Coconut Unlimited by Nikesh Shukla
Coconut Unlimited, Nikesh's debut novel, is out now on Quartet Books. You can order it here or here if you prefer large conglomerates like Amazon. It was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award in 2010 and the Desmond Elliott Prize for Fiction in 2011..
Here’s what the press thought of it:
‘…funny and irreverent…’ Guardian, December 2010
‘An entertaining portrayal of late-adolescent angst and musical ineptitude, Coconut Unlimited will have a broad appeal not limited merely to those who are nostalgic for high-tops and a time when Skee-Lo’s “I Wish I Was a Little Bit Taller” was still in the charts.’ GQ, October 2010
‘…a riot of cringeworthy moments made real by Shukla’s beautifully observed characters and talent for teen banter.’ Metro, October 2010
‘Energetic, tender and fizzing with some hilariously awful rapping.’ The Word, November 2010
‘Without attempting to smack you in the face with originality (or whatever else new writers think they need to do to get attention), it manages to be heartfelt and an utter pleasure to spend time with. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine anyone being anything other than charmed by Shukla’s endlessly readable prose. Possibly the most fun this writer has had with new fiction this year.’ Bookmunch, November 2010
Here’s what it’s about:
Coconut Unlimited follows the adventures of three hapless, hip-hop obsessed Asian boys in an all-white private school.
It’s Harrow in the 1990s, and Amit, Anand and Nishant are stuck. Their peers think they’re a bunch of try-hard darkies, acting street and pretending to be cool, while their community thinks they’re rich toffs, a long way from the ‘real’ Asians in Southall.
So, to keep it real, they form legendary hip-hop band ‘Coconut Unlimited’.
Pity they can’t rap…
From struggling to find records in the suburbs and rehearsing on rubbish equipment, to evading the clutches of disapproving parents and real life drug-dealing gangsters, Coconut Unlimited documents every teenage boy’s dream and the motivations behind it: being in a band to look pretty cool – oh, and get girls…
Here’s what lovely friends said about it:
‘A unique, bittersweet, tragi-geek celebration of beats, rhymes, and
growing up. Nikesh Shukla captures the excitement, delusions, and
creative confusion of adolescence with disarming honesty and
Riz Ahmed AKA Riz MC, star of Four Lions
‘Coconut Unlimited is an overdue take on the neglected nexus between
private school and Public Enemy. A spry, funny writer, Nikesh Shukla has
a terrifying eye for the awkwardness of adolescence but, fortunately,
spares his reader too much fist-eating embarrassment through the charm
of his characters and the heart of his prose.’
Patrick Neate, author of Jerusalem and Twelve Bar Blues
‘Charming, funny and connects to the wannabe gangster in all of us.’
Joe Dunthorne, author of Submarine
‘Coconut Unlimited is dope. A Brit-Asian Rotters’ Club that is both a
loving homage to hip-hop and a fresh take on the English comic novel.
Carry On Rapping…’
Niven Govinden, author of Graffiti My Soul
‘Laugh out loud and refreshingly honest. The hip-hop soundtrack thumps like a bassline from beginning to end.’
Anita Rani, presenter and journalist
‘Like Goodness Gracious Me being channelled by Flava Flav…’
Bobby Friction, DJ and broadcaster
‘An absolute killer of a book that perfectly captures the suburban
quest for Rap Stardom. Grab your crotch and bust a lyric into your
Charlie Dark, writer, producer and DJ