In A Free State

In A Free State

Paperback - 2002
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No writer has rendered our boundariless, post-colonial world more acutely or prophetically than V. S. Naipaul, or given its upheavals such a hauntingly human face. A perfect case in point is this riveting novel, a masterful and stylishly rendered narrative of emigration, dislocation, and dread, accompanied by four supporting narratives.

In the beginning it is just a car trip through Africa. Two English people--Bobby, a civil servant with a guilty appetite for African boys, and Linda, a supercilious "compound wife"--are driving back to their enclave after a stay in the capital. But in between lies the landscape of an unnamed country whose squalor and ethnic bloodletting suggest Idi Amin's Uganda. And the farther Naipaul's protagonists travel into it, the more they find themselves crossing the line that separates privileged outsiders from horrified victims. Alongside this Conradian tour de force are four incisive portraits of men seeking liberation far from home. By turns funny and terrifying, sorrowful and unsparing, In A Free State is Naipaul at his best.
Publisher: New York : Vintage International, 2002.
Edition: 1st Vintage International ed.
ISBN: 9781400030552
Characteristics: vii, 247 p. ; 21 cm.


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Mar 05, 2018

Bobby’s and Linda’s road trip through interregnum Africa builds from flip indifference to cruel struggle with the harsh disorder. This 1971 Booker winner dazzles with description of lakes, rivers, forests, without loosing sight of the story about how humans, from all classes and nations, inhabit these lands. The other pieces in the volume are characters in formation.

Dec 17, 2015

The writing is spare, the sense of alienation intense - how real! What a joy to read - even as the stories are very sad


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