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on 23 November 2016
I enjoyed the shorter stories which don't seem to come in this version, but the main Africa set story was just a bit dull. It started off promisingly, when the main character was bar hopping, but as soon as the car journey began it just dragged. While reading it on the commuter run each day, it would always take multiple pages before i could tune back into it. There were a couple of set-pieces that I hoped would be the spark it needed to gather pace, but instead it just meandered.
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on 23 April 2014
This version of "In a free state" contains only the central novella, but what an interesting read it is. The central characters are vividly drawn, with great insight into human nature and cultural differences. I couldn't wait to learn more about them (as they drive each other up the wall!) and to see how the story of their journey through a war torn African state unfolded. As ever with Naipaul this is beautifully written. Powerful stuff, it certainly doesn't pull any punches.
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on 7 May 2009
this is fiction writing at its finest. The novella 'In a free state' is beautifully written.
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on 8 February 2014
I could have given this a higher rating and the reason I didn't was that there is not a single likeable character in the book. Bobby at first arouses sympathy but his attitude to blacks as cheap sexual gratification eventually makes one feel as antipsychotic towards him as towards everyone else.
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on 14 March 2014
The book itself is a masterpiece, but in downloading the Kindle version, I found it was missing seminal pieces such as 'One out of Many' for which I had purchased the kindle version. I needed to be able to adjust the font size and since this important content was missing, I had to revert back to a paper copy which wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't dyslexic and looking for easier access as I approach a paper I am writing. Amazon doesn't want to know that material isn't included as described in the description for this download, so be careful if you are actually searching for the full version. It's not all there.
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on 21 November 2014
Stunning book! By page 3 you know this is something special. Does make you examine yourself though, and not always a comfortable read. My first V. S. Naipaul, about to order more.
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on 27 November 2015
The story gives an insight into brutality and primitiveness of African politics. The irony of the title tells its own tale.
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on 17 September 2014
Nepal's writing is excellent and this account of the experiences of ex pats in Africa revealing.
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on 24 February 2013
In a Free State: The Novel is NOT the full book. It is the central novel without the supporting stories that constituted the edition that won the Booker prize. It is sold for the same price however!
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on 5 October 2010
I enjoyed this book of short stories a little more than my previous Naipaul- a House for Mr. Biswas. He writes well and gives you a good feel of the characters, BUT the reader is forever struggling to detect the hidden messages, as his stories seem to be in code. I had great difficulty understanding the ending of the main story, and could not see any link between the five stories. Only " One out of Many", the story of an Indian cook moving to USA, seems complete in itself.
1971 must have been a bad year for Booker entries.
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