Forest Gate

Forest Gate

Akinti's raw and riveting debut novel begins with Ashvin, an angry teenage Somali refugee, and his best friend, James, on opposite rooftops in the slums of East London preparing to hang themselves in a suicide pact. Ashvin leaps, unable to bear the reality of his own life?his activist parents murdered in Somalia; his brutal rape at the hands of Ethiopian soldiers; the cons Akinti's raw and riveting debut novel begins with Ashvin, an angry teenage Somali refugee, and his best friend, James, ...

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Title:Forest Gate
Author:Peter Akinti
Rating:
Genres:Fiction
ISBN:143917217X
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:210 pages pages

Forest Gate Reviews

  • Tony
    Feb 02, 2010
    This debut novel by the East End-raised son of Nigerian immigrants to England has a pretty clear point of view. And that view is that racism permeates British culture, fashionable multiculturalism is an illusion, and pretty much all black men are locked in a lifelong struggle to break ...
  • Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
    Jun 16, 2010
    this book did an amazing job of conveying the heart of the black male project/council flat experience. one of the most poignant moments in the book is when the main character got into a chest-puffing match with another man on the tube. it was heartbreaking to think that men have to res...
  • Jane
    Jul 15, 2010
    This was a little bit hard to read, very violent, opens with a suicide. I had to skip over some scenes. And I was left wondering about some things, like how she was sold as a virgin bride 6 times. ...
  • Tuck
    Jun 11, 2010
    its amazing how wars, racism, fanaticism, poverty, and imperialism all manifest in folks lives in almost the exact same ways, no matter who or where those people are. Brules in south Dakota or Somalis in London. it aint pretty. this is a great 1st novel. ...
  • Lisa
    Apr 06, 2010
    There aren't enough books about the urban poor in the global North, the violence and illness and struggles they go through. The fact that this book combines the trauma of growing up poor among gangs in a wealthy city with the trauma of growing up relatively wealthy in a poor country su...
  • Libraryscat
    Mar 17, 2010
    It was interesting that I received Forest Gate shortly after I The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Durrow. It, too, deals with racial issues, but from a very different perspective. I could not have planned my reading any better and I would like to thank Simon & Schuster Free Press fo...
  • Heather
    May 12, 2010
    One morning during her early morning class, young Meina is unexpectedly removed and brought to speak with two policemen who inform her that her brother Ashvin is dead. Ashvin and his best friend James had recently put a suicide pact into motion, both boys hanging themselves from two op...
  • Jasmine Star
    Nov 14, 2011
    From the moment I started reading this book I was entranced by the truthful, raw, elegant, and articulate way of writing. The author makes you want to keep reading, want to keep imagining... There were so many truths about the state of our societies - the way men in particular are forc...
  • VJ
    Sep 18, 2010
    I am learning about the clash between Ethiopians, Somalis, and Eritreans through this harrowing story of siblings who, after the murder of their parents, are moved to London where Ashvin commits suicide and Meina takes up with the young man who tried to kill himself along with her brot...
  • Nancy Motto
    Jan 18, 2011
    This is a unflinching look at life in the ghettos of East London. Two boy's are so completely without hope that they decide to attempt suicide together. One lives, One dies. The story then follow the struggles of the boy who lived as well as the sister of the boy who died. I think at t...
  • Christy Lockstein
    Mar 22, 2010
    Forest Gate by Peter Akinti is a shattering look at life as a Somali refugee in London. James and Meina struggle to find a new life after the suicide of her brother, his best friend. The young men had made a pact, but when James' rope didn't snap his neck, he realized that life was wor...
  • Angela
    Oct 01, 2011
    This was one beautifully written book. I did not give it more stars because it was so depressing. I thought that it would turn around but it wasn't. I loved the writing style of the author. Suicide and the atrocities committed by people on the African continent with the support of outs...
  • Nick
    Apr 15, 2012
    The Forest Gate starts out strong, then runs aground in a haze of improbabilities. Two boys, one a Somali refugee and the other a black Briton attempt suicide in the harrowing, drug-infested projects the inhabit. The Briton survives and goes on to romance the sister of his dead Somali ...
  • Caitlin
    Mar 13, 2010
    Raw and sad this debut novel delivers on its promise of a view into modern London's East End. Blacks in England tend to be Caribbean or African and it is those influences that they've brought with them. I find this to be in contrast with African Americans who were brought here forcibly...
  • Yassemin
    Nov 28, 2012
    Forest Gate is Peter Akita's debut novel. I hadn't ever heard of him before until I came across his absolute gem of a debut in the library yesterday. I'm going to start off by saying, its been a hell of a long time since I've felt the way I feel about this fantastic book. Sure, I've...
  • Kathleen
    Jul 02, 2010
    I'm not sure of how or why I came upon this book, I think it was a grab-in-passing from the public library's browse shelf. I'm glad that this book crossed my path, it is brutal and beautiful and engaging. ...
  • switterbug (Betsey)
    Feb 22, 2011
    In the old council flats of London, a tragic event ripples through gang and racial warfare. James, a local black British teen from a *successful*crack-dealing family, and his best friend, Ashvin, a poet-loving Somali refugee, jump off a towering building, nooses around their necks, in ...
  • Borbality
    Aug 23, 2014
    And here I thought the low-ish rating was just for the uncomfortable rape scenes. Turns out the thing just fizzles out. Starts out very promising. A kind of brutal look at black poverty in the UK. However, what kind of ruins any artistic mystery here with the vague ending is an...
  • Karen
    Sep 12, 2012
    I got the book at BAM on one of the discount shelves. Because this is a book I would not likely have noticed otherwise, I consider it a good find. There were a few inconsistencies in the book which troubled me a little. Also, Meina and James seemed old beyond their years but maybe that...
  • Carroll
    Aug 14, 2011
    I didn't even realize there was a "Black" problem in the UK until I heard about the riots on the news recently. This fiction was graphic but did not ruin my sensibilities. Life in the "hood" and love between two innocents were realistically told. I would recommend it. ...
  • Brian
    Feb 26, 2011
    Not really sure what to say. The cover blurb promised angry and I didn't really get angry, which was in a way a disappointment since I was thinking I'd get something along the lines of Le The Au Harem D'Archi Ahmed. There are some nice metaphors along the way "chewing on her lie" and s...
  • Nathan Huff
    Feb 18, 2011
    We should keep an eye on Peter. He's not just an extraordinary literary voice. He's also a messenger. He delivers a very disturbing, violent, and angry message with his debut. I can't help but think that he has a lot more to tell us. ...
  • Miguel
    Aug 30, 2011
    Forest Gate is a painful, poignant, and brilliant novel. It comes as close to perfect as any novel I've ever read. Akinti pulls no punches in a visceral and vivid display of life in both London's Forest Gate community and a war-torn Somalia. Centering around representatives from those ...
  • Adam
    May 30, 2012
    one of my book culbs are reading this book this kind of book is new to me so to me it was a lil slow i almost stop reading it im happy i read it because it was a good book hrad to read at time with the rape and things like that over all a good book ...
  • Tyler Stoffel
    Jun 05, 2012
    Forest Gate told a very dark tale of multiple rapes, murder and suicide, but with such detailed backstory that I fully understood the motivations behind the actions, as terrible as they were. Akinti goes as far as making the reader believe the rape of the Ethiopaian boy Namal is justif...
  • Nicola Waldron
    Jan 26, 2016
    A book to change lives--how we view the world, and how we might look out on it, and each other, in the future. Distressing and brilliant, an examination of the darkest of undersides--London and beyond. Forest Gate: a place I once lived and couldn't wait to escape, but I really had no i...
  • Diana Eberhardt
    Oct 07, 2013
    Very, very powerful. Even if you don't think you can or want to read the book, consider reading at least the author's essay at the end. It is a deeply felt explanation of the life and experiences of a black man and an immigrant. ...
  • Natoya
    Mar 20, 2013
    I loved this book. Funny thing I had gotten it free as an advanced reader copy - so it sat around my house for about 2 years as I read the books I purchased. The synopsis didn't grab me at first but when I finally read the novel, I was amazed at all of it. The writing is amazing; the n...
  • Te Yang
    Nov 05, 2013
    Heartbreaking...Finished the book in 1 and a half days with mixed emotions still lingering which ceases my need to read my next book in line. I just can't get over the harsh third-world experience the characters are in. Yet, it gives me a sense of relief and satisfaction through out th...
  • Victoria
    Sep 05, 2016
    Really unique An excellent look into a challenging world -- it helps shed light on characters and social struggles with which I'm not familiar. Extremely thought-provoking and moving. ...