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Hideous Kinky by Esther Freud

Hideous Kinky (1992)

by Esther Freud

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8342316,345 (3.48)93
  1. 00
    The Hypocrisy of Disco: A Memoir by Clane Hayward (sanddancer)
    sanddancer: A real life account of being the child of hippie parents.

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English (21)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (23)
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
FOUR - Stars; Deduct, just One.. Was, a little - "Cheap"?!.. But, It WAS - "Good".. That, "Quick" - Vincent Van-Gogh, sort of, Book?!.. PUT, It on your List?! Yes, DO!.. Simple and "Nice"?!.. Fresh and "Delicate"?! GOOD! Liked!.. Enjoyed!.. "Sweet"!!.. ( )
  TimNewey | Jul 17, 2016 |
"Mum...wants to have adventures. She told me", 1 Mar. 2016

This review is from: Hideous Kinky (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this child's-eye recollection of a lengthy visit to Morocco with a hippy mother and slightly bossy older sister back in the 70s. The country is vividly depicted, and the child's automatic acceptance of what seems to us utter fecklessness on the part of the mother comes through well. Hashish, a local boyfriend and a decision to embrace Sufism (and hitch-hike with the younger girl to a religious centre in Algiers, while off-loading the older onto a family in Marrakech) strike the 21st century reader as unwise; and while the narrator accepts things, her older sister is hankering after things like school, a father figure and mashed potato.
Humorous moments abound - I loved the hennaed prostitutes constantly stealing the baby's nappies as turbans. ( )
  starbox | Mar 1, 2016 |
Feckless mother or enlightened childhood?

This for me feels a hard book to review as I have mixed feelings about it or maybe just the message that's intended.

This is a tale of two young children taken to Morocco in the 1960's by their hippy mother and their experiences there.

There is no doubt that the book is well written from the point of a young girl which is maintained throughout,no mean feat in itself, but that also means that the narrative becomes meandering just like their mother's wanderings and also no explanations are ever given. We see an abundance of experiences from the naive point of view of a child who sees adventure everywhere with no thought of the consequences wanting to make friends wherever they whether they be old or young,male or female,wealthy or pauper. The depiction of life in Morocco is very atmosphere as we see the daily struggle that many people have,particularly women in a male dominated country,just to survive the daily grind.

However,if the message is a feminist one then it becomes a little muddled IMHO. The mother sets of to Morocco to find herself yet her reliance on men soon becomes painfully obvious whether it be waiting for the children's father to send money out or a local male,Bilal etc,to provide for them either financially or as company and protection. We also see a young girl who must rely on her mother for everything because she is not old enough unlike Bea to stand alone this becomes more and more desperate with time as her mother seems to become ever more oblivious to her children's needs.

Despite the mother seeming to feel that they are living some sort of idyll in Morocco the children become ever more desperate for the trappings of Western life, Mars bars, Christmas etc.

Now whilst I found this book an engaging light read it failed to really grab me and am unsure quite why it is on the '1001 books before you die' list but that could just be me.Feckless would be my vote. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Sep 16, 2014 |
A rating of 4*s would also be valid here. Oh, where are the half stars when you need them. Although not usually a fan of child narrators, I found this one refreshing, honest and ringing true. An interesting little book that kept me immersed until the conclusion. ( )
  mlbelize | Jan 27, 2014 |
The most loveable and intriguing part of this story was that it was told from the perspective of 5 year old Lucy. And even more so was Freud's ability to keep the [b:magical thinking|7815|The Year of Magical Thinking|Joan Didion|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1165644384s/7815.jpg|1659905] and ideas of Lucy throughout the book which left me wanting more.

Lucy sees all as an adventure and makes keen observations about the adults around her including Mum. Bea who is older is more practical and longs for a more normal and less outrageous Mum.

The story begins with Lucy's mother deciding to go to Morocco with her two young girls, Lucy and Bea. Although the book does not give a timeline, I assumed that it was sometime in the 60's and Mum is on a quest for her spiritual self. As the story unfolds the reader is wrapped up in their adventures as they meet an assortment of wacky characters including The Fool and the Nappy Ladies.

A traveling circus performer, Bilal, becomes a makeshift father figure for the girls bringing some security to their lives. He cares for them and provides a sense of stability to their mother's otherwise sporadic adventure-seeking missions. I loved how they continuously tried to conjure up ideas to make money including having Lucy train as an acrobat.

The girls are amazingly precocious and love to play tag all while screaming their favorite words "hideous" and "kinky". ( )
1 vote MichelleCH | Apr 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140174125, Paperback)

Two little girls are taken by their mother to Morocco on a 1960s pilgrimage of self-discovery. For Mum, it is not just an escape from the grinding conventions of English life but a quest for personal fulfilment; her children, however, seek something more solid and stable amidst the shifting desert sands. 'Just open the book and begin, and instantly you will be first of all charmed, then intrigued and finally moved by this fascinating story' - "Spectator".

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:38 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"Two little English girls struggle to establish some semblance of normal life on a journey through Europe with their hippie mother in the mid-1960's. Once in Marrakech, Mum immerses herself in Sufism and her quest for personal fulfillment, while the daughters rebel."--Jacket.… (more)

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Average: (3.48)
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2 19
2.5 7
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