Guerrillas A novel of colonialism and revolution death sexual violence and political and spiritual impotence

  • Title: Guerrillas
  • Author: V.S. Naipaul
  • ISBN: 9780679731740
  • Page: 450
  • Format: Paperback
  • A novel of colonialism and revolution, death, sexual violence and political and spiritual impotence.

    583 Comment

    • AC says:

      This is only my first read Naipaul -- I listened (via audible) to Bend in the River, and loved it -- and so this is far too slender a frame on which to rate an author as complex as Naipaul. Plus, he writes with a density that makes his work, and the reader's work, somewhat knotty. There is a deep neuroticism not only in the content, but even in the rhythm of his prose. This particular novel shows, unstintingly, the author's foulness: his profound pessimism about human beings (presumably about hu [...]

    • Casey (Myshkin) Buell says:

      I'm not sure how to put my feelings about this book into words, but I'll try. This is not a fun novel. This is not a nice novel. This is a vicerally powerful and profoundly disturbing novel. The tension begins to build with the very first word, and doesn't let up until the very last. Naipaul is a master of creating atmosphere. You physically feel the tension in the interplay between characters, and the hysteria bubbling away just below the surface makes your heart beat faster. This is not a nove [...]

    • Shane says:

      A revolution in a small Caribbean island exposes deviant sexuality, and gender and racial hatred among its principal characters. They truly are lost souls without hope of redemption.Jimmy Ahmed is the unlikely bi-sexual, mixed-breed revolutionary, who hates England for having made him into a plaything and who hides out in a foreign-sponsored farm on his native island waiting for the moment to spring his revolution. My problem with Jimmy is that he does not appear to have charisma that will inspi [...]

    • Cbj says:

      Guerillas is a vicious self-help novel for wounded colonized people and their guilty colonizers. No, but thats not really true. Naipaul is not interested in the emancipation of humanity and is only interested in serving literature. He said so himself. Guerillas is a terrifying novel about race relations written with the sole intention of exposing liberals for what Naipaul perceives to be their banality. But no, thats only partially true. Guerillas is a brutally honest novel about the inevitable [...]

    • Scott says:

      The last Naipaul I read, A House for Mr. Biswas, disappointed me, but this one has great force. It is a complex rumination on post-colonial life -- identity, race, power, sex, and politics.Set in an unnamed Caribbean island based on Naipaul's own Trinidad, the island is independent and self-governing, but still dominated by the British colonial elite. The main characters are white liberals who find their politics and sentimentality overcome by events, particularly in their complex relationships [...]

    • Kobe Bryant says:

      pretty good book, but not great. beautifully written but kind of boring. he really likes writing about vapid white women, because he's a big misogynist and a 'player'

    • Andrewh says:

      This is the first Naipaul book I have read and it was a bracing experience - not exactly enjoyable but compelling and thought-provoking (a cinematic analogy would be a Michael Haneke film perhaps, in whcih the reader is also complicit in the misdeeds being described). The book's general theme is the post-colonial era of revolutionary ferment in the Caribbean in the 70s, when political movements still harboured hopes of a radical transformation of society along leftist lines. The tone is overwhel [...]

    • Mj! says:

      Death, sex, and revolution make up this book, though mostly it follows the stories of elitist white people selfishly mourning their miserably alienated lives. If you like reading the words "decay" and "desolation" over and over, enjoy!

    • Edward says:

      Did a review of this book here: youtu/NJY9KccApgs

    • Tanuj Solanki says:

      You can see but you should not touch. That is the rule of the bush.

    • Mike Gilbert says:

      No reviews in two years and now two in one day. Well, that’s what a New Year’s Reolutions and cross country flights will do for you. This time the book is much more serious - V.S. Naipaul’s tale about a Caribbean uprising - told from the triangular point of view of a middle class, boorish/bores British woman, South African former Apartheid martyr, and half Chinese / half Black-Caribbean revolutionary. This is my first read of Naipaul and he strikes me - in terms f first impressions - as va [...]

    • Samir Rawas Sarayji says:

      The premise of this novel had much promise, but sadly the execution is lacking. In terms of style, we have different point of views with different chapters, as is common with most third-person POV. But of the 3 characters whose perspectives we share, the two most interesting—Jane and Jimmy—have the spot light a lot less than the uninteresting Roche. Worse yet, Jimmy's is early in the novel and then we are left with a cliffhanger that foreshadows Jane's demise, so we are left reading over 100 [...]

    • Michael Haase says:

      I found myself overwhelmingly disappointed, having expected more considering the amount of acclaim I've seen this work receive. I haven't been as bored reading a novel in quite a while. This must be the record for the number of times I've fallen asleep reading a single book. Although the title might evoke images of war and violence, there is very little action taking place in the story. The book consists primarily of descriptions of setting and prolonged character exposition. None the characters [...]

    • Bob Newman says:

      Flawed Figures Fail to Fathom Fate's FaçadeI've been a fan of V.S. Naipaul's writing for decades, both his novels and his rather gloomy travel writing. It is certainly true that a very disappointed air hangs over his work; nothing fails to let him down, the world is basically a bummer. The flaws of his characters loom much larger than their positive points. Still, he's a great writer and certainly deserved the Nobel Prize. But I'm afraid that every great writer has his off moments and that's wh [...]

    • Nathan says:

      There were parts of the novel that were confusing but I think that was partially the point.

    • Adelaide Mcginnity says:

      This book reads like a bad Graham Greene novel, minus the pacing and the interesting characters. Remind me again how this hack won a Nobel Prize?

    • Noel says:

      This book is a twisted tale of sex - the post british colony setting, the political struggle, these are just some of the decoys Naipual employs to shield the reader from the truth of what type of story they are really reading. When you uncoil what you have actually read, what is left lying around you is a perverted tale. There are power struggles in the post British colony setting, political ones, but these function in the book as nothing more than a vehicle to deliever the true story- the one o [...]

    • Michael Vagnetti says:

      One must look off searchingly in the distance with this fiction, through your own class, your own country, with eyes not exactly squinting, but with a presage of future pain from the inevitable fatigue. It is only words, it is not exactly words. To read is to create (the illusion?) of a physical memory in someone who has never been to the Caribbean island of Guerillas.If meaning in fiction is an attempt to create somatic experiences for the reader, then technique is a way of creating empathy for [...]

    • Alex says:

      Minor point, but the father is much stronger than the son. Reading The Black House and Guerrillas near to each other, it's easy to see how Theroux models his approach on Naipaul. Their dislike of everyone, their formal realism (Black House's gothic content notwithstanding), their focus on the relationship of first and third world. But Theroux is pointless. He fails to transform his excellent atmospherics into art. He can write a page, but he cannot write a novel. In contrast, Naipaul's judgment [...]

    • Emily says:

      TWs for this book:Racism, racial slurs, sexual assault, rape, violence, misogyny ~~~~~~~~This book is so tense it's almost boring. All of the characters are outsiders in a colonized country (which is to say has been and continues to be systemically ruined by white people who manipulate it's resources). There are a few people who are both original inhabitants of the island and also wealthy because of their complicity with the colonizers, this makes them outsiders among their own people and also a [...]

    • Patrick McCoy says:

      Guerrillas by V. S. Naipaul is a novel about an unnamed Caribbean country that undergoes a revolution. It seems like it would be Naipaul's home, Trinidad, but I don't know enough about the country to know for certain, but the Caribbean is full of little countries with large poor populations and natural resources controlled by the ruling elite or foreign investors, so there are several countries that could be models. Perhaps, the lack of detail on this point isa strength of the book. The politica [...]

    • Suggestion_noted says:

      Naipaul can really write, but his racism taints everything. Despite that, he created quite a compelling character in Jimmy Ahmed - he could be portrayed as just a monster, or ridiculous, but he ends up being more. Jane's character is not as shallowly drawn as it might initially seem, but it's hard to get a handle on her when the perspective keeps switching from her own to how she is perceived by Roche. Meredith could have been fleshed out more; he is clearly interesting but his motivations aren' [...]

    • David Freeland says:

      I just finished this today. In terms of its ability to build tension, fill readers with a sense of dread - the sense that something horrible is about to happen - Guerillas may be one of the finest novels I've read. Naipaul's writing is beautifully descriptive: from the opening chapter we are solidly within this world, so brilliantly is it depicted. Where I think Naipaul goes wrong is in the characterizations - much of which I think he gets right. However, if we are fully to believe the penultima [...]

    • Molly says:

      Weird book about an unnamed Caribbean island on the cusp of a revolution. I had big expectations for this one (Naipul won the Nobel prize for literature and all). Oddly, I enjoyed reading the book through to the end. When I was finished, though, I just wasn’t satisfied. The main female character, Jane, was a flat character–it was impossible to understand her personality or motivations. She really just drifted through the story. Jane seemed thrown in the book because the author wanted to incl [...]

    • Sarah Nicole says:

      This book is terrible. I really believe this author does not understand women at all, because the way he writes the female character Jane is awful, both in quality of writing and in terms of believability. She is completely unrealistic and I think he uses the word "schoolgirl" twice in every paragraph that describes her (bad writing!). This book is supposed to be based on Wuthering Heights, but I shudder to even think about comparing the two. Wuthering Heights is a brilliant, amazing, stimulatin [...]

    • Padraic says:

      Not a big fan of Naipaul's fiction - his non-fiction strikes me as his real strength. On the other hand I tried putting this down three or four times without success - something always pulled me back. Atmosphere? Perhaps. Plot? Hardly (there is one, but that's all one can say about it). Applicability? Perhaps (I write this post-Ferguson). Maybe it's as simple as recognizing that he is deeply engaged with race, and all the raw emotions that simmer in that soup. There is a resolution - sort of - a [...]

    • Smoothw says:

      A very sour book that left an ill taste in my mouth, but it does have some qualities that make it worth reading. The novel is about three characters who find themselves on a Caribbean Island in the midst of social and political collapse. I enjoyed the novel initially because of the interesting description on the Island surroundings, and the skillful evocation of a sense of dread. But ultimately the characters seemed more like metaphorical types than previous Naipaul novels I have read, and the a [...]

    • Wizzard says:

      This was a disturbing book, which is a powerful statement. It describes a third world scene wrought by violence and hopelessness. I am stuck deciding whether the characters are stock figures: Jimmy Ahmed the nihlistic and opportunistic ghetto warrior turned revolutionary, Roche, the do-gooder liberal who has common traits with the slave master, Jane, the liberal floating for a cause. It probably was different to read the book in the 1970's as opposed to now. I like the character of the Black pol [...]

    • za says:

      guerillas is an incredible work. it is dark, sharp, graphic, emotionally honest. naipaul captures the violent mind forged out of colonialism and his characters are people who can only relate to one another through the framework of power struggle, racism, self-hatred. towards the end of the book, there is a really graphic rape scene that i had so much trouble getting through. i believe it was made that much harder to take precisely because of all the underlying political context. this is a brilli [...]

    • Nicolas Garcia says:

      Although he is a beautiful writerI found this book to be quite sexist. The only female characters are the maid, the socialite, and the barnacle. I feel none of them were complete or complex characters and it all ends with the rape and murder of the female character who used men for a free ride. dare i say it was supposed to be symbolic of the collapsed government? Not one strong character existed in this book! Everyone was devious. and in the end the whole island falls to shit. This was the firs [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *