The acclaimed novel is, Ghosh says, “as dull as dhal”:
For those with no personal experience of the book’s central milieu â€” London’s Bangladeshi community â€” it might seem a spicy treat, full of colorful, richly detailed characters and aromatic atmospherics. Indeed most British reviewers have greeted it with effusive praise, many of them endorsing Granta’s selection of Ali as one of Britain’s 20 best young novelists. But if you’ve grown up on a diet of Bengali and British-Indian literature, Ali’s debut is little more than a lentil broth, warm and easily digested, but predictable and lacking in flavor….
If you’re looking for something with genuine spice, you’re better off with Hanif Kureishi’s back catalog â€” or at the curry houses on the real Brick Lane.
(Many thanks to Emma for the link.)