A Bend in the River
"I had to be the man who was doing well and more than well, the man whose drab shop concealed some bigger operation that made millions. I had to be the man who had planned it all, who had come to the destroyed town at the bend in the river because he had foreseen the rich future. "
'Salim, the narrator, is a young man from an Indian fam...more
Anyway, it is my first time to read a book with a lot of scribbles. Danielle is not a bad reader. Rather her comments and the phrases she underlined seem to indicate that she is smart. There is j...more
A Bend in the River is a lot less pretentious and purple than Heart of Darkness. The prose feels normal and sober, with a autistic tinge, like in The Stranger.
Naipaul neatly divides the book into well-portioned and focused chapters, each concluding with a notable episode. The book never became a mess - it flowed in nice "chunks" of meaning. Naipaul repeats some of his points and reminds you about...more
I found this novel engrossing and moving, and it inspired me to begin collecting Naipaul's other works; all of which are good, albeit not as good as this one.
Naipaul has been criticized for denigrating third world countries and societies. Strange, since he comes from one - he was born...more
When I read A Bend in the River, I got the feeling that there was some of the same kind of fe...more
The novel has a no-nonsense non-fiction styling. It is the simple story of a man transplante...more
There is politics in the background, and toward the end it invades the for...more
Salim, the narrator, is from a family of Indian-Muslim traders who live on the coast of Africa. When a family friend offers to sell him a store in a village at "the bend in the river" in central Africa, he goes.
The book describes the complexity of Africa with its history, different ethnic groups, religions and traditions. The story takes place...more
'Brilliant and terrifying' Observer Set in an unnamed African country, the book is narrated by Salim, a young man from an Indian family of traders long resident on the coast. He believes The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it. So he has taken the initiative; left the coast; acquired his own shop in a small, growing city in the continent's remote interior and is selling sundries little more than this and that, really to the nativ
The focus is Salim and the entire book is narrated by him. Starting on the east coast of an (unnamed) East African nation, he migrates inland to a town on the eponymous bend in the river to take over a small shop. From the vantage point of this interior settlement, Salim describes...more
Here's one passage, which gives a sense of the hopes dashed that dominates the work. It is told by Yvette, who is having an affair with the narrator and whose husband was close to the nameless African leader who is a key figure in the novel's progression:
"'The President invited us to dinner re...more
Many parts of Africa in the seventies must have been bewildering, terrifying places to live. The driving forces for instability were very strong, based partly on the conflicting feelings of the recently independent nations towards the former colonial powers: hatred of what they had stood for, jealousy of their wealth, and a desperate desire to be as "advanced". The need for the West to provide the status symbols the new nations desperately wa...more
Line to line, the book is rich with detail and insight. We are transported to Uganda (we don't actually know which African country is the setting), we come away knowing the cha...more