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Corentyne Thunder
Edgar Mittelholzer
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Corentyne Thunder

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  25 ratings  ·  5 reviews

First published in 1941, this vivid and poetic family saga was the first modern novel to focus on the lives of immigrants from India in the British Caribbean colonies. Set on the coast of British Guiana, the story spans three generations and revolves around Ramgollal, an old Indian cow-minder on the Corentyne coast who has worked hard for many years to save money and build

Paperback, 229 pages
Published June 28th 1970 by Heinemann Educational Books (first published June 1970)
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Daniel Gamboa
Mittelholzer's debut novel feels different than his other Caribbean novels. The first three novels of his that I read were "Shadows Move Among Them", "A Morning at the Office" and "Sylvia". These novels got me addicted to him to the point of driving me to purchase five of his still out of print novels, the best of these being "My Bones and My Flute". However, for some reason, I was not so enthusiastic about reading his debut novel. Why? Well, the vicissitudes of an East-Indian family didn't soun ...more
Bob Arbogast
Corentyne Thunder is a landmark novel for Caribbean writers, but after reading it I can understand the initial difficulty of selling Island peasant stories to the English and American reading public. While the plot dealt with universal themes of family, sex, property and success, I couldn’t relate to the characters. I have read other books about poverty and hardship like “The Grapes of Wrath” or “The Mystic Masseur”, and even Bukowski characters live in a type of poverty I can comprehend, but Mi ...more
Deandra K.
I enjoyed this book. Mittelholzer's writing is poetic and readable, and the Guyanese creole was pretty accurate. Perhaps it would be somewhat difficult to read for a person not versed in the dialect, but it seems easy enough to catch on.

As for the plot, I thought it was simple and sweet, with a quality easily transferable to film (the location of course would be "a character of its own"). Poverty, nature, love, the human condition, justice-- all encompassed in a story about a poor family in the
Ah, I loved it! Granted, parts of the plot are a bit predictable. Or is that what they call "foreshadowing"? Nevertheless, I was enthralled by Mittelholzer's sultry descriptions of the Guyanese landscape and his scrupulous study of its (Guyana's) climate. Though I did not wholly identify with each character, I understood their motivations and loved/hated them accordingly. The dialect used in "Corentyne Thunder" was as faithful as one can get (within the framework of a written narrative) to the r ...more
Leonard Lewis
Brought back memories of life in Guyana's country-side. Oh those good old days!
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Edgar Mittelholzer is considered the first West Indian novelist, i.e. even though there were writers who wrote about Caribbean themes before him, he was the first to make a successful professional life out of it. Born in Guyana (then British Guiana) of Afro-European heritage, he began writing in 1929 and self-published his first book, Creole Chips, in 1937.

Mittelholzer left Guyana for Trinidad in
More about Edgar Mittelholzer...

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