل وليستر العازف الموهوب الناجح (صديق والده)، يذكر ليستر لغابرييل الذي يحاول الرسم، الفرق بين المقلد والمبدع: (.. إذا نسخت وحسب بقصد التكرار فلن تكون قد فعلت شيئا). طبعا، سيستمر الحوار حول الواقع والخيال والحلم والتلاشي وكيف يحفظنا الفن من اجتياح السأم. وكيف نبقى مؤمنين بأنفسنا قبل أن نحرز أي نجاح. وقلق الفنان من الحفاظ على ما تحقق من مستوى.

  • dete
    2019-04-07 14:23

    В града вече се заселваха не само имигранти от бившите колонии, а и от други страни, имаше представители на всички раси и те живееха врата до врата, без постоянно да се избиват едни други. Този нов международен град на име Лондон горе-долу се крепеше, без да бъде обхващан от прекомерна анархия или корупция. Вероятността обаче да те разберат в който и да било магазин беше малка. Татко веднъж се оплака: „Последния път, когато бях на бръснар, си излязох с една купа кускус, половин грам кока и подстрижка втори номер. А влязох само да се обръсна!“...............Ако не те намушкат по пътя, на ъгъла можеше да попаднеш на прецизен специалист по акупунктура или да вземеш под наем филм със субтитри. В най-новите ресторанти менюто беше непроизносимо и разправяха, че хората си носят речници, като ходят на вечеря. .............................Защо човек мисли, че е в състояние да постигне нещо? Само защото някой вярва в него....................От четиринайсетгодишна възраст татко свиреше в доста дългокоси, късокоси, а сега предимно плешиви банди.

  • Eli
    2019-04-01 16:25

    This is an intriguing, well-paced read (though it could've used about 50 more pages - never thought I'd say that), but I'm not wild about it. Things move too quickly; we see cause or effect but seldom both; everything seems slightly off-kilter. Gabriel reads too young for me, especially if he grew up surrounded by musicians and their groupies. Other characters - and the narrator - kept telling me Gabriel is precocious, but I never saw it.I was also depressed by the narrowness that surrounded "dreaming big." For Kureishi, you aren't "dreaming big" until you're dreaming of being a famous (not even necessarily good) film director, or a famous musician, or a teacher of famous musicians, or the owner of a restaurant catering to famous musicians and movie stars - the usual starf*cker crap. Kureishi wants to espouse chasing ambitions beyond the ordinary, but he defines worthy ambitions so narrowly for his characters that they end up seeming more trapped than the "losers" they leave behind. If this were a conscious authorial decision, I would think it was great, but it comes off the page as honestly the way the author feels: either you're a big pop or film star, or you're nobody at all. By that definition, he wouldn't even consider himself to be "someone."

  • Augustine George
    2019-04-04 16:47

    An excellent book to read if you are down on confidence,its full of positive energy and hope.More or less life a fairy tale where good things happen to good people,yet Kureishi has brought in themes of racism,immigrants,homosexuals and such into the story,which is pretty good.Its full of wonderful passages,one i personally liked:-"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."

  • عبدالله ناصر
    2019-04-16 15:50

    ليس ثمة كاتب أجدر بوصف السهل الممتنع أكثر من حنيف. هو يكتب ببساطة و بتقنية عالية و ما أصعب الدمج بينهما. و على الرغم من إسرافه بالاستعانة بمفردات بذيئة و أفكار منحطة أحياناً إلا أنّ حسناته تتغلب بسهولة على هذا الانفلات. هذه الرواية الرابعة التي أقرأها له و كم تمضي الصفحات بسلاسة. الكتاب الجيّد هو مايشعرك بالفرح و الأسى حال انتهائه و قد فعلت هدية غابرييل ذلك.

  • Ferris
    2019-04-08 10:43

    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 rollercoaster 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!

  • Shamim E. Haque
    2019-04-06 11:45

    It is a good book, but like me if you have read the earlier outputs- The Buddha of Suburbia (1990) and Intimacy (1998)- Gabriel's Gift will appear quite boring at times. The fun, the intelligence, and the bon mot that make those works so endearing is conspicuously absent in Gabriel's Gift. The novel nevertheless deals with an interesting theme, and will often treat you with lucid insights on family life, creativity, discipline and the angst to which young adults and their middle aged parents are often prey to. Hanif Kureishi is an original voice, and that is why I gave this novel 4 stars.

  • Beritan
    2019-04-23 13:50

    Gabriels magt over tjenestepigen Hannah var vældig fascinerende.

  • Katie Grainger
    2019-03-25 13:42

    I found Gabriel's Gift to be an interesting story. Gabriel is a 15 year old boy who is left at home with his mum when his parents spilt up. As Gabriel gets to grips with his new life he turns to the support of his dead twin brother who speaks to him and guides him through a number of situations. Gabriel's father turns to drink while his mum goes slightly wilder, starts working in a bar and inviting all sorts of men back to the house. It isn't until a chance meeting with an old rock star that life begins to make sense again for Gabriel's family and helps Gabriel to unlock his gift. Thisis a really interesting novel which takes a snapshot of family life and explores what happens when things break down. I think my only problem with this was I felt that Gabriel's didn't seem to be 15 I found it hard to imagine him as that age, to me he seemed younger, however maybe this was the point as by the end of the novel Gabriel has grown up and is following his dreams. I really enjoyed this story, Kureishi is a great writer who can definitely construct an excellent story. I enjoyed this different little tale.

  • Frank
    2019-04-23 16:24

    I liked this short novel about how a young man eventually brings his parents back together after it looked like there was little hope for the parents or the family as a whole. Gabriel is a talented artist and wants to be a film maker. His father is a washed up guitar player who once played with one of the greats in the 1970s (Lester Jones) until he broke his ankle by falling off his platform shoes! At a chance meeting with Lester, Gabriel is given a drawing by Lester which turns out to be a turning point for the family. Along the way, Gabriel's father turns to teaching guitar and pulls himself from the bottom. The background of the story includes a lot of rock and roll nostalgia and British pop society which I thought was fascinating at times. Overall, I enjoyed this one and would recommend it.

  • Alex
    2019-04-10 16:39

    The writing is fine, the plot vapid, and the main character unconvincing (he's supposed to be fifteen, but thirteen would be more like it). The device of the ghost of the deceased twin is downright silly. The female in the tale, the mother, doesn't jell. All in all, read Hornby's About a Boy: it's better.

  • Armin Hennig
    2019-04-03 13:41

    Frühe Magie, pflichtverdrossenes EndeNachdem Hanif Kureishi beim Beschreiben von gescheiterten Beziehungen und den Grausamkeiten der Trennung vor keiner Peinlichkeit zurück geschreckt, letztlich aber doch unter den Erwartungen geblieben war, hatte er sich mit Gabriels Gabe an einem Gegenentwurf versucht. Ein begabter Junge schafft es seine heillos zerstrittenen Eltern wieder zusammen zu bringen und eine allgemeine Veränderung der Verhältnisse zum Guten zu bewirken. Für Kureishis Verhältnisse eine Utopie, aber auch andere Autoren könnten sich früher oder später bei der harmonischen Auflösung übernehmen.Der Vater ein Rockmusiker aus der Band von Lester Jones (David Bowie), der sich auf dem Höhepunkt der Plateau-Sohlen-Ära den Knöchel brach und nie mehr recht auf die Beine kam. Die Mutter war einst auch im Rock'n'Roll-Business und hat die Kostüme für den androgynen Topact und seine musikalischen Mitstreiter gestyled und geschneidert ist aber längst auf dem Boden der Tatsachen angekommen und fühlt sich mit der Ernährung der kompletten Familie überfordert. Der inaktive Musiker und auch sonst zu nichts mehr zu gebrauchende Mann bekommt einen Tritt und landet im Männerwohnheim und Gabriels Mutter schafft fortan als Kellnerein an und bringt wechselnde Männerbekanntschaften mit nach Hause. Gabriels Papa erweist sich dagegen als letzter Romantiker, für den es nur eine Frau gibt, allenfalls der Traum vom Comeback ist noch größer, auch wenn er nichts dafür tut. Doch wie ein Wunder kommt die Einladung vom alten Kumpel und Immernochstar Lester, während Gabriel seinen Vater in dessen Elend besucht. Der Traum von der ReUnion ist allerdings schnell ausgeträumt, Lester braucht den alten Mistreiter allenfalls als Gedächtnis für seine Memoiren, denn er hat (wie Bowie) nur noch Löcher im Hirn. Als viel größere Enttäuschung für den Altrocker erweist sich das Interesse, dass der ebenfalls malende Rockstar an dem kreativen Jungen findet, der in der bildenden Kunst seinen Ausweg aus den Problemen und dem kreativen Konkurrenzkampf mit dem Vater gefunden hat.Der magische Moment ereignet sich in der Begegnung zwischen dem Kind und dem Star, der dem Jungen am Ende ein Original schenkt. Das Treffen nach knapp einem Drittel ist der Höhepunkt des Buches. Bis dahin hat Kureishi auch in Sachen Charakterentwicklung seines jugendlichen Helden einiges geleistet, etwa bei der Gestaltung seiner Betrachtung von Kunstwerken und Marihuana-Einfluss, in der die gemalten Gegenstände real werden, Geräusche machen und Gerüche absondern. Eine Szene, die etliche Goodreads-Leser als die im Titel versprochene Gabe missverstanden haben, entsprechend verwunderte Reaktionen über das Ausbleiben weiterer Talentproben waren die Konsequenz. Allerdings schiebt Kureishi den Joint und die Tatsache, dass Gabriel inzwischen mit Mary-Jo Schluss gemacht hat erst viel später ein. Vielleicht hatte er anfangs tatsächlich einen jugendlichen Kunstwerke-Beleber im Sinn. Das Interesse an seiner Geschichte dürfte er spätestens vor dem letzten Drittel der gut 300 Seiten verloren haben, zumal ein Scheitern beim Happy End schon zu diesem Zeitpunkt absehbar ist.Der Reiz des zweiten Drittels besteht im Kampf um Lesters Bild, denn Papa hat lebensbedrohliche Schulden und will das Geschenk gleich versilbern und Mama will den Wertgegenstand im Tresor in Sicherheit bringen. Gabriel trickst beide mittels einer Kopie aus, ist aber am Ende in größeren Nöten, denn Papas Kopie hängt als Original im Szene-Lokal eines schwulen Burger-Kings, der einst auch zu Lesters Entourage gehört hat.Immerhin versteht sich Gabriel – und das ist seine Gabe – auf Anhieb mit dem Schnellschwätzer und Dauerredner Speedy, den sein Vater immer als Stressfaktor empfindet. Ein Aktportrait regelt auch dieses Problem, darüber hinaus gibt Gabriel seinem Alten einen Tritt und zwingt den total versumpften Papa zu seinem Glück, indem er ihn zu seinem ersten Auftrag eskortiert. Als Gitarrenlehrer des gestörten Sohns einer Filmgröße findet Gabriels Papa zu seiner wahren Berufung und gewinnt nicht nur ein neues Selbstbewusstsein und frische Motivation, sondern schnell einen so großen Kundenkreis, dass die wiedervereinigte Familie am Ende in einer besseren Gegend bauen kann. Der Vater des anfangs gestörten Jungen, mit dem sich Gabriel ebenfalls auf Anhieb blendend versteht, leiht seinem jungen Freund auch das Equipment zum ersten eigenen Film. Bei der ersten Einstellung ist Schluss. Zuvor hat Gabriel natürlich seine Mutter in einer verantwortlichen Stellung im Szene-Lokal des Burgerbraters untergebracht und dafür gesorgt, dass ihre Beziehung zu einem in Italien lebenden Maler auf Heimatbesuch zu anstrengend für den „Anstreicher“ wird, ehe er seine Eltern zum Altar prügelt.Das Talent für Heileweltbücher muss einem in die Wiege gelegt sein, da der Weg zum finalen Glück mit unzähligen Kureishischen Schrottexistenzen gepflastert ist, liegen die Hürden eher noch höher. Ob man das Ende mit zwei begeistert und hart arbeitenden Eltern und einem kreativen Sohn nun für spießig hält oder nicht, ist sicherlich Geschmackssache.Mich nervt, vor allem, die Lustlosigkeit mit der Kureishi das letzte Drittel bestreitet und dabei jeden weiteren Aufwand bei der Weiterentwicklung seines Helden vermeidet. Für eine einigermaßen plausible Hinführung auf dieses ohnehin schwer zu vermittelnde Ende wären wohl hundert Seiten mehr für ein paar bezeichnende Szenen erforderlich gewesen. Der einzige gelungene Moment in dieser Hinsicht, sind die gescheiterten Versuche von Gabriels Papa, sich in der einstigen Stammkneipe zu erholen.

  • Jorge
    2019-04-09 14:29

    After reading The Buddha of Suburbia, Gabriel's Gift didn't quite live up to my expectations. I think the ending comes too soon and the story could be more entertaining had it been a bit longer. Apart from that, some characters are not very much developed (e. g. Speedy or even Lester Jones), while others (Karim Amir and Charlie Hero) can only be understood if you have read The Buddha of Suburbia. The story is funny, though.

  • Debbie Walker
    2019-03-23 14:46

    This is lovely read, a story of a 15 year old boy whose parents have separated and his determination to bring them back together. the characters are well described and the story is well written.

  • Mariele
    2019-03-28 17:31

    I started to read this book not knowing anything about the author or what the story would be about (the blurb was very formulaic). I chose it mainly because it was short, and it took me only three days to finish it. I am now going to ramble a bit, collecting my thoughts on the book. Reading along, i wondered where the book was meant to be going. Gabriel, the eponymous main character is a London teenager, an only child whose parents, washed up 70s hipsters, have just separated. In the second chapter, Gabriel meets an uber pop star that his father used to tour with back in the days. It was fairly obvious that this musician is supposed to be David Bowie. At around the same time I was reading this book I noticed that David Bowie has a new album out; there has been advertising for it flashing up on my Amazon page. I thought, well, I am probably going to buy it, most likely as soon as it goes on sale. And I went to my CD shelf, pulling out some of my old Bowie CDs. I also wondered how he might be these days, "he is getting old, isn't he", I thought. The first time I came across David Bowie was in his guise as Jareth, the goblin king. That was in the late 80s, and I was maybe ten when I saw it for the first time, on videotape at a friend's house. Nevertheless, with that film, David Bowie would forever define "sexy villain" for me. In the 90s, I listened to a lot of his music, both old and recent. And I always liked him as as an actor. Let me just drop the key word "The Hunger" - one of the best vampire films ever. Doing some research, I found out that both Bowie and Kureishi went to the same school in south London (possibly not at the same time though, as Kureishi is 8 years younger).What I didn't realize was that David's new CD was released on his 69th birthday, January 8 (Friday). I finished the book on Sunday. Monday morning, before I left the house, I heard it on the news that David Bowie was dead. Sometimes coincidences can be so eery. I have to admit that I cried quite a bit that day. I don't remember a time when the death of someone I have never met made me feel such a personal loss. But back to the book. So not worth reading. The David Bowie character is a mere ploy who remains unimportant for the remainder of the story. More importantly, what exactly is Gabriel's gift? There is one scene in which he draws a pair of shoes and in a flicker of magical realism makes them thereby appear. This, however, remains unexplained, understated and stays unmentioned for the rest of the book. Further vaguenesses accumulate. Gabriel has conversations with his dead twin, who died as a little boy. This, too, stays underdeveloped and stale, it remains a faded idea of the invisible friend type that some kids have. In the end, it's a generic story about a kid whose parents split up, a story that has very little to say and that ends with a forseeable happy ending. Seriously, what was Kureishi thinking when he wrote this? This was my first book by this author, and now I wonder whether I can take him seriously as a writer. Are any of his books worth reading? To me, this book seemed like such a waste of time.

  • Eduardo
    2019-04-01 12:39

    For as long as I can remember, I have been an avid reader, but since High School started I haven’t read as much. Earlier this year, I got some “new” books and just now I am getting around to reading them. Okay, so I got Gabriel’s Gift as a present and it kicked off again my desire to read.Gabriel’s Gift was written by Hanif Kureishi and was released in 2001. It is set in London and the story travels through the city, going from the suburbs to bars to warehouses.Gabriel is a fifteen years old who, until recently, was one of the only teenagers on his school that had a complete family. This changes when his musician father leaves the house and Gabriel’s mother. Apart from the memory of his twin brother, Gabriel has no one to help him try to make the two reconcile, while also dealing with his own self-doubt and puberty as a whole.As someone close to the age of Gabriel, I could relate to him, particularly in his seach for what he wanted to do and how he expected to accomplish that. However, at multiple times, he acted like a little child that doesn’t understand the world around him, followed by acting as an adult that had a complete life full of experiences. This fault at characterisation kept throwing me off.The story also has problems, mainly how easily everything is handled by the end. Literally, he goes to sleep and, when he wakes up, everything has already been resolved. We have no real description of exactly how it happened and are told to just “roll with it”. It is disappointing, especially considering how great was the build-up to this situation.The prose itself is lackluster and just too gray. At one point, Kureishi tries to describe something magical, but fails astoundingly, leaving a passage that feels empty and out-of-place.Said all that, there is also plenty that is good.All of the conversations are brilliant. Always featuring a lot of the british style of banter and sense of humor, they never fail to entertain. They are also pretty well built and feel natural. They were, for sure, the high point of the book.The artistic thematic is strong and gives the readers that are interested in that something to relate to. The decay of popularity of old rock is also pretty well represented, as is the actual number of people who manage to make a career out of music/art.Which brings me to the father of Gabriel. He was, at least for me, the most interesting and complex character of the book. An old rocker that suffered an accident, he never managed to overcome the fact that his golden days were over until the beginning of the story. Through incredible and organic character development, he manages to reach a better place that actually suits him.Overall, I enjoyed reading Gabriel’s Gift a lot, even if just because of the banter and Gabriel’s father.I would recommend it to anyone that is a bit too focused on the past or to someone who enjoys coming-of-age stories. Also, people who were fascinated by the premise should give it a try, despite this being kind of obvious.

  • Arukiyomi
    2019-04-11 12:25

    Oh my… but this was so profoundly awful on every level that I can hardly believe I read it, let alone that for some unfathomable and criminal reason, it was once placed on the 1001 list.Badly written with flat characters who say and do entirely predictable things, this has a plot that, if Kureishi could actually write, might not be half bad. But he can’t write and the novel thus turns out wholly bad.Gabriel’s parents separate and his father, a failed musician, attempts to salvage something for his future by reconnecting with Lester Jones, a famous rock musician he once played with in the 1970s. This results in Gabriel receiving a gift of a drawing from Lester. To protect his possession from his money-grubbing relatives, Gabriel duplicates the drawing and passes his own copies off as originals to more than one member of the cast. This ploy soon lands him in a dilemma, and this is where a good writer would have tied the plot in farcical knots. Kureishi’s simple attempt unravels at the first step with no surprises, and in the end everything resolves itself as if he was writing a screenplay for Disney.Waste. Of. Time.The eponymous Gabriel is supposedly 15, but you wouldn’t know it from some of the situations Kureishi puts him in:At work [his mother] was like a woman he used to know.This must mean he’s experienced enough to not only know a range of women but to have moved on from a few of them and achieved some kind of history with the opposite sex. More experienced than I was at 15 that’s for sure.Not only does this 15-year-old understand avant gardism without any context or explanation, he dedicates his life to it:‘At night even the most conservative of us becomes an avant gardist,’ his mother had said.Gabriel was very interested in this. ‘I want to be an avant gardist all the time,’ he said.The banality doesn’t stop there. I could have quoted swathes of the text for badly constructed writing that defines contrivance, but instead, I’ll just give one example of when Gabriel is sketching a pair of his boots alone in his room late one night:In the centre of the page was a boot-shaped hole. As he turned the page, the boots were sucked back onto it, and everything returned to normal.Or did it?I expected the next line to read “duh duuuuuuuhhhhhh” and to hear 1950s gothic horror film music at this point, but everything just carried on as normal.Or did it?Actually, yeah, it did. I couldn’t wait for it to end. He writes so badly that at times I thought I was reading the first draft he’d put together when he’d had aspirations of being a writer at primary school. I honestly don’t think anyone would be worse off not having read this.

  • Tariq Mahmood
    2019-04-17 10:28

    In Gabriel's dad, Hanif creates a character which has to be loved by every kid. Popular, charismatic, icononic, rebel, and most of all someone who has seems to have a lot more time than others. In short, Gabriel's dad is a classic nurturer and a groomer. Someone who should be present as one of the many role models in every kids life. Someone who is courageous enough to go against the grain, and at the same time deflecting the resulting opprobrium with the ease of a sage.And in Gabriel's mother he creates a figure which every kid deserves as well. Hardworking, resolute, fighter, realist and someone with the most natural and perennial fear for the future. I guess the only major incompatibility between his parents was their approach to future. Dad could not see it and mom saw it all the times as a huge monster. I personally feel that an ideal personality should have a realistic fear of the future, not deny or completely embrace it.Trouble is the novel has no story at all. It doesn't go anywhere, no it does, in circles, over and over again. The characters were too steeped in the art world for me to relate therefore I gave up near the end for I knew the end. It's a relatively poor effort from Hanif.

  • Ian Mapp
    2019-04-08 16:48

    Chosen from 1001 books you must read before you die. I am working backwards and have arrived at 2001.I have not read Kureishi before. I will again. There is plenty to admire, the pop culture references of the seventies, the sly humour, and underneath it all, a book with a message.Gabriel is the potential offspring of a broken home. His parents were both big in their own way in the seventies - his father, playing bass in the Lester Jones (read, David Bowie) super successful band. That is until he falls off his platform boots and breaks his legs. His mother was a fashion designer. In the nineties, his father is a drunken nobody, wasting time in pubs and his mother boots him out on his ear.Gabriel spends more time with his father and a meeting with Lester, revives family fortunes. He is presented with a work of art, which eventually becomes the catalyst to bringing everyone back together.The short book crams a lot in - families, fame and the main message is that to be happy, you have to make your life, your work.

  • Ian
    2019-04-19 11:38

    Part meditation on modern childhood, part reflection on parents who can't manage to grow up, a 15-year old Gabriel tries to reunite his separated parents. Dad was a 70s rocker and member of Lester Jones' band whose career nose-dived after a platform sole accident. Mum is exasperated by this impractical slacker of a man and tries to make something of herself. Gabriel is sensitive and artistic and attuned to the presence of his dead brother Archie. He can also make real objects appear simply by drawing them. This would appear to be the titular "Gift", but the supernatural element of the story disappears quickly as it transpires that the "gift" is artwork from the genius of Lester Jones, which Gabriel uses to attempt a reconciliation between his parents. I wasn't overly convinced by Gabriel himself as he veered between seeming too old and too young, but perhaps that's more because he resembled nothing of the 15 year old that I was many moons ago.

  • Becky
    2019-04-07 13:28

    I was pretty disappointed with this one. I think had it been by an unknown author, it would probably have scraped a three. But after the wonderful riot of the Buddha of Suburbia and the pain and indecision of Ignorance, this one just felt a bit bland. Entirely readable, but it just feels a little undeveloped. Gabriel has a gift - he thinks the gift is that when he draws things, they appear in real life. But then that's all forgotten about, and it's a pretty ordinary story of a boy trapped in the tumultuous relationship of his parents. Is the gift that they get back together again? Not really sure, don't really care. The characters are all familiar - washed up rocks stars, alcoholics in the local, an absent twin brother, aside from the Eastern European au pair who adds a bit of light humour to the situation. Soon the whole thing just kind of trundles to a completely expected ending. Not rubbish, but none of the usual spark either.

  • Jaimie
    2019-04-12 11:41

    A child's view of the world makes ordinary occurances and typical family drama seem new and exciting, and it is clear that Kureishi has drawn upon this technique to drive his story of a torn family. The parental figures are typical washouts from 1960s-era London whose surprise at finding how mundane and unsuccessful their lives are makes them bitter and self-loathing, but through Gabiel's eyes they are just his parents. He may not fully grasp why they are such children, but he knows that he must not be like them at all costs. He must find his passion and utilize his talent so that his life doesn't default to somewhere boring and unfulfilling. Overall, this was a very interesting read, but I'm still not quite sure how old Gabriel is, since people treat him like a young child, but he acts and thinks like a much older teenager.

  • Shovelmonkey1
    2019-04-03 16:26

    This book took less than a day to read and while it was diverting, well written and pleasantly readable it wasn't exactly mind blowing and I'm not really sure why it has a place on the 1001 books list.The story follows the lives of Gabriel, who still communicates with his dead twin Archie, and Gabriel's life which is dominated by the trial and tribulations of his parents whose 1960's peace love and music ethos is now out of step with the modern world. His father, Rex is a talented mucisian who missed the fame boat and now wallows at the bottom of a pint glass and his mother is long suffering and seeking romance and reassurance although preferably not with Gabriel's father.

  • Maryann
    2019-04-18 09:49

    Gabriel is a teenager whose parents aren't getting along. He's an artist who speaks to his dead twin brother. His dad was a rock star of a little fame. Gabriel doesn't like the au pair his mother has hired to watch over him. Seems like disjointed facts, right? Yeah. The book kind of clunks along, and stuff happens with a few moments of feeling, but overall, it was just okay. None of the characters was developed enough to feel believable, especially Gabriel. He was inconsistent and it made it difficult for me really get into the story. I wanted more, and was left unsatisfied. Food: a strawberry Pop Tart. Not actual strawberries, and not enough to be a real meal.

  • Jo
    2019-03-23 17:22

    A story about growing up in a non traditional family unit. Not sure I was able to relate to the writing in the way the author intended. Both parents and child all needed to mature and become responsible adults. A topic that I found somewhat boring. Can't remember what encouraged me to purchase the book except that it was a big departure from what I usually read. The author has a few more titles which I might consider before making a final judgment.

  • Kingfan30
    2019-04-02 17:21

    I'm not sure I got it! The title implies that the main character has a gift. Early on it mentions he can turn pictures into reality, but then its never mentioned again, then he talks to his twin brother who died, but that never goes anywhere either. It's a fairly quick read and at times I felt sorry for the boy having parents like those, but it just fell a little flat for me.

  • Sve
    2019-03-29 10:46

    I was pretty impressed by Hanif Kureishi's novel "Intimacy"...And this one was just too bland. The story of Gabriel who communicates with his dead broter and his old-hippie dad was did not catch me. The whole feeling this book left was - oh well, it is ok - whatever happens - life goes on...even if you do not read me, it will be ok. Should I be giving it another chance?

  • Pascal
    2019-03-24 15:34

    As much as I like clear, clean-cut prose, this novel (novella?) didn't cut it for me. There's no sense of involvement: by the end of the novel, I still didn't care for any of the characters. This was my first Kureishi, and if this novel is representative for the rest of his oeuvre, I don't think I'll read any more of his work.

  • Abigail Fellows
    2019-04-09 10:22

    The first half was brilliant, full of quotable observations and laugh-out-loud hysterical. But then the story then seemed to fall apart, the humor in revious chapters was nowhere to be found, and the dialogue seemed stilted. The author redeemed himself somewhat in the end, and I'm intrigued by him- definitely will pick up some of his other books

  • Jacqueline King
    2019-04-18 17:29

    This didn't really have a point. A boy with a useless father and inattentive mother drifts along between their separate homes. At one point he discovers he can draw and bring the pictures to life, then it isn't mentioned again. An autographed picture is given then taken from him. Fifty pages in I gave up. I didn't finish it.