Sharp, Bold Writing That Will Have You Hooked // REVIEW: Goodbye Freddie Mercury by Nadia Akbar

Title: Goodybe Freddie Mercury
Author: Nadia Akbar
Publication Date: June 2018
Publisher: Penguin Random House India
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: PRH India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Flipkart || Infibeam || Google Books
Blurb Description: Play the game,everybody play the game . . . 
Lahore is burning. General elections are right around the corner. The summer city rages with the drug-fuelled parties of the oblivious, the rich and famous, while campaign posters and rally cries dominate the airwaves.
Bugsy, rock RJ and host of the nation's top English radio show, is young and fabulous. Seeking more than wealth, fame and prestige, he performs a dangerous for old friend that plunges him into the dark recesses of desi politics. Nida, a young student desperate to escape the oppressive atmosphere of her traditional family home and her conservative college, and still mourning the death of her brother, throws herself recklessly into the drug-addled arms of Omer Ali, son of the prime minister's right-hand man. As Nida spirals in decadence and Bugsy descends into darkness, their paths cross and sparks begin to fly.
Nadia Akbar's audacious debut has all the makings of a cult novel-parties, drugs, mysteries, love triangles, political intrigue and power struggles - but its lush, sexy writing has the assuredness and precision of the most acute style of our time. Told in alternating voices and brimming with sharp observation, Goodbye Freddie Mercury hits the rocks and trails atwist.
“The truth – I’m asking for trouble. Trouble is too damn interesting. Trouble is an integral part of the desi lifestyle. It’s what we do.

Reading Goodbye Freddie Mercury was this experience that is, quite honestly, hard to describe. It started off like this normal, everyday book. Interesting and intriguing, but nothing spectacular. And then, at some point, I looked up and I was hooked, invested and in love.

What I mean to say (in non-rambling terms) is that this book GREW ON IMMESNELY. Reading Nadia Akbar’s sharp, earnest writing felt I was right in the middle of a storm, enjoying the rain and trying to hold on to my sense of self as well, instead of being pulled completely into Nida and Bugsy’s story.


1.       Let’s PLEASE talk about that cover, because it. Is. Beautiful. The minute I saw it, I knew I would HAVE to have this book as a part of my collection because it is STUNNING.
2.       I finished this book three days ago, and I’m STILL REELING AT THAT ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING ENDING. I did not see it coming, not even from a million miles away and I honestly don’t know what to make of it. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FUCTION WITH NO CLOSURE ON ONE OF MY FAVOURITE (FICTIONAL) PEOPLE?

3.       Goodbye Freddie Mercury is told from the point of view of two people – Nida, a girl grieving the death of her brother and desperate to get away from home and her family, and Bugsy, Pakistan’s star rock RJ, who gets in deep with two warring sides of a political struggle. I loved who they were individually, how they interacted and just their bone deep pain than emanated off the page.

4.       Nadia Akbar’s writing, like I mentioned above is truly exceptional. It was sharp and filled with observations of the everyday desi citizen’s life, and about politics, family and life. It shook me to my core, made me think and had me INVESTED in the lives of people I’d never met.

5.       I loved the portrayal of Pakistan and its elite in Akbar’s Goodbye Freddie Mercury. Set in Lahore, a major Pakistani city, Goodbye Freddie Mercury brings to life a country on the precipice of decadence, looking only towards the spiral downwards. Whether it was politics, the partying culture or just the general decadent lives, the story and the writing was JUST SO BOLD and I can’t recommend diving in enough.

Would I recommend this book? HECK YES. Go and pick up a copy already.

A sharp and bold tale set in contemporary Pakistan with stunning writing that is a must read!
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Nadia Akbar is a Pakistani-American novelist. She was born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan. She holds degrees from Cornell University and the graduate creative-writing programme at the University of Arizona.

What was the last book you read that completely BLEW your expectations?
What are some of the books you read with such a twist ending, you didn't know what to do for days after?
I'd LOVE to hear from you!

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