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Summary

The hilarious and pubescent debut book from your favourite British-Muslim comedian (that's Tez Ilyas, by the way). You may know and love Tez from his stand-up comedy, his role as Eight in Man Like Mobeen, his Radio 4 series TEZ Talks, or panel shows such as Mock the Week and The Last Leg. Where you won't know him from is 1997, when he was 13¾. (But now you will - because that's what the book is about.) 

In this suitably dramatic rollercoaster of a teenage memoir, Tez takes us back to where it all began: a working class, insular British-Asian-Muslim community in his hometown of post-Thatcher Blackburn. Meet Ammi (Mum), Baji Rosey (the older sister), Shibz (the fashionable cousin), Was (the cool cousin), Shiry (the cleverest cousin) and a community with the most creative nicknames this side of Top Gun

Running away from shotgun-wielding farmers, successfully dodging arranged marriages, getting mugged, having front-row seats to race riots and achieving formative sexual experiences doing stomach crunches in a gym, you could say life was fairly run of the mill. But with a GCSE pass rate of 30 percent at his school, his own fair share of family tragedy around the corner and 9/11 on the horizon, Tez's experiences of growing up as a British Muslim wasn't the fun, Jihad-pursuing affair the media wants you to believe. Well...not always. 

At times shalwar-wettingly hilarious and at others searingly sad, The Secret Diary of a British Muslim Aged 13¾ shows '90s Britain at its best and its worst.

©2021 Tez Ilyas (P)2021 Hachette Audio UK

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What listeners say about The Secret Diary of a British Muslim Aged 13 3/4

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Heartfelt, funny, relatable and eye opening! Loved this!

I knew I’d enjoy the book as I enjoy the author’s stand-up. But my expectations were truly surpassed.

There was so much in this book that was relatable as someone who grew up in Britain in the 80s / 90s, as someone who is of Pakistani decent, as someone who practices the Muslim faith. But the book totally stands up on its own not because of the, for me relatable, British Pakistani narrative, but also because of how much of it I couldn’t relate to. They fly-on-the-wall insight into the life of a teenage boy, the hilarious friendships, the adventures, the highs and lows that make you root for this kid.

It was genuinely a gift to hear his childhood story and I hope there’s more to come.

4 people found this helpful

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Superb novel

Really enjoyed this, the humour is there throughout with some great stories that reminded me of parts of my own youth. Some really sad sections and parts dealing with racism which are gutting. Really insightful, taught me a lot of interesting things and all read by Tez himself. Top stuff, and recommended! 🙌

2 people found this helpful

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very honest and funny and heartwarming

I live in the same town as Tez and a few years older went to same school and walked the same streets and also a British Muslim with Pakistani heritage. Tez really captures what it was like growing up and also how humour can be found in many places.
laughed a lot and at same time thought yes I did that too.

2 people found this helpful

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Northern England in the 90's

If like me you grew up in northern England you'll be familiar with the fantastic mixing pot of races, religions and cultures we have assimilated over the decades. This is a tale of our hapless hero Tez from being near 14 up to 18. A heart warming Adrian Mole take on his life, worries, loves and sorrows. You will laugh, you may cry, you will definitely have a changed perspective. You may also find yourself saying badgee (not sure of spelling) Rosie under your breath and smiling like I do. A seriously enjoyable book.

2 people found this helpful

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Truly worth ever second spent listening.

I grew up the the same era and roughly the same age and a lot of this book has thrown me back in time to a different time of my life and made me very nostalgic. Excellently read, funny, charming and spoken from the heart. If you're reading this now undecided on weather or not to give this a listen, take it from me you definately need too!

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Really enjoyed this

This is really enjoyable and I highly recommend listening to it on audio. It's a great insight into the Muslim faith if, like me, that's not something you're very familiar with. It's a funny and often moving memoir of family, friendship (and how boys are generally little shits) and growing up in turbulent times.

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VICKED!

I loved this, I listened to the whole book in 2 days.
definitely worth a listen it bought back so many childhood memories. Thank you Tez!

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Amazing story and storyteller!!

This book is absolutely brilliant! Tez is an amazing narrator and he makes this into an amazing listen. I highly recommend this book to everyone who appreciates a good book!

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Superb

Entertaining, interesting, educational, humour full. Seeing teenage years from another point of view is enlightening in parts yet so familiar in others.
Tez reading this absolutely brought it to life.
Superb.

1 person found this helpful

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Tried it but it was incredibly boring.

Got to y2k at which point I couldn't take it anymore, usual teenage angst mixed up with a Muslim view on matters.

Busy trying to find how to get my credit back

1 person found this helpful