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Wednesday, 15 August 2018


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Caused a bit of a stir.

Never heard of him, now I want to read his books. What a great tribute. As of where to start it sounds like it doesn't really matter, but "if Naipaul had written nothing else after Biswas, he would still be counted among the greatest writers of the 20th century".
I think I will look to start on his essay on ISIS - if I can find it.

I have never previously read any of Mr Naipaul's novels. Thanks to the Hampshire eLibrary I was able to sample the first few pages of "Magic Seeds". I fear that Mr Naipaul joins Virginia Woolfe in the list of authors whose books I have started but plan never to finish.

I am with you decnine. A relative who is a bit of a bookworm recommended Magic Seeds to me. Never going to read the whole thing and Mr Naipaul also joins the "not going to bother with group" of authors in my book shelves.

Wasn't he the author of, "Is it just me, or is everything shit?"?

I have tried to read his books and I gave up ,tried again and etc. He has been anointed a great writer and that is a crown that is permanent, the literary critics have decided.
For me they failed on style, content and interest, there are just more interesting books to read ; but please dig in and tell us what you think.
Either way my application to join the League of the Nineteen Dissolute Philistines remains tabled...

Blimey, that's the last time I ask you lot for encouragement to dip my Neanderthal toe into the well of profound literature! I must admit that the fact that Naipaul had been awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature was holding me back because it is usually a sure sign of either mediocrity or rubbish! Both Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett are past winners - need I say more?

Dear David - I am very glad you liked the piece.

I'd say, start with one of Naipaul's articles in the newspapers - his essay on ISIS, published in the Daily Mail, is exceptionally good - to get a sense of his style and vision. If you'd like to dig deeper, my recommendations:

Fiction: The Mystic Masseur, The Mimic Men, Guerrillas, A Bend in the River, In a Free State.

Nonfiction: Among the Believers, The Loss of El Dorado, A Turn in the South, The Return of Eva Peron & the Killings in Trinidad ...

Thanks for that, Kapil, and welcome to D&N, by the way. I have one and half history books to get through and then I will - promise! - give him a try.

And I apologise for miss-spelling your name which I have now corrected.

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