©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)
Sorry.. it's horrid. The narrator did the best he could with such slow, uninteresting information. I took a class on this book and the instructor LOVED it and was so animated about its importance in the world, blah, blah, blah. The only good thing about the whole book was in chapters 7-10... The real relationships between Salim and Yvette... the sex scenes were sublime and gorgeous -- until they weren't... at any rate, except for historians and political science students, I can't see who would find this entertaining or worth spending time or money on.
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.
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.
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.
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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