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Something to Tell You    by Hanif Kureishi order for
Something to Tell You
by Hanif Kureishi
Order:  USA  Can
Scribner, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Michael Graves

Jamal, the novel's central character, is a middle aged, very successful psychologist in London, England. Early in the narrative, it is revealed that our hero has a terrible secret. The secret involves a murder that has remained unsolved. Only later, when we learn of the circumstances of the event, do we understand the potential repercussions with his true love Ajita.

The story alternates from a present surreal life, often frequented with celebrities, to a past poverty laden student life obsessed with Ajita. London life is vividly portrayed in both timeframes with a realistic feel for this metropolitan center.

What drives the novel are a number of quirky and yet appealing characters that in many ways contrast with Jamal. There is an underlying theme of father-son and father-daughter relationships throughout the story that is thought provoking, but perhaps one can expect this from the perspective of a classic Freudian psychologist. For that matter there is a preoccupation with sex in the storyline, another psychologist's prerogative.

The language in the novel is very contemporary with much wit and humour, which makes a very enjoyable reading. The title, Something to Tell You, has a perfect fit to Jamal's occupation and to the characters who always have something to say. This is a fun, provocative novel that leaves the reader wanting more.

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