Gabriel’s Gift – Hanif Kureishi

Let’s get back to reviewing!

I finished this book a while ago (two months probably) and I must admit I had to reach back to the notes I made while reading, to remember what it was about.

It tells a story of 15-year old Gabriel, whose parents had just split. He now has to deal not only with being a teenager, but also his parents problems. Gabriel’s relation to his parents is not an easy one. Sometimes it feels like he is the grown up, other time he is getting annoyed about being lectured what to do, but at the same time he feels being cared for.

Things shift when Gabriel receives a precious gift, both of his parents seem hell-bent on taking it for themselves. I was really surprised about their selfishness, somehow in my mind parents are more likely to sacrifice something for the child, rather than sacrifice the child’s future for their own ends. I keep forgetting that Gabriel’s parents are not much older than me and I’m definitely not one for sacrifice, so why would I expect it from them? Maybe it is because in my mind parents are more than humans, somehow free of the typical human vices.

It is a book about relationship between parents and children, but also about power of imagination, about talent. It is also a book about art and how it in a way owns it’s creator; about desire to possess art – this is topic that has been reappearing in my reading recently (The Goldfinch by Donna Tart and The Book of Evidence by John Banville). Why do people feel the urge to own art? Is it always about money? Is it always selfish? What is so special about art? Each of those books gives a different perspective on the subject.

Going back to Gabriel’s Gift, I think it touched on a lot of important and interesting topics, but it failed to move and engage me. I found it a bit chaotic and disjointed, and somehow forgettable.

20booksfinal

This is book #13 of my 20 Books of Summer hosted by Cathy at 746books.

Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska

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2 thoughts on “Gabriel’s Gift – Hanif Kureishi

  1. Pingback: August round-up – bookskeptic.com

  2. Pingback: A Visit from the Goon Squad -Jennifer Egan – bookskeptic.com

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