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A Hot Country (Abacus Books) Paperback – 20 Sep 1984

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere Books Ltd; New e. edition (20 Sept. 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349124922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349124926
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,079,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is Shiva Naipaul's last novel before his untimely death at the age of 40, in 1985. He is the younger brother of VS Naipaul, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature; I've always considered that Shiva was the better and more insightful writer. This novel is set in Charlestown, in the South American country of Cuyama; which is a very thinly disguised version of Georgetown, in former British Guyana. In the United States, the country is most famous for the mass suicide / murder at "Jonestown," led by the "Reverend" Jim Jones in 1978. Shiva Naipaul also wrote a book on that event, Journey to Nowhere: A New World Tragedy. This book has nothing to do with that event, but was obviously a derivative on his time in country researching the other event. The book also draws on Naipaul's on upbringing in Trinidad.

Guyana / Cuyama is a country of under a million people, living in a hot, muggy climate. Almost all, save for the American Indians, cling to the coast, with the "impenetrable jungle" behind them, containing some American Indians and the descendants of runaway slaves. As a legacy of the British Empire, the largest ethnic group is Indians from the subcontinent, followed closely by descendants of slaves, and there are a few scattered whites, who are descendants of those who brought the two larger groups together in this unlikely place, all in an effort to grow sugar cane, to sweeten the proverbial cups of tea in London.

Aubrey St. Pierre is the principal character. He is the descendant of slave owners who fled the rebellion in Haiti, and rebuilt their fortunes, with palatial house, in Charlestown / Georgetown.
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