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A Bend in the River (英語) ペーパーバック – 2002/5/10

5つ星のうち 3.0 1 件のカスタマーレビュー

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'Brilliant and terrifying' - "Observer". I had to be the man who was doing well and more than well, the man whose drab shop concealed some bigger operation that made millions. I had to be the man who had planned it all, who had come to the destroyed town at the bend in the river because he had foreseen the rich future. 'Salim, the narrator, is a young man from an Indian family of traders long resident on the coast of Central Africa. Salim has left the coast to make his way in the interior, there to take on a small trading shop of this and that, sundries, sold to the natives. The place is 'a bend in the river'; it is Africa. The time is post-colonial, the time of Independence. The Europeans have withdrawn or been forced to withdraw and the scene is one of chaos, violent change, warring tribes, ignorance, isolation, poverty and a lack of preparation for the modern world they have entered, or partially assumed as a sort of decoration. It is a story of historical upheaval and social breakdown. Naipaul has fashioned a work of intense imaginative force. It is a haunting creation, rich with incident and human bafflement, played out in an immense detail of landscape rendered with a poignant brilliance' - Elizabeth Hardwick. 'Always a master of fictional landscape, Naipaul here shows, in his variety of human examples and in his search for underlying social causes, a Tolstoyan spirit' - John Updike.

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'Brilliant and terrifying' Observer

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  • ペーパーバック: 336ページ
  • 出版社: Picador; New版 (2002/5/10)
  • 言語: 英語
  • ISBN-10: 0330487140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330487146
  • 発売日: 2002/5/10
  • 商品パッケージの寸法: 13 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • おすすめ度: 5つ星のうち 3.0 1 件のカスタマーレビュー
  • Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: 洋書 - 554,102位 (洋書の売れ筋ランキングを見る)
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形式: ペーパーバック
The first half is engaging, optimistic and full of potential. The second half is a slog, loses it's optimism and, takes too many side journeys that add nothing to the overall story.
Overall this leaves a rather pessimistic view of Africa.
Naipaul maintains location anonymity, giving a mildly Kafka-esque feel.
Worth reading, although I preferred Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart".
コメント 1人のお客様がこれが役に立ったと考えています. このレビューは参考になりましたか? はい いいえ 評価を送る...
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Amazon.com: 5つ星のうち 4.0 143 件のカスタマーレビュー
4 人中、4人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 The World according to Vidia 2016/4/9
投稿者 Ramesh G - (Amazon.com)
形式: ペーパーバック Amazonで購入
I have long been a little suspicious of V S Naipaul, perhaps because he wrote the searing truth about India where I grew up and have clung to a rosier view than he for too long,
but now I submit full devotion to him as a keen observer of the condition of humans at the meeting of cultures at, for instance, this bend in the River in the heart of Africa.
Two sentences excerpts from the book convey what I cannot say better myself - at the beginning :
'The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it'
and and another towards the end :
'If there was a plan, these events had meaning. If there was law, the events had meaning. But there was no plan; there was no law; this was only make-believe, play, a waste of men's time in the world'
3 人中、3人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 A novel education. 2013/2/28
投稿者 davec - (Amazon.com)
形式: Kindle版 Amazonで購入
OK-- I'll admit it's hard to not give A Bend in the River all five stars knowing that it's considered by many one of the great English language novels of the 20th century, and authored by a Nobel laureate to boot. That said, this book is not a "page-turner." There is no plot per se, simply a narrative account of several years in the life of a young ethnic Indian man living in an unnamed country in central-eastern Africa, perhaps the Congo. His position as an outsider-within affords him a highly personal yet unvarnished perspective on African politics and history. Although written 40 years ago, A Bend in the River seems highly topical in the way Naipaul's fictional country cycles through periods of colonial rule, nationalistic fervor, strongman takeover, rebellion and intertribal strife. Understanding that no single country, let alone a hypothetical one, can represent all of Africa, the book is a lesson on modern cultural and political trends on that turbulent continent. An additional theme, richly depicted by Naipaul, is the experience of the contemporary Indian in diaspora, confronted daily with the conflicting feelings of belonging vs alienation. Lastly, one cannot overlook the quality of Naipaul's prose; his sheer mastery of the English language is a reader's pleasure.
3 人中、3人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 So Naipaul is NOT African 2014/6/23
投稿者 Wong Hing - (Amazon.com)
形式: Kindle版 Amazonで購入
But the writer of "A Bend in the River" does not pretend to be an African. He does not even pretend to understand Africans. The novel is not a post colonial political tract. Naipaul is writing a novel about people caught in a new situation, something no one has any experience with and everyone is improvising.

Like the writer, Salim the narrator is the perpetual outsider. His ethnicity, his religion, his family history make him an outsider in the town, in the nation, and in Africa. And Salim looks upon what gradually unfolds around him with a bewildering sense of deja vu, for though Salim do not know what is actually going on, he understands how power corrupts, how freedom bewilders and how silence can be lethal. He tries his best to help everyone, only to realize that there is nothing he can do.

For readers who have experience in a developing country, the various episodes in the novel will touch you to the quick.
5 人中、5人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 4.0 New Ways of Thinking About the World 2013/4/22
投稿者 lyctc - (Amazon.com)
形式: ペーパーバック Amazonで購入
This book was not easy. The plot is simple and there's no twists, but the author filled it with sharp analysis on personalities and motives. There are ways people relate to history or their surroundings that I have seen before but never really put into a complete thought until I read the book. The analysis was brilliant.

I rate this four stars, however, because the author told rather than showed the story. There was little for the reader to piece together himself. The author is great at explaining how the main character thinks about another character, but the reader doesn't get to see the actual interactions, just the character's interpretation of the interaction.
1 人中、1人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 4.0 I enjoyed the book overall and found the author to be ... 2015/4/10
投稿者 Alan Langley - (Amazon.com)
形式: Kindle版 Amazonで購入
This is an unusual book with detailed characters and rather profound themes. Thought provoking, not only about life in Africa, but about the meaning of life in general. One is never sure which way it will go similar to the unexpected twists and turns living in Africa imparts on us as humans, but of course also the same applies to life in general. I enjoyed the book overall and found the author to be a deep thinker with complex descriptions of his characters and the environment and period chosen for this novel. Recommended for those not in a hurry to dwell on some interesting views on life but also of colonial Africa transitioning into apparent independence.
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