Miguel Street

Miguel Street

4.2 9
by V. S. Naipaul
     
 

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“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

Overview

“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.

Editorial Reviews

Anthony Powell
"V.S. Naipul is outstanding among our contemporary novelist." -- The Daily Caligraph
From the Publisher
“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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780394720654
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/12/1984
Series:
Caribbean Writers Series
Edition description:
1st Vintage Books ed
Pages:
176

Read an Excerpt

“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.

What People are saying about this

William Walsh
The percular savour of the book comes from the application of a severe and sophisticated intelligence to conduct of the utmost naivety.

Meet the Author

V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He went to England on a scholarship in 1950. After four years at Oxford he began to write, and since then he has followed no other profession. He is the author of more than twenty books of fiction and nonfiction and the recipient of numerous honors, including the Nobel Prize in 2001, the Booker Prize in 1971, and a knighthood for services to literature in 1990. He lives in Wiltshire, England.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Wiltshire, England
Date of Birth:
August 17, 1932
Place of Birth:
Chaguanas, Trinidad
Education:
Queen's Royal College, Trinidad, 1943-48; B.A., University College, Oxford, 1953

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Miguel Street 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
9441NorthDakota More than 1 year ago
I finished reading "A House for Mr. Biswas" by V.S .Naipaul and I fell in love with way it was written and couldn`t find anything good to read for a while so I tried Miguel Street by the same writer.It was simply awful.I don`t know how both novels are written by the same person.This book was so dissappointing ,I wished it was returnable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
VJKH More than 1 year ago
The book miguel street is an outstanding book based in the caribbean island. The very best of all of his novels i think because there is life at its everything mixed with humour and almost any other emotion one can feel. His way of compiling short stories and still keeping the book linked fascinated me. I had to do this novel in school and i thought to myself 'oh,well another boring caribbean novel' and when i started reading it in class i couldn't stop, the excitement was there and the willingness of the characters to entertain,thuis book gave a new meaning to ' dont judge a book by it's cover' . This book will be enjoyed by anyone who has a taste for good literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Naipual has a great sense of humor, which is on full display in this book. I also enjoyed the writing format - a collection of short stories which keeps all the main characters linked throughout each individual story (as it is really the story of Miguel Street and not really about 1 character in particular).

A true picture of life in the Caribbean and the culture of day to day living for ordinary (and I guess extraordinary people, in the case of Miguel Street). Having grown up in the Caribbean myself, each character seemed to remind me of someone I knew growing up. This book kept me laughing throughout... very authentic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great collection of stories and characters, that bring you into the caribbean culture.....into Miguel street..... I am looking forward to read many more of VS Naipauls books.. short stories are great for those of us that are almost tooo busy to read.... concise and entertaining....
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a born Trinidadian this book gave me a better view of Trinidad.I would recomend this book for ages 10 and up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the greatest book that I ever read. Totally linked to the whole experience. It was one easiest books to understand.