©1979 V.S. Naipaul; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks
"A brilliant novel." (The New York Times)
"Confirms Naipaul's position as one of the best writers now at work." (Newsweek)
What an amazing listen this book was. Totally engrossing! Salim’s life starts as an adventure, an escape from the mundane, and yet becomes colorful, complex and hectic. The writing is the true champion here and the surroundings, the people, politics and Africa, the supporting pillar. You really aren’t quite sure how it will all end but as the narrator is telling us of his past, we can only deduce that no calamity occurs. This was my first Naipaul and I hope to engross myself in more of his tales. Ah, the ending – was that an ending? We will never know I guess.
I enjoyed reading this book, but I'm not sure if I would read it again and it isn't placed among my favorites. It is very well written and paints a picture of Africa that puts the reader there, but it's not necessarily a gripping tale.
What I liked best about the book were the details of life that the characters went through, they give the story more life and texture.
None of the individual scenes stood out that much to me, the dramatic events seemed to happen abruptly and without fanfare.
I feel that some things in the book were a bit of a let down. For instance, Salim's romance with Yvette was promising but then abruptly ended with violence that was unjustified and unexplained to the reader. Salim was done with her, but why did he beat her? It doesn't make sense.
Simon Vance was, once again, outstanding. I would never think twice about listening to one of his narrations.
This book is a "classic". Normally for me that's a must read, but a combination of a selfish & otherwise uninteresting character along side "adequate" narration made this book a drag to listen to.
I'm not sure who would enjoy this one.
Not a chance. I stuck with it only because it was so highly rated elsewhere but I think this is one that has been oversold. It doesn't live up to it's hype.
I finished it as I wanted to do it justice. I've read it. I won't be reading that one again & I won't recommend it to anyone else.
I love Simon Vance's narration - he's my favourite reader, but I did not enjoy his performance of this story. If he couldn't save this no-one can, but in the future I'll definitely be listening to other books he's narrated.
This book appeared on a top 100 books of all time. Not in my top 100 that's for sure. Give it a miss, try something else.
I was disappointed in this novel. After listening to it for over 10 hrs. the book just ended with no conclusion. Additionally, while the reader was good the book was rather boring.
I did not enjoy this book as much as I had hoped I would. I found it boring and had trouble staying with it. Maybe I missed the point, but it just didn't seem to have one. I'm not sure I learned anything about Africa, which was the main reason I selected it. The narrator did a good job with it, however.
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