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Book Tips - V. S. Naipaul

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2001 was awarded to V. S. Naipaul "for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories".

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A Bend in the River

I have never seen so much complexity conveyed with such simplicity. Naipaul is at his peak here, a peak which I believe very few can ever approach, let alone surpass.
/Siddharth Maganty, India
Unique reading experience, text as virtual reality.
/J. G., Portugal
The story so complex is presented in a simple language that delivers the impact on reader's mind with uniform intensity throughout.
/Anshuman Singh, India
Naipaul is able to show how a person is trapped within his own culture. A person then must be able to find his way towards new self discovery. As Naipaul would say: "I couldn't protect anyone. No one could protect me. We couldn't protect ourselves. We could only in various ways hide from the truth."
/Marvin Einstein S., Philippines
Truly genius.
/Prasad, India

A House for Mr. Biswas

Entertaining and humorous.
/Kiragu, Kenya
Naipaul is brilliant, sardonic, magnicent, devoid of sentimentality. His range is amazing. I have read all of his works. No two are alike. Unlike some writers who write one book dozens of times, Naipaul's mind is a jewel with many facets.
/Stephen Tortorici, United States
It's the quintessence of the novel.
/Thiago D. Maia, Brazil
A human story. written with wit and sympathy.
/Zaheer Cockar, United Kingdom
Mr Naipaul typically bonds a reader with his story from beginning to end.
/Ankit, India
Quest for Identity.
/Naga Madhuri, India
Beautiful story of many complexities.Wonderfully written. Mr.Naipaul is a master/professor of one of the best tbooks ever ! He writes with great authenticity. Among others "Among Believers," "A wounded Civilization," are the others that I like. Mr.Naipaul is keeping English language alive, the way it should be. It is getting too diluted these days with migrants flooding England.
/Rishi Kumar Sushley, United States
The Best Writer in the World... With unique perspective of the People, and Culture!
/F., Portugal
It's wonderful!
/David Moura, Brazil
This novel, based loosely on the life of Mr Naipaul's father, provides a vivid portrait of the Indian community in Trinidad, and is frequently uproariously funny and heartbreakingly sad. The characters are fully realized, and the writing is magical. My biggest regret about this book is that the story had to end.
/Darryl Morris, United States
It is simply intriguing and captivating! And I thought about the book for quite a while after finishing it.
/Eva, Denmark
It really impressed me a lot.
/Professor Pranab Kumar, India
I recommend this book because it is all of the following - complex, psychologically perceptive, emotionally difficult, rewarding, moving, depressing, tragi-comic, deeply ironic, metaphoric, nightmarishly surreal, utterly believable, honest, exasperating, claustrophobic, deeply human, liberating, brilliant, frustrating, beautifully written and much more. Naipaul is a master of understatement and his mastery gives his work real strength in its execution. The author is humble, self-effacing and unobtrusive, which enable the reader to become lost and often transported by the story. I think that almost everyone can empathize with Mr. Biswas, and having read half a dozen of Naipaul's books I can confidently say that this one is my favorite of them all.
/Rafael Dilly, Brazil
It is a book whose roots go deep into reality, of unaccomplished desires, hasty preoccupations; a character nonconformist but unattractive enough so as not to be marked a rebel. Commendable pettiness of life with an unending struggle to overcome it; Biswas got on my nerves.
/Sayantan Bera, India
Because it describes a man who by his own will tries to change his destiny, who fights against all odds and who is certainly one of the greatest characters of world literature and it depicts life in Trinidad in a rather comic manner.
/Daniel, Mexico

A Way in the World

Fine, transparent prose and a complete evocation of memories, myths and identity in a form created specifically to address the writer's wish for artistic truth; full in itself. A remembrance of all that makes our lives tick and all that we struggle with and leave unsaid. Mr Naipaul speaks for us.
/Prakhar Kant Tripathi, India

Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey

Seems from the bitter tone of the negative reviews that Naipaul has struck a nerve, which means he probably got it right. Naipaul makes no pretensions to scholarship; he is a skeptic who calls it as he sees it. Early on in the book, he calls himself a "seeker," which by itself undercuts accusations that he is a biased Hindu nationalist with an axe to grind. Regardless, Naipaul doesn't condemn Islam; he expresses his doubts about a particular interpretation of Islam and its political manifestations in particular societies at a very specific time in history. Iran's recent softening of its stance toward the West especially highlights Naipaul's prescience vis-a-vis his analysis of that nation's complicated ambivalence toward the United States and Europe.
/Dr. Sargon Gorjian, Australia

Between Father and Son

The innocent writing, and the hardships described in it is coherent with what one has heard from the grandparents.
/Jaideep Garg, India

Half a Life

It makes me travel through the streets of London, Africa and India as well as it makes me laugh with its subtle and fine humor.
/Hiram Luis Rodriguez, Mexico
It is a very uncomfortable reading because it is not neat or happy. It gives the feeling of the experience of fringe dispossession and being foreign.
/Annie Roberts, United States

In a Free State

Haunting and brave. A picture of the shadows of developing world cultures, of the techtonic plates of a changing world in our time.
/Donald Lindeman, United States

India: A Million Mutinies Now

The first line states it all - 'Bombay is a crowd' and then the rest of it follows ...
/Esther, India

Magic Seeds

Because of the precise language.
/Chencho Pema, Bhutan

Miguel Street

Although there are many other titles by Sir Vidia that can be said to be more powerful, evolved pieces of writing, this book, with its simplicity but keen eye of a twelve year old boy narrator, showed clearly the great gift he possessed. I would also like to see William Saroyan receive a Nobel Prize posthumously, for the quality of his work and the fact that it has stood the test of time remarkably well. I recommend a 'second look'.
/Alan J. Scott, Trinidad and Tobago
Because the language is simple, the characters are simple, the whole story reads like a sort of funny, sad comedy and that is what it really is. Its quality was probably unknown to the author at the time of writing, but it has stood the test of time, it actually gets better with time and it is still very relevant to the society from which it was drawn from. The dialect is very authentic, and still very much alive today in the same way. For my part, if there was any writer that deserved the Nobel Prize, it is Sir V.S. Naipaul.
/Alan Scott, Trinidad and Tobago
Because it is a very funny and interesting book for both adults and teenagers.
/Arlina Louisien, Saint Lucia
It feels extremely lighthearted and enjoyable to read this magnificent collection of short stories! You just don't want to put this book down. The language is so smooth-flowing despite the use of some local slang. Naipaul should write more short stories! Although all these stories are set in the same place, Miguel Street, and some or all the characters are mentioned in each short story, every character/story is unique and is itself a gem on a necklace!
/Teo Chee Tat, Singapore

The Enigma of Arrival

The fictional dab of the writer is amazing to read and it takes you through the imagery of the syllables.
/Tejinder Kumar Arya, India
The sheer beauty of the sentences, the theme, and the landscape that slowly opens up before a stranger's eyes. To be honest, I have three copes of the book; I won't mind having one more!
/Tenzin Sangpo, India
Because writer describes his self and his travels after leaving native Trinidad and Tobago.
/Rastko Pocesta, Serbia & Montenegro
The writing of exile inside the English landscape. Naipaul as a shrewd and meticulous "painter" of the English post-colonial society ... "He had a thing which he didn't expect me to understand, about Nature and the English countryside."
/RebaudPaul, France

The Loss of El Dorado

I felt the book maps to be striking with minute details and the usual style of the Master writer dealing with all data on suppressed HISTORY in a language that can be described to be "PERFECT" and straight from the heart.
/Ananthanarayanan, India

The Suffrage of Elvira

The author has deliberately experimented with English language and this has proved to be successful as far as I am concerned. Also the author has brilliantly satirised the system of democracy.
/Jeevan Keerthi, India

The The Enigma of Arrival

Think deep, change & death, self-conscious, English manor, the adjusted memory of one's past.
/Catherine Li, China
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