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11

Tuesday

Somewhere in London, between the family-friendly pap of Bend It Like Beckham and the deadly world of jihadists, exists a south-Asian rude-boy lifestyle of flashy cars, hip-hop, and cell phones. Londonstani, the debut novel from Financial Times journalist Guatam Malkani, brings this Bollywood-, Hollywood-, and MTV-drenched youth subculture into the spotlight: 19-year-old Jas and his friends reject the traditional ways of their parents and refuse to assimilate into mainstream British culture, imagining their West London suburb as a hard-knocks ghetto. Get past Malkani’s awkward prose—written as if the characters were dictating SMS text messages to one another—and the unwinding vignettes make for a pretty funny read. Which, actually, is kind of a relief: Malkani originally intended Londonstani to be nonfiction. Malkani speaks and signs copies of his work at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books and Records, 1307 19th St. NW. Free. (202) 785-1133. (Josh Eiserike)