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Eliza GriswoldStill writing with the same spare, acerbic lyricism that earned him the 2001 Nobel Prize in Literature, Naipaul is willing to express a new attitude, one of self-doubt. This acknowledgment of human frailty—starting with his own—broadens his observational powers immeasurably…Naipaul knows how to let a story build itself quietly through accretion, through accumulated observations of those he meets. His is neither a romantic's nor an anthropologist's tale. It is a collection of voices that make sense only in relation to one another. When this mode of storytelling works, we move from one voice to the next without really noticing that the speaker has changed. There's not a lot of unnecessary scene-setting: what's important is what's being said.
—The New York Times