Red Laal Offer

‘Red Laal is a real rough guide to Bradford, an unflinching look at the city’s criminal hinterland, but then MY Alam isn’t in the business of tourism. Every city has its underworld, and Bradford is no different. Red Laal is a smart, tough and authentic revenge thriller best served cold, and marks out M Y Alam as a major name in gritty, contemporary gangster-culture crime writing. It might be a little early in Alam’s career to say he’s the Bradfordian version of Elmore Leonard, but given a few more novels of this quality, at this pace and in this vein, then who knows?’ – Bradford T&A

‘Red Laal is a fine novel, a story that absolutely races along and grips like a vice. Sometimes it feels as though you can touch the fabric of the world Alam has created.’ – Yorkshire Post

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SPECIAL OFFER

For a limited period, Red Laal is just £3.60 for Kindle. Click here to order.

Also available in Hardback. Click here for more details on the book and to order.

***

‘Another gangster with all the presence of a ghost. Just stories you hear over the years. Heavyweight. King shit. Bad arse. Red Laal… If there did exist a Pakistani Don Corleone, then this was him.

Red Laal is the third novel from M Y Alam and has been ten years in the making. The book continues the story of Alam’s protagonist Khalil ‘Kilo’ Khan, who was first encountered in Alam’s award winning novel Kilo in 2002.

M Y Alam novels consistently chronicle the British-Pakistani experience in the same way that the works of Mario Puzo traced the Italian-American experience, through the lens of a self-regulating organised criminal network. In Kilo, we learnt of Khalil’s journey into a life of crime, how an innocent boy was transformed after witnessing a violent attack on his father by gangsters. Ultimately his progression through the criminal world allowed him to take revenge on his father’s attackers, but at the heavy price of a tormented soul.

Red Laal picks up the story ten years later, and we find Khalil at a low end, a small time drugs dealer desperately in search of his own salvation. The arrival of Laal Hussain, a Godfather figure of his father’s generation, lures Khalil back in to the criminal fold, but revelations of Laal’s hidden history and family connections make Khalil more determined than ever to escape the life of crime once and for all. A trip to Pakistan unlocks a wealth of secrets and leads to a showdown with Laal; two men plagued by their own demons and there’s only one possible way out.

M Y Alam’s novel is a compelling tale of survival, honour and family values; it is at once a page-turning thriller and homage to his home city of Bradford. In Kilo and Red Laal, Alam has created characters beyond compare in contemporary British fiction.

***

M Y Alam is the author of the novels Annie Potts is Dead and Kilo. He has published several short stories and is the editor of the acclaimed social history books Made in Bradford and The Invisible Village. During the day, he is a researcher and lecturer at the University of Bradford.

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Red Laal Playlist

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It’s not every book that has a discography. Red Laal does. Each section of the book is framed around a film, and each chapter framed by a song title. Here’s the discography. It’s quite a mix. Click the video player above to listen to the playlist in full. Details of songs below.

RAINING STONES
Producer: Sally Hibbin. Director: Ken Loach
Studio/Production company: Channel Four Films/Parallax Pictures. 1993

Wapas karna
Taken by Trees ft. Sodagher Ali, East of Eden, 2009, Rough Trade Records
Pimper’s paradise
Bob Marley & The Wailers, Uprising, 1980, Tuff Gong/Island
Throw your hands up
Eightball & MJG ft. OutKast, In Our Lifetime, 1999, Suave House Records/Universal Records
Glitter freeze
Gorillaz ft. Mark E Smith, Plastic Beach, 2010, Parlophone/EMI
Alphabet aerobics
Blackalicious, A2g Ep, 1999, Quannum Projects
Such a night
Dr. John, The Definitive Pop Collection, 2007, Rhino/Elektra
The art of getting jumped
De La Soul, Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump, 2000, Tommy Boy
Still
Geto Boys, The Resurrection, 1996, Virgin

DEAD MAN’S SHOES
Producer: Mark Herbert. Director: Shane Meadows
Studio/Production company: Warp Films. 2004

I against I
Massive Attack ft. Mos Def, Collected – The Best of Massive Attack: Greatest Hits, 2006, Virgin
Twinz (Deep Cover ‘98)
Big Pun, Endangered Species, 2001, Relativity
Realms of Junior M.A.F.I.A.
Junior M.A.F.I.A. ft. Notorious B.I.G., Conspiracy, 1995, Atlantic
Rock (remix)
Louis Logic ft. Celph Titled, Lexicon, Ryu & J-Zone, Blame it on the Hooch, 2004, Pot to piss in
Mirror in the bathroom
The Beat, I Just Can’t Stop It, 1980, Go-Feet
Blood runs cold
Jedi Mind Tricks, Violent by Design, 2004, Babygrande Records
English rose
The Jam, All Mod Cons, 1990, Polygram
Chalte chalte
Lata Mangeshkar, Pakeezah (soundtrack), 2004, Saregama
Loaded
Primal Scream, Screamadelica, 1991, Creation Records
Prayin’
Plan B, The Defamation of Strickland Banks, 2010, 679 Recordings
Radio retaliation
Thievery Corporation, Radio Retaliation, 2008, ESL

THE BIG LEBOWSKI
Producer: Ethan Coen. Director: Joel Coen
Studio/Production company: Working Title Films. 1998

Too hot
Swollen Members, Black Magic, 2006, TVT
Chief rocka
Lords Of The Underground, Here Come the Lords, 1994, Cooltempo
Red right hand
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Best of, 1998, Mute
Quiet dog
Mos Def, The Ecstatic, 2009, V2 Cooperative Music
Laura Gene
Big Black Lincoln, Heaven’s Caught on Fire, 2007, Maple
I’ll be your man
The Black Keys, The Big Come Up, 2008, Alive Records
S. 90 skank
Big Youth, Ride Like Lightning, 2003, Trojan
The truth
Beanie Sigel, The Truth, 2000, Mercury
One day at a time (the golden banjo)
Phontaine, Bibliotec, 2007, CD Baby.Com/Indys
Slim Jenkin’s place
Booker T. & The MG’s, The Best of Booker T. & The MG’s, 2005, Atlantic

KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS
Producer: Michael Balcon. Director: Robert Hamer
Studio/Production company: Ealing Studios, 1950

Let’s push things forward
The Streets, Original Pirate Material, 2002, 679
On days like these
Matt Monro, The Very Best of Matt Monro, 1992, Music For Pleasure
Tonight the streets are ours
Richard Hawley, Lady’s Bridge, 2007, Mute
And so it burns
Jedi Mind Tricks, Legacy of Blood, 2004, Babygrande records
Worldwide
Royal Flush, Ghetto Millionaire, 2005, TVT
Work
Gang Starr, Moment of Truth, 1998, Cooltempo
True skool
Coldcut ft. Roots Manuva, Sound Mirrors, 2006, Ninja Tune
Nova heart
Spoons, Arias & Symphonies, 1982, Ready
Stop
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Take Them on Your Own, 2003, Virgin

SECRETS AND LIES
Producer: Simon Channing Williams. Director: Mike Leigh
Studio/Production company: Channel Four Films, CiBy 2000, Thin Man Films. 1996

Kashmir
Led Zeppelin, Physical Graffiti, 1975/1997, Pid/Atlantic
Swerve and lean
Nappy Roots, The Humdinger, 2008, Nappy Roots Entertainment Group
Transmission
Joy Division, Still, 1993, London
Afrika shox
Leftfield ft. Afrika Bambaata, Rhythm and Stealth, 2003, Sony
Supreme
Jus Allah, All Fates Have Changed, 2005, Babygrande
Something to lose
Kyprios of the Sweatshop Union ft. Metty the Dert (Sweatshop Union), Kyprios, 2009, Kyprios
Shadow portraits
White Lotus, ft. Loke and Morning Star, Formless Kung Fu, 2008, Lotus Clan Productions
Real estate
Cypress Hill, Cypress Hill, 1991, Columbia
3 minute classic
7L and Esoteric, A New Dope, 2006, Babygrande
Sunn vanjhli di mitthri taan ve
Noor Jehan, Greatest Punjabi Hits, 2006, EMI Pakistan
Somebody got murdered
The Specials, Today’s Specials, 1996, Virgin
Straight to hell
The Clash, Combat Rock, 1982, CBS
Ja sha taan
Fun-Da-Mental, Erotic Terrorism, 1998, Nation/Mantra
Je toon akhian de samne naeen rehna
Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Nit Khair Mangan Vol. 17, 1991, Oriental Star
King of pain
The Police, Synchronicity, 1983, A & M
Lonely soul
Unkle ft. Richard Ashcroft, Psyence Fiction, 1999, Mo Wax
Ali mullah
Transglobal Underground, Backpacking on the Graves of Our Ancestors: 1991 –1998, 1999, Nation
Space age love song
A Flock of Seagulls, A Flock of Seagulls, 1990, Jive

THE WARRIOR
Producer: Bertrand Faivre. Director: Asif Kapadia
Studio/Production company: FilmFour. 2001

Tried by 12
The East Flatbush Project, Remixes, 1998, Ninja Tune
Food for thought
UB40, Signing Off, 1980, Graduate Records
Transform ya
Bun B, No Mixtape, 2010, Trill Ent./Double Dose Ent./Rapalot 4 Life/LRG.
Black steel in the hour of chaos
Asian Dub Foundation ft. Chuck D, Time Freeze 1995-2007: The Best of Asian Dub Foundation, 2007, Virgin
Wajan marian bulaya kai war
Alam Lohar, Best of Alam Lohar: Dil Wala Dukhda, 2003, Nupur
Exit music (for a film)
Easy Star All-Stars ft. Sugar Minott, Radiodread: Tribute To OK Computer, 2006, Easy Star
Saif ul Malook
Alam Lohar, Saif-ul-Malook, 2008, OSA
Assan hun tur jana
Alam Lohar, A Tribute, Vol. 1, 2007, Oriental Star Agencies

Click here for more details on Red Laal by M Y Alam and to order direct from Route.

Buy Hardback from Amazon

Buy for Kindle

Red Laal Review – Yorkshire Post

RED_LAAL_COVER

While this is the second book to feature anti-hero drug dealer Kilo from MY Alam, the great beauty of it is that it works as a stand-alone piece, yet you can almost feel the predecessor adding weight to the story. Red Laal is a fine novel, that stands tall on its own, but even if you haven’t read the previous book, Kilo, you can sense this latest book exists in a greater universe than the one you see on the page in front of you.

MY Alam is the pen name of Bradford university lecturer Yunis Alam. That he grew up in Bradford and knows the city like the back of his hand is enormously evident in Red Laal. A previously published academic work by Alam, Made in Bradford, in which he conducted no-holds-barred interviews with some of the city’s young Asian men is also evidenced in the book, so rich and deep is the texture of the world Kilo inhabits. Sometimes it feels as though you can touch the fabric of the world Alam has created.

Kilo is a drug dealer who has a conflict at his centre. He has a strong moral backbone that makes selling drugs troublesome for him. He doesn’t live in opulence with the earnings from his trade – which he clearly could do with more rigour and efficiency if he wanted to – but just earns enough to get by.

With a reputation for being a man who can ‘fix things’ he is called upon to help an ‘uncle’ rescue his daughter who has been led into a life of vice. Kilo taking on the job of helping the girl is the story’s first hint that the drug dealer may have something good at heart.

Helping the girl sets off a series of events that lead Kilo into ever more dangerous territory and a voyage of discovery.

A story that absolutely races along and grips like a vice, Pontefract-based publishers Route deserve credit for publishing this book so handsomely and Alam for creating a piece of work that is utterly shot through with authenticity.

Review by Nick Ahad in Yorkshire Post

Click here for more details on Red Laal and to order from Route.

Buy Hardback from Amazon

Buy for Kindle

Red Laal

‘Another gangster with all the presence of a ghost. Just stories you hear over the years. Heavyweight. King shit. Bad arse. Red Laal… If there did exist a Pakistani Don Corleone, then this was him.

Route are proud to present Red Laal, the new novel by M Y Alam, the book is officially released on 1 Ocotber 2012, and will be marked at a public launch event at Ilkley Literature Festival, Monday 1 Ocotber, 7:30pm, where M Y Alam will be in conversation with Yorkshire Post Arts Correspondant Nick Ahad. Click here for details and tickets. We’d love to see you there.

Red Laal is the third novel from M Y Alam and has been ten years in the making. The book continues the story of Alam’s protagonist Khalil ‘Kilo’ Khan, who was first encountered in Alam’s award winning novel Kilo in 2002.

M Y Alam novels consistently chronicle the British-Pakistani experience in the same way that the works of Mario Puzo traced the Italian-American experience, through the lens of a self-regulating organised criminal network. In Kilo, we learnt of Khalil’s journey into a life of crime, how an innocent boy was transformed after witnessing a violent attack on his father by gangsters. Ultimately his progression through the criminal world allowed him to take revenge on his father’s attackers, but at the heavy price of a tormented soul.

Red Laal picks up the story ten years later, and we find Khalil at a low end, a small time drugs dealer desperately in search of his own salvation. The arrival of Laal Hussain, a Godfather figure of his father’s generation, lures Khalil back in to the criminal fold, but revelations of Laal’s hidden history and family connections make Khalil more determined than ever to escape the life of crime once and for all. A trip to Pakistan unlocks a wealth of secrets and leads to a showdown with Laal; two men plagued by their own demons and there’s only one possible way out.

M Y Alam’s novel is a compelling tale of survival, honour and family values; it is at once a page-turning thriller and homage to his home city of Bradford. In Kilo and Red Laal, Alam has created characters beyond compare in contemporary British fiction.

****

M Y Alam is the author of the novels Annie Potts is Dead and Kilo. He has published several short stories and is the editor of the acclaimed social history books Made in Bradford and The Invisible Village. During the day, he is a researcher and lecturer at the University of Bradford.

***

Events

Monday 1 October
Ilkley Literature Festival, Ilkley Playhouse Wildman, 7:30pm
Click here for details and to book tickets

Thursday 11 October
Morley Literature Festival, Morley Library, 7:45pm
M Y Alam, Wes Brown, Ross Raisin
A discussion between three authors from the region – Keighley, Bradford and Leeds – on how location influences their work and shapes their characters’ identities and actions.
Click here for more details and to book tickets

Tuesday 16 October
Word of Mouth Festival, Halifax Central Library, 7:30pm
Click here for details and to book tickets

Click here for more details on the book and to order.