Sajal M Shrestha's Reviews > The Kingdom of This World

The Kingdom of This World by Alejo Carpentier
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's review
Jan 24, 2012

really liked it
Read in January, 2012

The tragedy of human existence is that it comprises of never ending struggles. From the moment we are conceived, the struggle to stay alive and to fulfill our wants is constant. Similar is the story told by Carpentier in The Kingdom of This World. On one hand, Carpentier beautifully mixes the turbulent history of Haiti with magical realism to explain the slave uprising. On a deeper level, Carpentier touches on the theme of constant cycle of repression and revolution, of greed and downfall, as people fight to find a place in this world and leave their mark. What distinguishes this novel is the perspective in which it is written. By choosing to write from the unique perspective of a slave, Ti Noel, rather than a grander perspective of Henri Christophe or other historical character, this story captures the essence of the struggles of slave uprising in Haiti. More importantly, what makes this story great is Carpentier’s genius in using unique perspectives on Haiti and its struggles to shed light on the larger and complicated dynamics of Latin America as a whole. It's a great read.
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Quotes Sajal M Liked

Alejo Carpentier
“Now he understood that a man never knows for whom he suffers and hopes. He suffers and hopes and toils for people he will never know, and who, in turn, will suffer and hope and toil for others who will not be happy either, for man always seeks a happiness far beyond that which is meted out to him. But man's greatness consists in the very fact of wanting to be better than he is.”
Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of This World

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