HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

In a Free State by V. S. Naipaul
Loading...

In a Free State (1971)

by V. S. Naipaul

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8741515,783 (3.36)91
"In A Free State" is set in an imaginary state in Africa against a background of civil conflict. The book travels from America to London to Africa. The first third focuses on the fortunes of Santosh, a young Indian servant, at the mercy of this dreams, of his employers and of the countries in which he is plunged. It then moves into the world of expats in Africa, of government officers and radio people, attempting to understand the country they have found themselves in, to match their ideas to reality. And as always, in the background the threat of violence looms. The voices in this novel are breathtakingly vivid, the feelings of the characters portrayed with an intelligence and sensitivity that is rarely seen in contemporary writing.… (more)

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 91 mentions

English (14)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I was bored to tears with this book and stopped reading it halfway through.
  John_Danenbarger | Sep 2, 2019 |
This book was suffering from racism. Bodies, prejudice, humiliation, homesickness, snobbery, smells, murder, covered in a thick layer of mud, decay, dishonesty and brutal honesty. Ineffective escapes in hotels, back of the pick up truck, deserts,over the horizon, drink and education. Not good enough, not one of them. Brilliant writing - hard on humanity.
  joannajuki | Jun 10, 2019 |
I can see why Robert McCrum chose this for the 1970s nominee for the Golden Booker. It may not be better than some of the other excellent winners, but it's very very good. Is it Naipaul's best? I don't know, I haven't read all the novels, but his best is very good indeed.

This is a series of thematically connected stories with two very short journal-entry vignettes bookending the beginning and end. There are two short-ish stories and one novella (the latter being the titular story). All consider the issues raised by immigration, colonialism, exile, and color/race supremacy. The three major pieces are quite different from each other in terms of plot and character, but the threads connecting them are clear.

Naipaul is hard to read. He's at best pitiless and at worst cruel. But his writing is so phenomenal, his eye so acute, and his evocation of the natural and built worlds so penetrating (from beautiful to horrible as the subject requires), that he demands to be read, carefully and thoroughly.

ETA: The way Naipaul depicts African people is frequently painful, even more than his usual unsparingly cruel eye. In the main story these depictions are primarily through the perspective of the main characters, who are mostly unlikable, but he is definitely making points about the extent to which humans resemble the less pleasant aspects of animals (or just animals in general). But it *is* painful for the reader. ( )
  Sunita_p | May 18, 2019 |
I read this along side Neel Mukherjee's A State of Freedom. Naipaul makes me itch all over but I see what's good about him and this is a really brilliant novel that busts out of the genre in an amazing way. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Feb 15, 2018 |
3 short stories and 1 main one (not very long either, really!). I preferred the short stories to the main event! ( )
  Bagpuss | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Naipaul, V. S.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dorsman-Vos, W.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Golüke, GuidoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
De oversteek van Piraeus naar Alexandrië duurde slechts twee dagen, maar zodra ik de groezelige kleine Griekse schuit zag, kreeg ik het gevoel dat ik anders had moeten reizen.
Quotations
Last words
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.36)
0.5
1 5
1.5
2 10
2.5 6
3 39
3.5 15
4 36
4.5 4
5 9

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 138,114,475 books! | Top bar: Always visible