- Book Title: Half a Life
- Author: Naipaul, V.S.
- ISBN: 330485172
- Publisher: Picador
- Year Published: August 23, 2002
- Our Normal Price: £5.20 GBP ($6.65 USD)
- 22% Discounted Price: £4.05 GBP ($5.19 USD)
- Description: Amazon.co.uk Review: Half a Life finds the veteran Booker Prize-winning novelist VS Naipaul on familiar territory, blending autobiography and fiction in an exploration of the half lives of individuals brought up in the English colonies and educated in the metropolitan centre. : : Naipauls protagonist is Willie Somerset Chandran, named after Somerset Maughams encounter with Willies father in the 1930s, whilst travelling to get material for a novel about spirituality. Willie travels to England for his education, where he becomes part of the special, passing bohemian-immigrant life of London of the late 1950s. Willie soon realises that his colonial background allows him to write short stories for well-meaning white liberals. Willie soon begins to understand that he was free to present himself as he wished and that he could re-make himself and his past through his writing. The effect is suffocating rather than liberating, and he marries a vaguely sketched girl or young woman from an African country who has read his one published book. Willie begins another half life in colonial Mozambique, where he soon tires of the domestic and sexual tedium of plantation life, and flees to Germany, mournfully reflecting that I have been hiding for too long.: : This is classic Naipaul, with its effortless dissection of the damaging personal consequences of post-war decolonisation, but its virtue seems it primary vice, as the novel feels like a conflation of several earlier Naipaul books, including The Mimic Men and the brilliant A Bend in the River. Consequently, some readers may well find that Half a Life reads more like half a novel. --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to the Hardcover edition. : : Synopsis: A devastatingly moving and often very funny novel from a masterful voice. In a corner of India untouched by anti-colonial agitation Willie Chandrans father stood at odds with the world - aspiring to greatness while living the dreary life marked out for him by his ancestors. In an attempt to defy his past he lives with a low-caste woman, only to find himself at the mercy of his own fury. From this unhappy union the compelling character of Willie Chandran emerges: oddly like his father, naively eager to find something that will place him both in and apart from the world. Willie is drawn to England and the immigrant community of post-war London, its dingy West End clubs and sexual encounters. But it is his first experience of love that may bring him the fulfillment he so desperately seeks. His wife Ana leads him to her homeland in Portuguese Africa, whose inhabitants are uncertainly living out the last days of colonialism. Naipaul delineates the relationship between father and son with wonderful clarity and compassion; and the comic brilliance of the London scenes and penetrating descriptions of Africa are hard to beat.Comments: pristine - as new-Picador paperback 2002- 225 pages.
- Condition: New
- Dustcover: No
- Binding: Paperback
- Type: Used Books
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