The Mimic Men

The Mimic Men

4.4 25
by V. S. Naipaul
     
 

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A profound novel of cultural displacement, The Mimic Men masterfully evokes a colonial man’s experience in a postcolonial world.

Born of Indian heritage and raised on a British-dependent Caribbean island, Ralph Singh has retired to suburban London, writing his memoirs as a means to impose order on a chaotic existence. His memories lead him to…  See more details below

Overview

A profound novel of cultural displacement, The Mimic Men masterfully evokes a colonial man’s experience in a postcolonial world.

Born of Indian heritage and raised on a British-dependent Caribbean island, Ralph Singh has retired to suburban London, writing his memoirs as a means to impose order on a chaotic existence. His memories lead him to recognize the paradox of his childhood during which he secretly fantasized about a heroic India, yet changed his name from Ranjit Kripalsingh. As he assesses his short-lived marriage to an ostentatious white woman, Singh realizes what has kept him from becoming a proper Englishman. But it is the return home and his subsequent immersion in the roiling political atmosphere of a newly self-governed nation that ultimately provide Singh with the necessary insight to discover the crux of his disillusionment.

Editorial Reviews

Alfred Kazin
"He is the most compelling master of social truth that I know of in the contemporary novel." -- The New York Times Book Review
From the Publisher
“A Tolstoyan spirit.... The so-called Third World has produced no more brilliant literary artist.” — John Updike

“Naipaul is a master of English prose.” — J. M. Coetzee, New York Review of Books

“V. S. Naipaul has a substantial claim as a comic writer.... This humor, conducted throughout with the utmost stylistic quietude, is completely original.” — Kingsley Amis, The Spectator

“Mr. Naipaul travels with the artist’s eye and ear and his observations are sharply discerning.” — Evelyn Waugh

“For sheer abundance of talent there can hardly be a writer alive who surpasses V. S. Naipaul. [He is] the world’s writer, a master of language and perception.” — The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307776563
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/20/2010
Series:
Vintage International
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
File size:
2 MB

What People are saying about this

Paul Theroux
The novel's pattern is amazingly balanced...It is dense and complex, but it resembles less a sold chunk of a man's history than an elaborate circling syllogry of memory, crossing and recrossing.

Meet the Author

V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He has published more than 20 books of fiction and nonfiction, including A House for Mr. Biswas, A Bend in the River, The Enigma of Arrival and An Area of Darkness. He lives in Wiltshire, England. He was knighted in 1990 and received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001.

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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Mimic Men 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
CR-Buell More than 1 year ago
For fans of Naipaul The Mimic Men will cover familiar territory; isolation, identity, apathy. For newcomers to Naipaul I suggest you start somewhere else. Guerrillas or A Bend in the River would probably be the best starting point. In The Mimic Men we are treated to the first person account of the life of Ralph Singe, former government minister of the small island nation of Isabella, now living in exile. The story is split into three non-linear sections: the first detailing Ralph's college years in London, and his return to Isabella with his English wife; the second dealing with his youth as a privileged, yet minority "Asiatic" on Isabella; the third covering his rise to power in the newly independent nation. As with much of Naipaul's work The Mimic Men is concerned largely with the theme of identity; the grander theme of post-colonial national identity, as well as the smaller, though no less important, theme of personal identity. Ralph (like Naipaul himself) is a man without a homeland. Though I thought this theme was better portrayed in Guerrillas and A Bend in the River, The mimic Men is still a brilliant novel written in Naipaul's trademark brutal and precise prose.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The black male wolf pup hobbled in
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The stunning fox cub sat alone with her head down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wanted to adopt Shadekit. And Toxickit.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To kits who want to play a game?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Moonkit looked at Icessmoon. "Do you know how long it will be before I get adopted?" She asked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Bye guys" she said beore padding there
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Licks thier lips
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Me."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Her eyes light up, "Okay!"<p> [Hawkblaze]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm old enough to become an apperentice today! She mewed happily
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maplekit jumped up scaring Dustkit who rolled over surprised
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Vxg
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You know, this used to be an active place. Now there is barely anymore kits.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hawkblaze is at esyay res1
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Attacks deathstalker "what are you doing in this territory"?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is bored
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Doesnt wake up. She doesnt even move. She was freezing cold to the touch
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She licked a paw.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pads up to Darkkit. "Hi!" He said. ~&euro;
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Farrah.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
its good book slowly going nice to read but i wont recommend it for people who love some interesting pace.