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Brick Lane

Abridged Audiobook

Written By: Monica Ali

Narrated By: Elizabeth Sastre

Publisher: HighBridge Company

Date: September 2003

Duration: 11 hours 11 minutes


A stunning debut novel by the only unpublished writer named one of the best young British Novelists 2003 by Granta.

Short-listed for the 2003 Booker Prize

Are we powerless before fate? This broad question floats above Brick Lane, sinks slowly through the air over Bangladesh, and finally comes to rest on the windowsill of a small East End flat. This is the story of two sisters--one who chooses her destiny by opting for a "love marriage" and one who lets destiny dictate her future when she is married off to an older man and moves with him to a small, claustrophobic London flat.

But in a classic twist of fate, the sister who chooses her fate meets bitter hardship while Nazneen slowly comes to understand that she can affect the course of her own destiny. This beautifully rendered transformation happens slowly, quietly in the confines of her small flat, then suddenly and with brilliance through the person of the fiery young radical, Karim. In Brick Lane, Ali shows us that, as with most of life, the question of fate is not understood through sharply defined truths, rather through slow ripening and willingness to embrace sometimes opposing ideas.


  • Anonymous

    I love this book. Every minute. The reader is fabulous. Listening to her was equivalent to being at the theater. Brick Lane is a tour de force. The writing is powerful and the characters, especially the women, are complex and moving.

  • Anonymous

    This did run a little long in parts, but overall gave an insider's view on a culture that is entirely foreign to me. I enjoyed this very much!

  • Leslie Hauser

    I wanted to like this book about an emigree from Bangladesh adjusting to life as a Muslim woman in a changing (and mixed) English society, but the story dragged and the main character was perhaps too flawed--I didn't particularly like her. Also, perhaps more confusing in the audio version compared to the printed version, the style of the book changes from prose to letters and back again and it is hard to follow. The novel touches on many of the issues new immigrants (of any culture) face: new language and culture, English born children who have more in common with their new country compared to their parents' old one, new definitions and standards of poverty, and racism; however, I was left feeling that none of these issues was really adequately explored. At times, the number of issues addressed seemed to be more important than the plot or character development. Overall, a bit of a disappointment after all of the hype.

Brick Lane

by Monica Ali

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Brick Lane, Monica Ali