Summary

A House for Mr. Biswas, by Nobel and Booker Prize-winning author V. S. Naipaul, is a powerful novel about one man's struggle for identity and belonging. Born into poverty, then trapped in the shackles of charity and gratitude, Mr. Biswas longs for a house he can call his own. He loathes his wife and her wealthy family, upon whom he is dependent. Finding himself a mere accessory on their estate, his constant rebellion is motivated by the one thing that can symbolize his independence. The book is striking in its lush and sensual descriptions of Trinidad and was listed as one of Time magazine's 100 Best English-Language Novels from 1923 to 2005.
©1969 V.S. Naipaul (P)2017 Naxos AudioBooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Brian Hays on 04-03-18

Classic Naipaul

Another from one of the great storytellers. The sequence of events is a bit depressing, but it’s impossible to become fully involved with the characters and events.

The narrator is one of the best I’ve heard. The dialect is perfectly executed, and the timing of the dialog is good for many laughs.

Although I’ve only read it in paper, Naipaul’s “A Bend in the River” is a must read.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Saman on 11-12-17

Charming prose. Lovely book.

Naipaul never dissapoints in his narrative. This is a very simple story of a man who lives a fairly, short life on the fringes of poverty and amidst a patriarchal household. Many readers can be put-off by the pure absurdness of this story-line but for me as a Naipaul advocate, this is pure magic.

The protagonist, Mohun Biswas, is a dreadful character who continuously bites the hand that feeds him and wishes for grander things in life. His wishes to escape the chains of the Tulsi clan and buy a house of his own are the center pieces of the story. The novel spans the years of his life: his unhappy and tragic childhood, marriage to Sharma and the expectations of the Tulsis, children, and the continuous machinations of the sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws. Getting beaten and giving a beating is expected in the Tulsi house.

I wanted so badly for Mr. Biswas to succeed and yet, at some junctures, I wanted him to fail. That is the beauty of the story and the book. Remember the first chapter and then you will understand the rest of Mr. Biswas’s life and trials. Loved this book and the narration was pretty good too.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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