Stock Image

Hideous Kinky

Esther Freud

2,607 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1572700998 / ISBN 13: 9781572700994
Published by Audio Partners
Used Condition: GOOD
From OwlsBooks (Toledo, MD, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since June 26, 2006

Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

Good clean copy with no missing pages might be an ex library copy; Possibly may have minor marginal notes and or highlighting. Bookseller Inventory # 2534109526

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: Hideous Kinky

Publisher: Audio Partners

Binding: Audio Cassette

Book Condition:GOOD

About this title

Synopsis:

Seen through the eyes of a 5-year-old girl, this is the remarkable journey of two sisters living in Marrakesh during the late '60' with their well-meaning hippie mother. The charming story is sometimes disturbing as the children try to impose a discipline of sorts on their whimsical mother. In this semi-autobiographical novel, Esther Freud's skill as both writer and reader creates a quality of innocence that is both effortless and entirely convincing. 2 cassettes.

Review:

Hideous Kinky begins as a small, cheerful autobiographical novel following Thurber's variation on Wordsworth: "Humor is emotional chaos recollected in tranquillity." In the mid-1960s, two girls, ages 5 and 7, travel with their mother from London to Marrakech. Also along for the ride are John, Mum's boyfriend, and Maretta, John's wife. Though the author is a descendant of Sigmund Freud, the title of her first book has little to do with the pleasure principle. Instead, it is the only phrase the sisters have heard Maretta speak, one that quickly becomes an all-purpose epithet: "One of the shepherds whistled and the dogs slung to the ground. Bea raised an eyebrow as she passed me. 'Hideous kinky,' she whispered." Esther Freud's vocabulary and tone veer easily from the childlike to the more sophisticated, particularly when she recounts speech or circumstances beyond a child's comprehension.

Once the group arrives in Marrakech, John and Maretta split off, and Mum hooks up with various men and pursues spirituality. The children, meanwhile, want nothing more than to be normal--or at least not to be so embarrassed by their mother's Islamic fervor: "'Oh Mum, please...' I was prepared to beg. 'Please don't be a Sufi.'" In Hideous Kinky, people appear and disappear with little reason or explanation. Though most of the characters are differentiated by one outstanding feature, Bilal, the itinerant builder and magician's apprentice who becomes one of Mum's lovers, is more complex. The narrator loves and trusts him from the start, and when she asks him if he will eventually return to England with them, "Bilal closed his eyes and began to hum along with Om Kalsoum, whose voice crackled and wept through a radio in the back of the café."

Hideous Kinky is curiously divided. The first half is a lark. The girls explore Marrakech, picking up the language and even passing themselves off as beggars. The family's only worries are about money, and these are soon cured by the next bank draft from their father. But the second half is more melancholy. Mum's religious zeal becomes rather less endearing, and as the girls' adventures turn more dangerous, local rituals and customs begin to lose their charm: "I didn't like to think about the camel festival. The camel, garlanded in flowers, collected us from our house in the Mellah, and we had followed it out of the city and high into the mountains in a procession of singing." The parade ends, however, with the animal's beheading. "Occasionally I looked at Bea to see if she was running over these events like I was, the sound effects living their own life behind her eyes, but she gave nothing away."

In the end, Hideous Kinky is a novel less about an exotic country seen through an innocent's eyes than about family, about having a deeply embarrassing mother, an older sister who does everything before you, and a distant father. It escapes sentimentality through simplicity: "Bilal was my Dad. No one denied it when I said so." The author, her sister, and her mother spent two years in Morocco, and while Esther Freud may not have invented her subject, she has re-created it with a light touch and delicate irony.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

Return/Refund Policy: Items are eligible for refund for 30 days after the order’s estimated delivery date. If you are dissatisfied with your purchase due to error on our part or if an item does not arrive within the estimated delivery time frame provided at the time an order is place, please contact our customer service team for immediate resolution. We will accept items for return if the item is no longer needed for 15 days of the items arrival date.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

Items can be returned within 30 days of the estimated delivery date. All returns must be approved before an item is shipped back. Domestic returns generally take two weeks and International returns can take up to six weeks to be received and processed by our return center. In the event that an item is being returned due to an error on our part, a prepaid return label will be supplied via email upon request. If a return is not approved, there may be a delay with processing a refund. Tax ID: 87-07...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Orders usually ship within 2 business days [M-F]. Unfortunately, as a bulk order shipper, we do not provide tracking for individual orders included in our bulk shipments. Items shipped via USPS Standard Mail should arrive within 4-14 business days [M-F]. Please note, as per USPS, depending on service location and/or high peak periods within the post office, deliveries can take up to 21 business days [M-F] to arrive. Should your order not arrive within 21 business days [M-F], please contact us promptly for resolution.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express