Maria's Reviews > A Way in the World

A Way in the World by V.S. Naipaul
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's review
Jan 24, 2012

it was ok
Read from February 14 to 22, 2012 — I own a copy

Naipaul.. hm. Like almost all nobel price winners he sports a very intellectual form of writing so you have to really WANT to read one of his books.
This has been my 4th so far (After: A Bend in the River, The masque of Africa and Islammic Journey) and I must admit, its always similar: you have to struggle in the first 100 pages, because the writer is overwhelming you with personal details you would like to spare yourself. No, I am not interested to know EVERY detail of Naipauls life and his impressions of the people who surrounded him. A little bit of this is fine but please don´t make it fill 20 pages!

His overall theme seems to be globalization, the displacement of People who are from a colonial background and colonialism in itself themes I am very interested in. But reading one of Naipauls books means you have to support every detail of Mr. Naipauls opinion about a lot of things irrelevant to me until you are "allowed" to have a glimpse on the overall theme of his book: colonialism, in this case mixed with a historical overview of the displaced persons that are the heroes of this book: Walter Raleigh, Miranda, Butler the revolutionary from Trinidad, and some other local heros. All of them interesting historical figures but I couldn´t stand the way Naipaul presents them: in long long dialogues, ostentatively displaying all of his knowledge about them and making a big thing out of it. Sometimes I got the impression that he had a book of notes that he never had used and now it was used to fill in local details like the smell of rain or the colour of cement. It´s not the insertion of these details that angered me but the way it seems to be artfully introduced,giving his writing an artificial smell.
Yes, there were positive sides to this book. But they were so scarce, that I had to mark them IN the book. Thoughts about colonisation and the ffelings of people who live in a colonized world, the effects that this has on their personal feeling of the world. And I learned something about the history of this part of the Caribbean. Okay. But I should rather have consulted Wikipedia instead of reading this book.
I finished the book making a huge effort because I was rather inclined to put an end to reading at about page 220. I think this will be the last one I ever read of him because it didn´t get better but worser with every book I read from this author.
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Reading Progress

02/14/2012 page 28
07/18/2016 marked as: read
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message 1: by Krishna (new)

Krishna Great review.

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