November 21, 1997 at 05:00 AM EST

Love in a Blue Time

Current Status
In Season
Hanif Kureishi
Fiction, Short Stories
We gave it a B+

The ’80s took their toll on these love stories’ divorce-bound characters, who can’t handle responsibility and sense that ”life [can] not be grasped but only lived.” In tales that range from the tartly picaresque (”With Your Tongue Down My Throat”) to the sophomoric (”In a Blue Time”), Hanif Kureishi — famous for the screenplays My Beautiful Laundrette and Sammy and Rosie Get Laid — describes a London with ”drugged, useless people who…never spoke of anything serious.” It might have been interesting to see Kureishi’s urbanites transcend the decade of greed and drugs, but with Love in a Blue Time he captures their soulless wheel spinning with comic timing and flashes of scalding black humor. B+

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