2. Pigeon English, by Stephen Kelman (2011) Another from the Booker short list, this is Kelman's first novel. The story is about Harri, an 11 year old Ghanaian boy living on a London council estate. After a local boy is stabbed, Harri decides to investigate. Along the way he tells us about his life, school, family, the local gangs, and about a pigeon that is his favourite bird. This book reminded me a bit of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, and Harri's naive observations on life also remind me of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. But his is a unique voice and Kelman has done well in creating a memorable central character. The story was inspired by an actual case in the UK, altough the author only mentions that tangentially. All in all a very good book, bit Hilary Mantell is still out in front, I think. EDIT: On reflection, I think Narcopolis comes in ahead of this.