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 various lodgers and at the same time, about himself. The characters of Maisie, Haynes, Mrs. Rouse, and Benoit are unforgettable for both Haynes and the reader. The book is also an interesting exploration of the "mutually impoverishing alienation of the educated West Indian from the mainstream."