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A strange, compelling tale
Mar 22, 2003 11:12 AM 5317 Views
(Updated Mar 22, 2003 11:17 AM)



The whole story is about Mr Biswas trying to get a house for himself.

Considered unlucky from childhood, he loses his father and his family lives in poverty. A casual fling leads him to marry the daughter of a rich merchant. The merchant is dead but the wife runs the whole show with the aid of some of her relatives. The house is teeming with people, and Mr Biswas (throughout, his first name is not revealed) hates the claustrophobic atmosphere and being under his mother-in-law's thumb. From here arises his desire to own his own house, a job and independence. In this, he is not much supported by his wife, who feels she is a laughing stock of the entire family.

It is a strange tale, depressing at times. Mr Biswas does not evoke any sympathy, and yet his condition is pitiable and you almost wish him success. As each attempt fails, you feel the bitterness entering his soul.

I have mixed feelings about this book. It is despondent, and yet it is about how the human spirit refuses to accept defeat. Mr Biswas meets with failures. And, yet, that does not kill his aspirations. Whether he succeeds or not, it is his drive that is motivating.

Read it.

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