This book is about contemporary London seen through the eyes of Jas who has joined the the elite company of "rudeboys" Hardjit, a bodybuilder, Ravi,a sexual braggart, and a Hindu nationalist, Amit.
The four nineteen-year-olds, supposedly studying for their entrance exams into University, ride around in a Beamer, a souped -up car, and ogle "fit" girls. Their rough behavior contrasts with their respect for family traditions. They are cowed by their mothers' requests to pick up lavender oil at the drugstore and they don't dare revolt against family rituals like weddings and funerals.
Jas is a latecomer to the group and tries hard to fit in. He hides his love of books and his habit of talking "poncey" like the BBC. He has to conceal his admiration for a Samira, a Muslim gir, off-limits to Hundus.
The boys are involved in selling stolen "fones" to a dealer . Ravi is caught stealing their teacher's phone. Instead of calling the police, the schoolmaster introduces them to a role model, Sanjay, a local boy who has become a wealthy entrepreneur. He involves the four in a more sophisticated phone-laundering scheme.
The boys dump Jas when he gets involved with Amit's older brother Arun whose modern Hindu fiancee displeases his mother. Jas advises Arun not to get caught up in "family-related shit" with disastrous results. Sanjay forces Jas who is cut off from his regular suppliers to rob his own father's phone warehouse or face assassination.
Jas summarizes his escapades with a torrent of angry words to his father. "The full shit: the fights, the bhangra)hip) gigs, the fones, the bunking, Samira, Hardjit, Sanjay, Samira, Arun, The Porsche, Sanjay's flat...." Most of the novel is written in this patois that becomes easy to understand after the first few pages.
The story is basically about the rudeboys'struggle to define themselves in a culture foreign to their upbringing and heritage.
This report prepared by Betty-Jeanne Korson