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Extended Audio Sample Brick Lane Audiobook, by Monica Ali Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.58333333333333 out of 52.58333333333333 out of 52.58333333333333 out of 52.58333333333333 out of 52.58333333333333 out of 5 2.58 (12 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Monica Ali Narrator: Elizabeth Sastre Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2003 ISBN: 9781598871258
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After an arranged marriage to Chanu, a man twenty years older, Nazneen is taken to London, leaving her home and heart in the Bangladeshi village where she was born. Her new world is full of mysteries. How can she cross the road without being hit by a car (an operation akin to dodging raindrops in the monsoon)? What is the secret of her bullying neighbor Mrs. Islam? What is a Hell’s Angel? And how must she comfort the naïve and disillusioned Chanu?

As a good Muslim girl, Nazneen struggles to not question why things happen. She submits, as she must, to fate and devotes herself to her husband and daughters. Yet to her amazement, she begins an affair with a handsome young radical, and her erotic awakening throws her old certainties into chaos.

Monica Ali’s splendid novel is about journeys both external and internal, where the marvelous and the terrifying spiral together.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “It usually takes [writers] two or three books to establish their form—and yet Monica Ali already has a sense of technical assurance and an inborn generosity that cannot be learned. Brick Lane inspires confidence about the career that is to come.”

    New York Times

  • “At once sophisticated and innocent, compassionate and entertaining.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Splendid…Daring…Brilliant…Refreshing…Brick Lane is a great achievement of the subtlest storytelling.”

    New Republic

  • Brick Lane is as crisp and urgent as a headline…But the true pleasure of this wonderful novel comes from its timeless sense of wonder and affection for the haplessness of human nature.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Already one of the most significant British novelists of her generation.”

    Observer (London)

  • “Ali describes in quite an intricate way how a Muslim housewife might think and behave and what her aspirations might be. Brick Lane is a brilliant book about things that matter.”


  • Brick Lane effortlessly dissolves the gendered false barrier between the social-political and domestic novel, often without ranging far from Nazneen’s cluttered flat and the pangs of her increasingly adventurous mind.”

    Village Voice

  • “The immigrant world Ali chronicles in this penetrating, unsentimental debut has much in common with Zadie Smith’s scrappy, multicultural London…Carefully observed and assured, the novel is free of pyrotechnics, its power residing in Ali's unsparing scrutiny of its hapless, hopeful protagonists.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[Monica Ali] is one of those dangerous writers who sees everything.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • Winner of the 2003 Barnes & Noble Discover Award for Fiction
  • A 2003 Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Prize for First Fiction Finalist
  • Winner of the 2004 Audie Award
  • A 2003 New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A 2003 Guardian First Book Award Finalist
  • A 2003 Man Booker Prize Finalist
  • A 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 irem | 1/25/2018

    " It was a great ride. I love the narration style. The accents were so effective. The book will come as boring if you expect an eventful book. 'Brick Lane' is more about the daily routine of the protagonist and the evolution of her thoughts. Its a female emancipation story that feels down to earth. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Benji | 2/17/2014

    " This book was/is the worst ive ever read its so insignificant and boring its really sad "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jayden | 5/18/2011

    " Couldn't keep up with it. Wasn't very interested in it. Skipped to the end nothing really worth noting besides don't think you should read it.

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leah | 5/15/2011

    " This is a hard book to rate. I really liked some parts of it and didn't care for others. Overall I'd give it a 3.5. However, I think it would make great discussion for a book club, and I know I'll be thinking of this book for a while to come. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 4/26/2011

    " The story of a young woman who is taught to accept her fate, and what happens when she finally decides to shape it instead. It wasn't a quick read for me, but I did enjoy it. Nazneen's life is just so different from mine, so it was like a glimpse into another world. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Whitney | 4/16/2011

    " I wanted to like this book, but just. couldn't. finish. it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lily | 4/11/2011

    " LbW selection, October, 2008. Enjoyed this story of Bangladesh immigrants in London and in their native country.

    The movie is good, too. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Suzanne (suz&mark) | 4/7/2011

    " Eh. I remember trying to start this book a while ago and not being able to finish it. This time I stuck with it but not one of the best books Ive read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tina | 3/28/2011

    " The story started off slow, but got me hooked in the middle---I wanted to know if the protagonist who was a passive woman explicitly, but bold/daring mentally would actually leave her husband for her lover---the ending was sub-par and out of nowhere... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kerrie | 3/17/2011

    " I would rather stick forks in my eyes than read this novel again.


  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dgoll | 3/12/2011

    " Interesting book about the clash of cultures, generations and radical/tradional muslin religion. Worth the read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barb | 3/9/2011

    " A female version of the Kite Runner. "

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About the Author
Author Monica Ali

Monica Ali was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and grew up in England. She was named one of the twenty best young British novelists by Granta and is the author of the novel Brick Lane, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and is now a major motion picture, and Alentejo Blue, a story collection. She lives in London with her husband and two young children.

About the Narrator

Elizabeth Sastre has narrated dozens of audiobooks, including Bed Rest by Sarah Bilston, Brick Lane by Monica Ali, and The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde, which was an AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year in 2004.