Dazzling mixture of autobiography and a fictional history of colonialism
This novel explores colonial inheritance in a series of narratives that swing back and forth between past and present. It draws on examples of Spanish and British imperial history in the Caribbean, such as Raleigh's last expedition, placed within a context of echoing modernity.
“There is not a page that is not stamped with Naipaul's compelling charm and peculiar authority...he retains, somehow or other, a sense of wonder at the varieties of human experience and the infinite vagaries of human behaviour”
“One of literature's senior players, a writer whose work - nimble in defence, formidable in attack - is impossible to dismiss... it is the seriousness and delicacy of his concerns that capture and keep our attention. Wherever he has been - which is almost everywhere - he has stalked the anxieties and vanities of post-colonial life with fantastic zeal and subtlety.”
“The language is marvellously sculpted”