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Hanumangarh India
Jan 15, 2017 09:40 PM 2153 Views
(Updated Jan 16, 2017 06:04 PM)



This story revolves around Mohun Biswas - forever known as Mr. Biswas, even at his childhood - who was born in the "wrong" way in Trinidad, and his lifelong ambition for a house - his own house- that he can call home. The story traces the disturbances in his family before he was even born, the churning in post-colonial Trinidad, his crotchety yet enigmatic parents and uncle and cousins, the somewhat lachrymose and somewhat stern childhood and adolescence, The Tulsis, to whose family he marries and becomes contingent on, his various avatars as reporter, "destabilised" civil servant and various others and shining through all of this his dogged determination to own a house. Somewhere down the course of the book, you fall in love with Mr. Biswas with all his false grandiosity and flawed enigmas.

But this story is about Mr, Biswas, about peoples like you, me and everybody specially the less fortunate ones. Shows the spirit of dogged determination and an attitude of "Never-Say-Die". The sometimes futile and sometimes impotent rage on the powerful, the hypocrites and on his own family fill in you a bizarre sense of deja-vu and you see a lot of you in the reflection of Mr. Biswas. The terrifically funny names that he gives to his in-laws fills you with utter astonishment, and you almost marvel whether he is the right person in the wrong place and time? And in the end the story, about which you think have known the consistency by heart, surprises you with a heart-rending turn and you almost feel sorry for Mr. Biswas.

And yes, lest I forget, this story is mightily funny at places, almost to the point that you may start considering it as a comic novel, yet in the next line it's darkly humorous and you know Mr. Biswas is not trying to be a clown. V. S. Naipaul has given us a story with firm yet passionate pedigree

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House For Mr Biswas, A - V S Naipaul