A Bend in the River

By V. S. Naipaul
Read by Simon Vance

10.78 Hours 09/01/2004 unabridged
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This incandescent novel chronicles both an internal journey and a physical trek into the heart of Africa, a place caught between the dangerously alluring modern world and its own tenacious past and traditions. Exploring political and individual corruption, it expresses skepticism about the ability of newly decolonized nations to forge independent identities. Salim, a Muslim Indian merchant, opens a store in a sleepy small town at a bend in the river, whose inhabitants include a Belgian priest, a witch, and a white intellectual named Raymond. The president of the new country is a demagogue called the Big Man who hires Raymond as his speechwriter. Salim loses control of his store to the commercially inexperienced Citizen Theotime, who hires Salim to manage it. Gradually, the town's veneer of civilization begins to crumble.

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Summary

Summary

A 1979 Man Booker Prize Finalist

One of Modern Library's 100 Best English-Language Novels of the Twentieth Century

This incandescent novel chronicles both an internal journey and a physical trek into the heart of Africa, a place caught between the dangerously alluring modern world and its own tenacious past and traditions. Exploring political and individual corruption, it expresses skepticism about the ability of newly decolonized nations to forge independent identities.

Salim, a Muslim Indian merchant, opens a store in a sleepy small town at a bend in the river, whose inhabitants include a Belgian priest, a witch, and a white intellectual named Raymond. The president of the new country is a demagogue called the Big Man who hires Raymond as his speechwriter. Salim loses control of his store to the commercially inexperienced Citizen Theotime, who hires Salim to manage it. Gradually, the town's veneer of civilization begins to crumble.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Austere and brilliant…Naipaul has mastered the gift of creating an aura of psychic and moral tension…A novelist has to be faithful to what he sees, and few see as well as Naipaul.” New York Times Book Review
“In a vigilant style, which has been deservedly admired, [Naipul] transforms rage into precision and allows events to speak with their own inherent irony.” Swedish Academy, announcing the 2001 Nobel Prize in Literature                     
“Confirms Naipaul’s position as one of the best writers now at work.” Newsweek
“Vance delivers the detached ferocity that won Naipaul the Nobel Prize.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: V. S. Naipaul

V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932 and went to Oxford on a scholarship in 1950. He is the author of more than twenty-five books of fiction and nonfiction. His honors include the Nobel Prize, the Booker Prize, and a knighthood for services to literature. He was named a finalist for the 2009 Man Booker International Prize for achievement in fiction.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 10.78
Audience: Adult
Language: English