Guerrillas (Paperback)

by V. S. Naipaul

Format: Paperback 200 pages

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Set on a troubled Caribbean island - where Asians, Africans, Americans and former British colonials co-exist in a state of suppressed hysteria - "Guerrillas" is a novel of colonialism and revolution. A white man arrives with his mistress, an English woman influenced by fantasies of native power and sexuality, unaware of the consequences of her actions. Together with a leader of the "revolution", they act out a gripping drama of death, sexual violence, and spiritual impotence. "Guerrillas" depicts a convulsion in public life, and ends in private violence. Place and people are evoked with an intensity unrivalled elsewhere. The novel comes with extraordinary force from the centre of a profound moral awareness of the world's plight. 'Impeccable prose, precise, austere, modulating always from place to people to dialogue with a fastidious reserve. "Guerrillas" seems to me Naipaul's Heart of Darkness: a brilliant artist's anatomy of emptiness, and of despair' - "Observer".


Publisher and industry reviews

Jacket review

'Impeccable prose, precise, austere, modulating always from place to people to dialogue with a fastidious reserve. Guerrillas seems to me Naipaul's Heart of Darkness: a brilliant artist's anatomy of emptiness, and of despair' Observer

UK Kirkus review

An unspecified Caribbean island buckles beneath the heat. The drought goes on longer than usual. Small fires break out everywhere. A tropical paradise is now covered in dust. Beneath the surface there are fires too as the complex relationships between authorities and islanders are tested to the limit. The years of exploitation and the endless poverty are the fuse; hope and desperation the spark. For the residents of the Ridge, a community at a remove from the rest of the island by virtue of wealth, geography and its expatriate lifestyle, the events happening in the city below them are bewildering and frightening - though not altogether unexpected. For Peter Roche, an exiled white African activist, and Jane, his aimless Home Counties PR girlfriend, whose fragile relationship is now on the verge of collapse, it is a particularly testing time. The events exacerbate their estrangement and make them prey to the hostile forces that surround them. First published in 1976, this novel depicts a world still all too recognizable today; the political map may change but the nature of oppression doesn't. It is the awareness of this situation that imbues the novel with its overwhelming sense of hopelessness. The characters are already defeated from within and without. The controlled rage that simmers beneath the surface of their everyday calm is their only perceivable emotion. The novel is plotted as neatly as the motives involved are untidy, showing a deep awareness of the political situation as a human tragedy, an impenetrable mess from which the modern world can, as yet, find no escape. (Kirkus UK)

Book details

Published
10/05/2002

Publisher
Picador

ISBN
9780330487139


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