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A Bend in the River Audiobook

A Bend in the River

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Publisher's Summary

In this incandescent novel, V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man, an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isolated town at the bend of a great river in a newly independent African nation. Naipaul gives us the most convincing and disturbing vision yet of what happens in a place caught between the dangerously alluring modern world and its own tenacious past and traditions.

©1979 V.S. Naipaul; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"A brilliant novel." (The New York Times)
"Confirms Naipaul's position as one of the best writers now at work." (Newsweek)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (312 )
5 star
 (110)
4 star
 (99)
3 star
 (67)
2 star
 (25)
1 star
 (11)
Overall
3.8 (156 )
5 star
 (55)
4 star
 (48)
3 star
 (33)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (9)
Story
4.1 (150 )
5 star
 (61)
4 star
 (57)
3 star
 (20)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
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  •  
    Jaydee Larson 04-24-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A crash course in postcolonial Africa."

    This is a nice novel, which describes the dynamics that most African countries went through in the years around their independence from the previous colonisers.

    Naispul brilliantly describes the delicate relationships between the various African ethnic groups and nationalities, those people's interactions with expatriates and among the expatriates themselves. He describes a country  (likely to be contemporary DR Congo) in moral, institutional and cultural decay and confusion resulting from the sudden changes that the country has to go through.

    It is an honest and realistic portrait of postcolonial Africa written in an rich, sometimes poetic, language that leaves one with the feeling of actually being there in person.

    Simon Vance delivers a nice performance that catches very well the spirit and the tone of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Quintana 07-01-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Beautiful writing, story too episodic"

    The writing is vivid and poetic, but without a compelling plot, it's hard to fully enjoy this novel. This feels more like a journalistic account of post-colonial Africa than a story. The protagonist's goal seems to be to make a living and find amorous success. Frankly, it's just not that interesting.

    I'm glad I listened to it -- the narration is top notch -- but I won't listen to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen 11-28-13
    Stephen 11-28-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    84
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    Story
    "Bend in the River - Post Colonial East Africa"

    Book: I enjoyed the book since it is three interesting points. It is a story about East Africa after independence and from a Muslim of Indio-Pakistan descent. These factors provide an interesting point of view in time, place, and circumstances. It is not fast pace story but moves at an acceptable speed.

    Performance: The reader is professional and good actor. He enhances the text.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Mount Pleasant, SC, USA 02-26-13
    William Mount Pleasant, SC, USA 02-26-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Excellent Book of Life in Africa"
    Would you listen to A Bend in the River again? Why?

    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 did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    None of the individual scenes stood out that much to me, the dramatic events seemed to happen abruptly and without fanfare.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Simon Vance was, once again, outstanding. I would never think twice about listening to one of his narrations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rochelle 02-23-13
    Rochelle 02-23-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    75
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    270
    64
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    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Yawn"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    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.


    Would you recommend A Bend in the River to your friends? Why or why not?

    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.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Simon Vance’s performances?

    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.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Beverly Hills, MI, USA 09-26-06
    Karen Beverly Hills, MI, USA 09-26-06 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "confusing"

    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.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    reggie p PA 07-12-05
    reggie p PA 07-12-05 Member Since 2006

    reggie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    702
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    616
    72
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    3
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    Overall
    "Disappointed"

    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.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful

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