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“V. S. Naipaul tells stories which show us ourselves and the reality we live in. His use of language is as precise as it is beautiful.” — The London Times
“A Tolstoyan spirit....The so-called Third World has produced no more brilliant literary artist.” —John Updike, The New Yorker
“The coolest literary eye and the most lucid prose we have.” —The New York
No writer has rendered our boundariless, post-colonial world more acutely or prophetically than V. S. Naipaul, or given its upheavals such a hauntingly human face. A perfect case in point is this riveting novel, a masterful and stylishly rendered narrative of emigration, dislocation, and dread, accompanied by four supporting narratives.
In the beginning it is just a car trip through Africa. Two English people--Bobby, a civil servant with a guilty appetite for African boys, and Linda, a supercilious ?compound wife? -- are driving back to their enclave after a stay in the capital . But in between lies the landscape of an unnamed country whose squalor and ethnic bloodletting suggest Idi Amin?s Uganda. [111-12, 120, 130-1, 150, 178, 220-40] And the farther Naipaul?s protagonists travel into it, the more they find themselves crossing the line that separates privileged outsiders from horrified victims. Alongside this Conradian tour de force are four incisive portraits of men seeking liberation far from home. By turns funny and terrifying, sorrowful and unsparing, In A Free State is Naipaul at his best.
V.S. Naipaul's "In a Free State" takes the reader through four narratives of the post-war 20th Century. Read morePublished 3 months ago by transargonaut
V.S. Naipaul. Sometimes he'll deliver a masterpiece; sometimes he'll deliver an average book; sometimes he'll deliver a straight dud. Read morePublished 16 months ago by %%%%
People love to bag Naipaul and sit in judgement of him especially after the 2008 biography, but that kind of pass time can best be left to boring reactionaries who can't separate... Read morePublished 19 months ago by MR CLINT W CAWARD
This is a well-written work by a master artist, but it is more in an experimental vein. It is a very strange book to read. Read morePublished on June 28, 2010 by Khatarnaak Khatun
In V.S. Naipaul's novel all main characters are looking and longing for (a little) freedom: the emigrants, the colonists, the tourists and the universal freedom seeker, the tramp... Read morePublished on April 27, 2009 by Luc REYNAERT
The main story in this book exactly describes the rapid deterioration that occurred in Africa after colonial rule ended. Read morePublished on December 23, 2008 by J. Luis Madrid
The novella recounts every boring second of a two day drive across Africa. Nothing much happens. The driver and the passenger don't much like each other, which might have made... Read morePublished on January 11, 2007 by Armchair Traveler
This book is made up of a short Prologue and Epilogue, and three short stories, the last of which, called "In A Free State," taking more than half of the pages. Read morePublished on September 4, 2003 by Frederick M. Segrest
In a Free State won the Booker Prize in 1971 as the best novel by a Commonwealth author. The books consists of two short stories, two travel pieces and the title novella. Read morePublished on March 18, 2002 by suetonius