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Minty Alley

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  122 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
There is a strong belief among devotees of C.L.R. James that it is not possible to have full comprehension of Caribbean literary art in English without first reading Minty Alley. Although frequently reprinted in the United Kingdom, Minty Alley at last reaches the United States. In this ground-breaking novel, James discerns new forms of society rooted in the oldest of desir ...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published September 1st 1997 by University Press of Mississippi (first published 1936)
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Jan 20, 2017 Ryan rated it really liked it
Review pending
Aug 09, 2008 Bob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-literature
I have very much enjoyed the political and historical work of C.L.R. James, but reading MINTY ALLEY makes me wish that James had spent a little more time writing fiction. In this Trinidadian West Indian novel, Haynes, a young middle-class man trying to save money, moves into cheaper lodgings at No. 2 Minty Alley. He is determined to keep his distance from the other colorful inhabitants of Minty Alley, but gradually becomes part of its rich cultural life, discovering a great deal about the variou ...more
Apr 08, 2014 Graeme rated it it was amazing
Read this earlier this year and never did update my status. This was written back in the late 20s I do believe, and published in the 1930s. But it really does conjure up the Caribbean as I remember it in the 1970s, with its trixters, hard-done by churchical ladies, class-consciousness, scenery, humour and so much more.

It's well worth reading - perhaps a must for anyone trying to understand something of West Indian culture beyond the cheese we're usually served in popular movies and TV. Very muc
Mel Murata
Feb 17, 2013 Mel Murata rated it really liked it
Shelves: modern
This is C.L.R. James' only novel and the first piece to be published in England by a Black West African. For historical value alone it is worth reading. However, the book also has a diverse variety of enjoyable characters and mixes a wide number of genres creating a wonderful (and I suspect accurate) picture of Caribbean life.
Jan 11, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it
a wonderful slow read. Even at a 1-2 page clip, the characters and setting remain so present.
Jan 04, 2009 Shirvan rated it it was amazing
A great description of life in Trinidad.
Clive Anderson
Jun 16, 2011 Clive Anderson rated it really liked it
Pleasant read a bit like reading a soap nice handling of simple conflicts very West Indian.
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C. L. R. James (1901–1989), a Trinidadian historian, political activist, and writer, is the author of The Black Jacobins, an influential study of the Haitian Revolution and the classic book on sport and culture, Beyond a Boundary. His play Toussaint Louverture: The Story of the Only Successful Slave Revolt in History was recently discovered in the archives and published Duke University Press.
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