Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A House for Mr Biswas (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) Paperback – May 1, 1993
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
Naipaul's titular protagonist, Mohun Biswas, was born a bad omen, declared by a pundit (Hindu scholar) to be the eventual downfall of his parents; the prophecy is seemingly fulfilled when his father accidentally dies because of his mischief. After some brief schooling, Mr. Biswas (as he is called throughout the novel, even as a young boy) embarks on a series of odd jobs: After an unsuccessful apprenticeship to a pundit, he is sent to work in a relative's rumshop and later becomes a sign-painter. It is on this job that he meets a pretty girl named Shama, whose family, named Tulsi, owns many properties and businesses in Trinidad. A marriage is arranged between Biswas and Shama, and he soon finds himself a prisoner of the Tulsi family in a way, a situation which becomes the basis for his lifelong struggle for independence.
The Tulsis' house, called the Hanuman House, is crowded with members of Shama's extended family, including her mother, her uncle Seth, who manages much of the family's businesses, brothers, sisters, and innumerable and indistinguishable nieces and nephews -- living conditions which lead to irritation and violent arguments with in-laws.Read more ›
In sum, �A House for Mr. Biswas� is a deeply satisfying (as opposed to �entertaining� or superficially �enjoyable�) book, NOT easy summer �beach reading�, but a book which confirms the psychological cliché that it�s the HARD STUFF which is potentially the most rewarding emotionally. So, don�t let the fact �A House for Mr.Read more ›
Mohun Biswas, an ethnic-Indian born in Trinidad in the early 1900s, abruptly marries into the Tulsi family, and his life is from that point on dominated by his controlling mother-in-law, Mrs. Tulsi, and Seth, her brother and head of the Tulsi household. The Tulsi family provides him with housing and various jobs, ranging from managing their dry goods store to supervising their farm, but they also provide him with constant harassment and grief. Mr. Biswas longs for the day that he can own his own home, and his pursuit of this goal is the novel's persistent theme which gives it its epic quality.
A House For Mr. Biswas is, ultimately, a finely crafted novel. Naipaul's powerful, moving prose beautifully depicts the struggle, pain, and sorrow of one man's life; at the same time he paints a calm and full portrait of the ethnic-Indian experience in rural Trinidad. In many ways, this book does for rural Trinidad what John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath does for Salinas, California. It's only flaw, perhaps, is that the book's length feels somewhat forced, as if Naipaul believed that a 600-page novel would more powerfully depict his character's tragic nature than, say, a 400-page novel. The truth is that Naipaul's prose is so robust, and his characters so genuinely human, that A House For Mr. Biswas achieved the status of epic long before its final page.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An all-time favorite of mine (along with Italo Calvino's A Baron in the Trees).Published 17 days ago by Miklblike Bosco
I cannot say I enjoyed this book---I just tolerated it. The book lacked joy. Mr Biswas was not a person you would want to know. Read morePublished 26 days ago by A Rochester
There is not a character in this book to care about! All of them are cruel and brutal. The island is ugly and there is no relief from the ugliness of the people and the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by C. Young
This book was one of my books for my English Literature class back in 1986 - 1988 and to date, it is one of the most interesting, yet funny and sad book I have ever read. Read morePublished 2 months ago by karenda Chapman
This really was a slog. His writing abilities are impressive, but the content is so miserable. It's all such a drag. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Allen Riberdy
This is a book that stands in pretty rare company. That Naipul managed to give us every detail of every year of a man's entire life is enough of an achievement without the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by David Irland
This was my first encounter with V.S. Naipul...I will read more of his work.Published 3 months ago by Robert Wuagneux
A man with aspirations and intellect struggles to "paddle his own canoe" in a family and society he finds stifling. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Agnes Mung