Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman is one of the books I’ve received as part of my monthly subscription to the Willoughby Book Club. They always send me the best books! But the reason I picked up Pigeon English now is because Kelman will be appearing at the Edinburgh International Books Festival this year. His new book, Man on Fire, looks amazing but isn’t out until August so I don’t know if I’ll get it read before seeing him.
Anyhoo, back to Pigeon English. I have to admit that i did not love the book for one very specific reason: I don’t tend to like first person narrators. I like them even less when they are children. Everything I didn’t like about the book goes back to this first person narrative.
Ostensibly, Kelman is a very good writer. I’m not put off by Pigeon English and I look forward to his new book. He’s a writer I will continue to keep my eye on.
Who would like this book? In a way Pigeon English brings The Mysterious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime to mind. Both deal with a person with naive conceptions of the world trying to solve a mystery.