A House for Mr. Biswas

A House for Mr. Biswas

by V. S. Naipaul
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Overview

A House for Mr. Biswas by V. S. Naipaul

In his forty-six short years, Mr. Mohun Biswas has been fighting against destiny to achieve some semblance of independence, only to face a lifetime of calamity. Shuttled from one residence to another after the drowning death of his father, for which he is inadvertently responsible, Mr. Biswas yearns for a place he can call home. But when he marries into the domineering Tulsi family on whom he indignantly becomes dependent, Mr. Biswas embarks on an arduous -- and endless -- struggle to weaken their hold over him, and purchase a house of his own.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780394720500
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/01/1985
Pages: 589

About the Author

V. S. Naipaul was born in Trinidad in 1932. He is the author of more than twenty books of fiction and non-fiction and the recipient of numerous honours, 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.

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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House for Mr. Biswas 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading this book, I have to say that I don't really understand what qualifies someone as a Noble Laureate. In fairness this is the only book I've read by Mr. Naipaul. I found it hard to have sympathy for Mr. Biswas as most of his problems were brought on by his own stupidity. True this may have been what real life was like in Trinidad for the time period these events were to have taken place, but since no dates are ever mentioned, except that it was around the war, and Mr. Biswas owned a Ford Prefect, one can only guess at what time certain events took place. My real problem with this book was that it failed to evoke any emotions. The only time I felt emotion was about the fate of Mr. Biswas's dog Tarzan. Reading the book, you didn't get any idea that it affected Mr. Biswas at all. In my opinion a good book evokes emotions and moves you. This book did neither, it took me a long time to finish it, and left me angry (at the stupidity and the flogging of children) and depressed. Yes, anger is emotion, but I don't read books in order to feel angry, watching the news every day is enough to evoke that emotion. Spelling and grammatical errors were rife. Although the English system is different from ours that couldn't explain a good many of the errors. Mr. V. S. Naipaul stated in an interview that there were no female writers that were his literary match. Well, Mr. Naipaul I have to say you are delusional.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a slower read than others I've recently read (including "Miguel Street" just prior to this one). However, you quickly understand the necessity in this... Naipaul is brilliant at weaving words/plots/characters into a wonderful feast for the imagination (it's like slow cooking - takes a while, but soooo satisfying in the end).

I also adore this book for its insight into Caribbean life during Colonial times, as well as the history of East Indians in the Caribbean - their culture, the lifestyle and the many rich gifts we now enjoy as a part of Caribbean culture.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
A House for Mr. Biswas follows Mr. Biswas in his life-long dream to own a house of his own. As a young man living in rural Trinidad, he accidentally marries a girl with the worst in-laws on Earth, the wealthy Tulsis. They are selfish and domineering clan full of equally unlikable characters. Mr. Biswas desires autonomy and after innumerable comical failed attempts followed by his endless incessant whining, he finally earns and buys a little shack for his family. Naipaul also takes a protagonist who seems very harsh and abrasive at first, and makes him into a sympathetic character. I have seldom read books that have made me able to so fully climb into the skin of a character. You feel his anguish, and understand his few joys. Surprisingly, Naipaul does all of this with a very economical use of words.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my first book from Naipul. Boy did I love reading it? I have read a few more of his books and I cannot pick one and say it isn't good. The book gave me an idea about Indians living in Trinidad during that time period. At times it brought back fond memories of growing up in my home country ( not Trinidad ). A fine book by a wonderful story teller.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this magnificent novel,Mr. Naipaul, with plenty humour, delivers the most subtle and yet broad analogy of the colonial situation and pressing issues following independence of some countries, illustrated by the sttrugle for achieving one's place in the world, with dignity.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Naipaul had captured the flavor of Trinidad perfectly, and manages to describe it flawlessly and with dark humor. He presents to us Mr. Biswas, a most pathetic man, and shows us his small efforts to improve himself, and how ineffectual those efforts are and why. Trinidadians have criticized Naipaul for this bleak picture of them and their island, but every word he's written is the truth. Mr. Biswas is fiction, but his life and miseries are lived (even today) by many in this country. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to know what life in the Caribbean is really like, and for anyone who enjoys excellent literature.
Guest More than 1 year ago
portrays its anti-hero mr biswas from birth to death;from insignificant and unknown beginnings to an equally unknown end, yet triumps in making him matter to us, significant to understanding ourselves and human nature. Naipaul explores themes of alienation, isolation, cultural and individual identity, independence, poverty and escape without the potentially depressing aspect--there is a self-mocking irony and imaginatively descriptive style that enlivens the rituals and customs of Indian life in 1930's Trinidad, down to the most minor of characters. Read this novel and you will return again and again, as i did, each time discovering some theme or complication or other rich detail you hadn't noticed before.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Any praise will be less for this book, one of the masterpieces of world literature. Read it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't buy this one. It is the worst thing I have attempted to read. It was a book club selection. I can't say anything good about it. The writing is terrible, the subject is bad and depressing. There is nothing to be learned here. Save your time and money.