The Buddha Of Suburbia (Hanif Kureishi): Extracts

Shadwell didn’t require much encouragement. It was easy to see that he was clever and well read, but he was also boring. Like many spectacular bores, his thoughts were catalogued and indexed. When I asked him a question he’d say, “The answer to that is – in fact the several answers to that are…A.” And you’d get point A followed by points B and C, and on the one hand F, and on the other foot G, until you could see the whole alphabet stretching ahead, each letter a Sahara in itself to be crawled across.

* * *

“Concentrate on the way you think your position in society has been fixed,” said Pyke.

Being sceptical and suspicious, the English sort to be embarrassed by such a Californian display of self, I found the life-stories – accounts of contradiction and wretchedness, confusion and intermittent happiness – oddly affecting. I giggled all through Lawrence’s account of working in a San Francisco massage parlour (when she was stranded there), where the women were not allowed to proposition men directly in case they were cops. They had to say, “Is there any other muscle you’d like relaxed, sir?” This was where Lawrence discovered socialism, for here, in a forest of pricks and pond of semen, “I soon realized that nothing human was alien to me,” as she put it.

Richard talked about wanting to fuck only black men, and the clubs he cruised constantly in order to acquire them. And to Pyke’s delight and my surprise Eleanor told of how she’d worked with a woman performance artist who persuaded her to extract the texts of poems – “Cows’ teeth like snowdrops bite the garlic grass” – from her vagina before reading them. The performance artist herself meanwhile had a microphone up her vagina and relayed the gurglings of her cunt to the audience. This was enough for me. I was hot on Eleanor’s trail. For the time being I gave up on Terry.


  1. Note to self: Michelle’s site should not be read ealy morning, certainly not while enjoying one’s breakfast.

    Congradulatons on getting the categories archive operational. I expect this small triumph in coding will that our next two weeks of telephone conversations will be relatively tech heavy.

    Michelle: “….and by using some additional coding I was able to switch for orange53 to orange49 which means the photographs can be downloaded as jpg….

    Alec: “Wow…fantastic…reallllly…”(cutting toe nails)

    I note that ‘Words’ contains 51 posts. I often feel guilty that I’ve so little to say on your literature postings. But my recent exploration of Conrad, Marquez and Behan just hasn’t prepared me for responding to this level of grutuitous filth.

    “Cows’ teeth like snowdrops bite the garlic grass”

    Shit woman. This post should come with a warning or something. I going to go buy myself an indigestion tablet.

  2. And don’t think for a second that I don’t know what you’re up to.

    Michelle’s thought process.

    “Humph, I put up great extracts from Gramham Greene and Rushdie and not one fucking response, yet if I so much as mention the word ‘boobie’ in a post its guaranteed to get at least 10 comments. Fucking cretins. Perhaps if I start with the middle ground I can trick them into something resembling an intelligent, articulate discussion.

    And what with Alec being away this weekend, well the timing couldn’t be better.

    With any luck I’ll start to attract some important readers and then the site will become an overnight internet sensation, the last word in cool. And by the time Alec returns it will be too late for him to ruin it all with one of his dumb ass, mis-spelt, meandering, pointless, (I should really be studying), mean old put downs.

    I’m gonna be queen and you’all my bitches.

  3. I borrowed this book yesterday, on the strenght of Michelle’s recommendation, from the local library, but haven’t yet gotten around to starting it. Later that evening, whilst I was enjoying a cup of tea, my mother picked up the book and started flicking through a few pages. After a few seconds she erupted in a little fit of girlie giggling.

    “What so funny?” I enquired.

    “He (the central character) has taken some speed and now his willy has all shrivelled up. That’ll teach him”.

    I nibbled on a biscuit and pondered the boundless evil of the female sex.

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