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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Softcover from 2002. Cover has some edge and corner wear but otherwise in good shape. The bottom of the page edges has a few stains. Tight binding. Pages are clean with no writing, underlining or highlighting. Good copy of this book. Always HONEST and UPFRONT descriptions.
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Miguel Street Paperback – July 23, 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“One of the few contemporary writers of whom we can speak in terms of greatness.” –Mel Gussow, Newsday

“Miguel Street is the Bowery, the Tenderloin, and the Catfish Row of Trinidad’s Port of Spain–its citizens a loony multitude whose knavery often rises from real kinship with pathos and tragedy. . . . Naipaul is at his best in these swift caricatures of human depravity.” –San Francisco Chronicle

“Amusing and poignant. . . . Excellent reading.” –Chicago Tribune

“Naipaul does not tell stories. By some miraculous sleight-of-hand he takes you to Port of Spain and shows you the rich, bawdy, consequential lives of the Trinidadians, as though there were no intervening veil of words. . . . I rather suspect the mantle of Chekhov has fallen on Mr. Naipaul’s shoulders.” –Robert Payne, Saturday Review

From the Inside Flap

"A stranger could drive through Miguel Street and just say 'Slum!' because he could see no more." But to its residents this derelict corner of Trinidad's capital is a complete world, where everybody is quite different from everybody else. There's Popo the carpenter, who neglects his livelihood to build "the thing without a name." There's Man-man, who goes from running for public office to staging his own crucifixion, and the dreaded Big Foot, the bully with glass tear ducts. There's the lovely Mrs. Hereira, in thrall to her monstrous husband. In this tender, funny early novel, V. S. Naipaul renders their lives (and the legends their neighbors construct around them) with Dickensian verve and Chekhovian compassion.
Set during World War II and narrated by an unnamed-but precociously observant-neighborhood boy, Miguel Street is a work of mercurial mood shifts, by turns sweetly melancholy and anarchically funny. It overflows with life on every page.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (July 23, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375713875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375713873
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on March 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
Naipaul's novel about daily life on Miguel Street is a masterful piece of literature. The characters are colorful and believable, the writing style is fluid and very readable, and the issues raised about (post)colonialism and neocolonialism are oh so real. Entertaining at times; thought-provoking at others--Naipaul's MIGUEL STREET is a must read for any fan of literary genius.
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Format: Paperback
A beautiful portrait of the inhabitants of Miguel Street located in a derelict corner of Trinidad's Capital Port of Spain. Set during World War II, the story is narrated by a precociously observant neighbourhood boy. The mood shifts from sweet melancholy to anarchical fun as we discover the lives of Popo the carpenter, Man-man staging his own crucifixion, Big Foot the bully or the lovely Mrs Hereira in thrall to her monstrous husband. An amusing and poignant book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
V.S. Naipaul's semi-autobiographical short story collection captures the spirit of Trinidad exceptionally well with each self-contained but interconnected short-story. Naipaul's coming of age story is processed through the unnamed narrator's interaction with and observation of the other residents of Miguel Street. Stories like B. Wordsworth stand out as mesmerizing and memorable among the already upper-echelon short stories in this collection. Not to be missed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very early book by Naipaul. It is full of quirky characters but paints a sort of brutal picture of a poor neigborhood on his home island. The first time I read it I loved it. Rereading it some 30 years later I didn't think it was as original or as funny and the repeated physical abuse of children and wives seems to mar the book. I certainly don't think Naipaul is espousing this abuse but on second reading the light touch he gives to it seems in apropriate. He is probably trying to indicate that "That's just the way it was."
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By A Customer on July 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
i agree with alejandro's review: what you bring to this collection of short stories greatly affects how you perceive it. as someone who has (temporarily) left a post-colonial country, i can understand the yearning of the characters to escape, to find a better life, even though most of them aren't quite sure of how to escape and what exactly a better life entails. does the narrator really escape, though? the last paragraph describes him (or at least his shadow) as a dwarf on the tarmac, as though he were deformed (no offense meant to small people) or permanently marked by his efforts to leave somehow. i read "a way in the world" before "miguel street" and it's almost frightening to see how much "miguel street" is a portent of the despair, isolation, and desire in "a way in the world."
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By A Customer on October 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book was a standard for Literature when I was going to high school. Ten years later, the characters are still as colourful, the prose just as lyrical, and Naipaul still weaves a wonderful story.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
V.S. Naipaul is one of my favorite authors. This book is very well written and takes you back in time with characters you could relate to, and if your from the Caribbean you could imagine characters like this in your town, city or village.
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By A Customer on July 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is a collection of inter-connected stories and character sketches set in the island of Trinidad, the author's birthplace, years ago when he was a boy. The tales are charming, some funny, some sad, some both, and all are told in Naipaul's short, mostly (if not completely) perfect sentences. Anyone interested in the life and culture of the Caribbean would do well to read and re-read this little gem of a book.
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