Tasha's Reviews > The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul

The World Is What It Is by Patrick French
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's review
May 14, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: 2009
Recommended for: readers of Naipaul's work
Read in May, 2009

** spoiler alert ** When asked to explain the symbolism of the bindi he said, "The dot means: my head is empty."

And what of Khomeini's fatwa on the author Salman Rushdie? "It's an extreme form of literary criticism."

With gems like these, it hard to decide if I will absolutely never or absolutely must read any of Naipaul's writing. The biography is long and sometimes dry. The beginning which details his childhood in Trinidad is, sadly, the best part of the 500-page book.

A bigoted, misogynistic racist who beat his mistress Margaret and humiliated his wife Pat by telling the New Yorker he was "a prostitute man," Naipaul married his second wife the day after his first wife's funeral! His private writing showcase a disgusting selfishness when he says he wishes Pat would die sooner so he could continue his work and make his transition easier. He alerted Margaret of his second marriage via a newspaper announcement after a 24-year long affair that sometimes left her face a pulpy mess.

As the book ends with the succinct closer: "Enough" ; I think I can agree.


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Reading Progress

04/18/2009 page 15
05/13/2009 page 350
63.18% "I've had this book checked out for 2 months from the library...I'd love to be done with it!"
05/14/2009 page 435
78.52% ""And what of Khomeini's fatwa?" (on author Salman Rushdie) "It's an extreme form of literary criticism.""
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