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Miguel Street. Eine Ge...
 
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V.S. Naipaul
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Miguel Street. Eine Geschichte aus Trinidad.

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  1,833 ratings  ·  213 reviews
A stranger could drive through Miguel Street and just say "Slum!" because he could see no more. But to its residents this derelict corner of Trinidad's capital is a complete world, where everybody is quite different from everybody else. There's Popo the carpenter, who neglects his livelihood to build "the thing without a name." There's Man-man, who goes from running for pu ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 1st 2003 by Ullstein TB-Vlg (first published June 1st 1959)
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Johan Garcia
Miguel Street probably ranks as the most poignant work of art I have ever read, stirring inside of me emotions that no piece of literature has ever had the power of doing. From the narrator's perspective, we are introduced to every character in his vicinity, portraying the diversity and the interaction between them. From banter to jokes, laughs and sorrow, intellectual conversations and heated arguments, this is a community within Trinidad where everything that happens in Miguel Street is nothin ...more
Ahmed
هى رواية لكاتب نوبل 2001 , من ترينداد . وبصراحة دى اول مرة أقابل الأدب (التريندادي ) وكانت مقابلة ممتعة .
شئ بديع , فعلا , حاجة كدا بتغيّر لك المزاج الشخصى للأفضل .
ذكريات جميلة سردها الكاتب بطريق مميزة تجبرك على أنك تحب العمل وتحب أسلوبه.
كتاب عبارة عن ذكريات طفل , حاجة كدا قدر الكاتب أنه يجذبك لعالمه من خلالها .
شارع ميجل : هو شارع فى كل وطن , هو الشارع الذى تسكن أنت فيه , بجيرانك ومعارفك وما تربطك بهم من ذكريات قد تكون مؤلمة فى وقتها ولكن لا تنكر أثر السعادة التى تعتريك عندما تتذكرها .
رغم الترجم
...more
suzi
reading this book was like experiencing the pleasure as a child of squishing vibrant finger paints between my fingers and slowly smearing them onto a sheet of white paper. the colors ran together and jumped off of each other and filled the white page with intriguing images. 'miguel street' is a masterpiece of character development, colorful imagery, caribbean flavor, and charming story-telling. the short stories are street-smart yet tender, narrated with the wisdom, innocence, and insight of a y ...more
Judy

Miguel Street was the third novel published by V S Naipaul, except that it is not really a novel. He wrote this collection of vignettes before he had published any novels, so it makes sense that it is actually composed of short stories about different characters who live on this street in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Through the eyes of a young boy, we experience the life of the street.

I like Naipaul's writing style so I didn't mind reading the book, though there is no plot. I assume he was warming
...more
Sofia
Miguel Street written by V.S. Naipaul is a breathtaking novel about the people. The narrator, whose name is never revealed, recalls his encounters and memories with each one of the people living on Miguel Street. As the novel progresses, the narrator grows up and develops his own identity. V.S. Naipaul provides the reader with an insight of the life in Trinidad and Tobago, the life of the black community and more specifically, the life of a colonized black community. The search for identity, cor ...more
Jigar Brahmbhatt
How beautiful this book is! How simple! How charming!

The Caribbean street filled with lowlifes, with dreamers, with quirky, street-smart or naive characters literally comes to life in Naipaul's beautiful, beautiful prose. It is a panoramic narration - we are introduced to people one by one, a chapter at a time, and by the time we are done reading, we have lived a different, distant life with them. What makes it compulsively readable is not some cheap excuse for a plot but a deep faith in charact
...more
Mark Mukasa
Let no one fool you into thinking that just because this book is set in the beautiful island of Trinidad, that somehow it will pander to the stereotype of the Caribbean as being an idyllic eco-paradise filled with mirth and tranquillity. In fact, VS Naipaul's utterly bleak and ultra-realistic depiction of war-time pre-independence Trinidad could be summed up as hilariously misanthropic at worst and desperately hopeless at best.

I first read this book when I was around seventeen, back when I was
...more
Sajal M Shrestha
Miguel Street, put simply, is a story about a corner in Port of Spain, Trinidad and its inhabitants. For the purposes of this story, V.S Naipaul develops colorful characters with their own unique personality traits that range from psychotic to humorous and yet that are easily identifiable by the readers. Using these colorful characters, Naipaul shapes the many universal yet complicated emotions of love, hope and jealousy into a story about life and its many unpredictable phases for the inhabitan ...more
Mark
I found Miguel Street to be a simple, yet rewarding, mosaic (a very familiar sight in Latin America). I found myself nostalgic for a place I've never visited, confused by idiosyncrasies I couldn't relate to, and sometimes led astray by the subtle disparities expressed through the personal growth of the anonymous narrator.

I was initially lured into a complacent reading of this novel by its simple approach, in terms of language and structure, to complex issues such as gender relations and a searc
...more
Mister Jones
One of Naipaul's early works; it gave me a sense of place within a poor Trinidadian neighborhood, and the various inhabitants and interactions. There tends to be a dark, futility to their lives, but I found some humor too. I enjoyed this book for its clarity, its characters, and its poignancy.

Neha
Heard of Twice bitten third time shy..

Well even I haven’t and neither did I apply, when I read the third book of VS Naipaul.. on suggestion by a friend (thanks Adnan). The first two being disasters making me think how can he ever get a Nobel for literature..

Though even this book was not Nobel certifying but it was just nice.. you might have read books based on plots, stories, twists, heroes.. but this book is solely dedicated to the CHARACTERS..

The character sketch is just beautiful, judging
...more
Alan
It's unique--and unique in Naipaul's work, of which I've read a dozen, my favorites including House for Mr Biswas, The Loss of El Dorado, and Among the Believers. Used to teach Miguel street in community college Freshman English--maybe fifteen years, often twice a year. It never got old to me. My "teaching" was largely aloudreading, including my class who were fearful of the accent. Once in awhile a student had been there, would try to recreate some. I find it a comic achievement of the highest ...more
Jocelyn Cassada
I didn't love Miguel Street, but I still thought it was a fascinating read. In his book, Naipaul describes the inhabitants of Miguel Street, a neighborhood in Port of Spain, Trinidad, which the narrator admits that some people would call a "slum." I knew next to nothing about Trinidad before reading the book and felt that I came away with a basic understanding of the cultural values and concerns of the people of the island nation, especially during the time period in which the work is set (World ...more
Eslammohammed
hers is one of the comments,that catched my attention,and i found it suitable to quote her,with reference of course to the commentator"Nesa Sivagnanam ":The time of that world is the late Nineteen Thirties and most of the Nineteen Forties on a sunny slum street in Port of Spain. Here the young narrator of the story and his Hindu relatives live within a colourful community.

Vivid characters with tenuous means of support populate the place. They sing the latest Calypso songs and interest themselves
...more
Cbj
Naipaul's third novel about a bunch of colorful characters living in a street in Port of Spain. This is unlike any other Naipaul i have read so far. I have read his work backwards starting with his later novels and then moving on to the earlier ones (a small write up by Tarun Tejpal inside the book recommends MIGUEL STREET and THE MYSTIC MASSEUR for first time readers of Naipaul).

MIGUEL STREET is not without its share of misery and darkness but it is generally a hilarious novel tracing the antic
...more
Ellison Johnstone
I found this novel to be a unique and interesting chronicle of life in Trinidad during the 1940s. It is told from the advantageous perspective of a narrator who grew up right in the middle of Miguel Street, yet also has escaped from the street and so has a new, broader outlook on his childhood experiences. The work is an excellent reflection of the culture of the Anglophone Caribbean, but also contains many universal themes and elements as well. Naipaul illustrates a very vivid picture of life o ...more
Cindy
Miguel Street is a poor neighborhood in Port of Spain. This book, which is called after this neighborhood, takes the reader into exploring the life of its inhabitants through the perspective of a boy who lives there. The life stories of these people might seem absurd for those who live outside of this neighborhood, but for those who live in it, it all makes sense because it is all they know. All of the characters of the book share something in common—they are victims of poverty and are trapped i ...more
Candace Bethea
Miguel Street, a novel made up of short stories telling the lives of people related in some way to the central main character, depicted clearly for me what Trinidadian "slum life" was without putting the characters in a solely despondent setting. Naipaul successfully portrays several different archetypes, all of which contribute to the overall Trinidadian identity that he so well constructs for the reader.

In my opinion, this novel was interesting and fast-paced, yet it was very unfulfilling. Be
...more
Danielle
Miguel Street was my least favorite of the books we have read for the course thus far. After reading the last page my initial reaction was, "That wasn't that good." Over the past few hours I have been processing it and have since developed more appreciation for Naipaul's insight. In fact, I have realized that it was not the text I disliked, but rather, the idea that women really were and continued to be treated in so many disrespectful ways. Additionally, domestic violence played a dominant role ...more
Brad Harder
Taken as a whole, Naipaul’s collection of vignettes produces a total effect on the reader far greater than the sum of its parts. Chock-full of colorful characters, the narrator finds hilarity and sadness in each of their stories before moderating and contextualizing these emotions through the refracted lens of other residents on Miguel Street. Together this community tackles economic challenges and marital difficulties with a pragmatic attitude that allows them to make the most of the little the ...more
Hunt
V.S. Naipaul’s novel Miguel Street takes readers directly into the epicenter of life in the slums in Trinidad’s city Port of Spain during the years before and during WWII. The novel does not simply track the intricacies and experiences of one individual but instead focuses on many different yet interrelated individuals. As a result the reader is presented with essentially a mosaic of life in the slum that is Miguel Street. Through this “mosaic” which contains violence and humor, misery and glee, ...more
Francesca Wilson
Miguel Street is definitely my favorite book that we have read thus far! I think that what I enjoyed the most about this book is the way that Naipaul weaves the biographies of so many different characters into the fabric that is Miguel Street. Through the individual short stories about the interesting and eclectic characters that make up the community I was able to get a thorough snap shot into Trinidadian culture.
Overall, it was the layout of the book that probably kept me reading. I really li
...more
Catherine Anderson
Feb 22, 2010 Catherine Anderson rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone!
Recommended to Catherine by: Washington & Lee University
In Miguel Street, V. S. Naipaul depicts the intricacies of life in a Trinidad slum. The fact that the novel is formatted as a collection of specific stories about individual characters adds to the notion that the Miguel Street slum is more complicated than an outsider might assume and that each of its residents is a complete individual rather than a mere shadow of a stereotype. Following the narrator as he describes the people he sees on a daily basis in an almost legendary way, the reader is ab ...more
Michael
True, Naipaul is a little bit of a jerk, and advocate for the cultural supremacy of the colonial powers, especially in his treatment here of his narrator's childhood in Trinidad as a quaint prologue to his real life in England, but still he renders these characters and anecdotes in such a sensitive and embracing way that he convinces us of his understanding of this place's qualities, if not of its value.

Notes:
It's telling that Bogart and Hat frame their manhood and even their daily interactions
...more
Nesa Sivagnanam
The time of that world is the late Nineteen Thirties and most of the Nineteen Forties on a sunny slum street in Port of Spain. Here the young narrator of the story and his Hindu relatives live within a colourful community.

Vivid characters with tenuous means of support populate the place. They sing the latest Calypso songs and interest themselves in cricket matches and collect junk and talk about migrating across the narrow sea to Venezuela. If their attitude toward morals is informal it is shown
...more
Choco
To be quite honest, this book wasn't so bad. I kind of liked it.

Review coming soon.

----------------------------------------------

As for the author, uh, he has something interesting things to say sometimes...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/...

He felt that women writers were "quite different". He said: "I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not. I think [it is] unequal to me."

The author, who was born in Trinidad, said this was because
...more
Nalini
As a teen, I was exposed to a number of Caribbean authors, both male and female, my favourite being Trinidadian's Michael Anthony. THEN I read Miguel Street as a part of my Advanced Literature programme in High School and I was floored. I loved the detail in this book. The mystery surrounding some of the characters kept my teenage mind working. It was an enjoyable read. Definitely deserving of the 5 star rating!
Mary Elizabeth
The most exciting part of V.S. Naipaul’s Miguel Street is the reader’s experience. It does not compare with any other novel I have read. The story has no continuous plot, each chapter is slightly disconnected from the one before, and many parameters that define the basic novel (plot, climax, dénouement) cannot be applied to Miguel Street. Yet there is something that the reader gains in reading each chapter of Naipaul’s novel that leaves a profound mark on the readers understanding of island life ...more
Lee Tackett
After reading Miguel Street, it really wasn't the kind of book that I typically like. No strong character development or a linear story arch, and yet, I couldn't put the book down. Naipaul was able to keep my attention by simply being incredibly detailed about the everyday life of those who lived on Miguel Street and their different means leaving it. After reading the book, I felt like I'd gained a level of understanding about the everyday lives of the lower class in Trinidad. Even without much ...more
Andrea Siso
Naipaul effectively pieces together the individual stories of various members of Miguel Street, as observed through the central narrator--a young man reflecting upon his childhood, from a physical and emotional distance. The layers of the novel and the textured lives of its characters resoundingly prove that Miguel Street is not merely a "slum," as a stranger would conclude from "driv[ing] through Miguel Street." Rather, it is a "world, where everybody [is] quite different from everybody else." ...more
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3989
Naipaul was born and raised in Trinidad, to which his grandfathers had emigrated from India as indentured servants. He is known for the wistfully comic early novels of Trinidad, the bleaker novels of a wider world remade by the passage of peoples, and the vigilant chronicles of his life and travels, all written in characteristic, widely admired, prose.

At 17, he won a Trinidad Government scholarshi
...more
More about V.S. Naipaul...
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“Look, boys, it ever strike you that the world not real at all? It ever strike you that we have the only mind in the world and you just thinking up everything else? Like me here, having the only mind in the world, and thinking up you people here, thinking up the war and all the houses and the ships and them in the harbour. That ever cross your mind?” 13 likes
“A stranger could drive through Miguel Street and just say “Sum!” because he could see no more. But we who lived there saw our street as a world, where everybody was quite different from everybody else. Mam-man was mad; George was stupid; Big Foot was a bully; hat was an adventurer; Popo was a philosopher; and Morgan was our comedian.” 6 likes
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