Don’t you love reading books that you enjoy as you’re reading them page by page?
V.S Naipaul’s ‘A house for Mr. Biswas’ is one such gem based in Trinidad. This page-turner doesn’t take long to claw itself onto you. It’s immersive, overtly honest and fun to wade through the world created by Naipaul. Even at 623-pages, it doesn’t feel long, and as a reader, you find yourself craving for more.
Mr. Biswas’s everlasting quest for a house of his own, as he grapples with his ambition-ridden and unkind destiny, is interesting and humorous. It’s a peek into a life of a generation of immigrants of Indian origin in a world far removed and yet alike in forms. His mundane life laden with accidents, superstitions, irrational philosophies and a deep disdain for people is what the life of Mr. Biswas is.
In the evolving world of Race, Caste, Language, and Patriarchal systems, Mr. Biswas’s world continues to make absurd turns right till the very end.
The book doesn’t hold back on any surprises and treads along expected lines. Even sharing precursors of upcoming life events from his life much before they happen. And it doesn’t really need to build any suspense for the witty storytelling of Naipaul weaves its magic through it anyway.
The author journeys you through villages and plantations to new cities, hills, and beaches. And most closely, houses. I can’t recall a better description of old houses than what you read in this.
The story has a fantastic ensemble of distinctive characters with relatable quirks. I can close my eyes and imagine these conversations among individuals far after I’ve ended the book—intricate little worlds.
As the name suggests, the story is a sequential journey of Mr. Biswas from his birth, childhood traumas, growing up and getting married at an early age, and his reluctance to take responsibility for anything. Not even himself. As a character, he’s interesting because you want to see him win, but he just doesn’t. But, he grows on as the story progresses.
This book is a masterpiece and is easily heading to my favorite reads of all time. A worthy read from a Nobel Laureate- V.S Naipaul. I loved loved loved it!!