The protagonist of Hanif Kureishi's delightful novel is Gabriel, a fifteen-year-old North London schoolboy trying to come to terms with a new life, after the equilibrium of his family home has been shattered by the ousting of his father. Fending for himself, as well as providing emotional support to his confused (and confusing) parents, Gabriel is forced to grow up quickly. The only support he can draw upon is from his remembered twin brother, Archie, and from his own 'gift', which is accompanied by sensations that urge him into areas of life requiring the utmost courage and faith. A chance visit to seventies rock star Lester Jones crystallizes the turbulent emotions inside Gabriel, and helps him to recognize and engage with his gift . . . 'A charming, light-textured fable about talent, about how single-minded creativity might embrace and even be buoyed by the heartbreaking muddle of everyday life.' Observer
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