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The Year of the Runaways - anyone reading?

(9 Posts)
fatowl Mon 25-Apr-16 00:44:54

I'm struggling with this.

I feel I should be enjoying it, what am I missing?
The story of illegal immigrants living and working in the UK, and the events that brought them together. I thought it sounded so interesting and had such great reviews.

I'm finding it tedious, the backstory chapters are way too long, making the present day stuff very disjointed and I'm confusing the three main characters. Narinder is unbelievable - a woman with a strict father and overbearing brother makes friends easily with a prostitute?

I'm also finding the untranslated Indian words frustrating. I know they are there for authenticity, to remind the reader they are not speaking English, but it's not the odd one or two, but several every page.

It got such great reviews, I was really looking forward to it :-(

whatamidoinghereanyway Mon 25-Apr-16 20:01:28

I listened to this via audible and it was a slow burner but by the end I felt I had enjoyed it and knew the characters. Not gripping but an interesting story. Keep going. Plonk the book in your bag or car for when you have nothing else to read and a minute

southeastdweller Tue 26-Apr-16 19:59:54

Felt pretty much the same as you when I started reading it last week then I gave up because life's too short to read books I'm enjoying.

HappydaysArehere Wed 04-May-16 09:12:44

Felt it wasn't bad but not gripping. Had a feeling that there wasn't much that was new but was worth finishing. Feeling disenchanted over the last couple of years with the Booker short list. Used to love them.

fatowl Wed 04-May-16 16:31:08

I did finish it - meh.
Was OK, not going to make it onto my top ten reads of the year.


NoPieInPumpkin Fri 06-May-16 06:27:53

I've just finished it and I quite enjoyed it. Actually enjoy is the wrong word, I felt a personal connection to the book as I live in a part of the world where many people come from India (as well as other countries) to make a better life for their families whilst living in dire circumstances themselves. I do agree about the lengthy backstories.

Esmereldada Sat 07-May-16 08:50:10

I've just finished it. I know what you mean - took me while to engage and I found their experiences in the UK troubling and sad, and in India gut wrenching.

My advice though is to keep reading. I found I really cared about the different characters: you know, when you want to jump into the book and help.

For me, the read gave rise to a few conversations and some reflecting on the world it describes. It made me see things a bit differently. The ending was beautiful, poignant, heartbreaking.

I'm quite a keen giver-upper of books but so glad I didn't.

EmGee Tue 31-May-16 17:34:43

I agree with Esmereldada. I took a while to get into it but I'm half way through and pretty addicted. I'm glad I persevered. I do keep googling the language terms though. You can kind of guess what some of them are but a glossary might have been handy to refer to.

Pepperpot99 Wed 01-Jun-16 13:27:46

I thought it was brilliant. It explained a lot in terms of Indian culture and expectations. Really gripping.
I have just read his earlier book "ours are the Streets" about a young British born Pakistani man who slowly becomes radicalised. It's also good.

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