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Publisher's Summary

In a vastly innovative novel, Nobel Prize-winner V. S. Naipaul intertwines memory and history to create what is at once an autobiography and an ambitious fictional archaeology of colonialism.

Spanning continents and centuries and defying literary categories, A Way in the World tells intersecting stories whose protagonists include the disgraced and half-demented Sir Walter Raleigh, who seeks El Dorado in the New World; the 19th-century insurgent Francisco Miranda, who becomes entangled in his own fantasies and borrowed ideas; and the doomed Blair, a present-day Caribbean revolutionary stranded in East Africa. 

Among these presences is a narrator who bears a telling resemblance to Naipaul himself: a Trinidadian writer of Indian ancestry and English residence boldly trying to come to terms with the mystery and transience that is his inheritance.

©1994 V. S. Naipaul (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about A Way in the World

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Great cultural and social history

This is a beautifully narrated story, from one of the great writers of our era. A very pleasurable listen.

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  • Yas
  • 01-11-2020

Biographical pathway

This a Biographical pathway through the life of a wonderful writer. Not since reading the biographies of Gandhi & Churchill have I come across a more remarkable personality of their likeness.

2 people found this helpful

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  • tomasito
  • 28-08-2019

An inspired and brilliant voice for our times

Naipaul’s extraordinary writing talent combined with his unique experience of the preserved traditions of India transposed to the Colonial Backwaters of the new world give him special insights and expression of the complexity of history that only the novel can provide. A Way in the World is an excellent example.

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  • Norman Johnson
  • 16-09-2018

ugh!

struggled to get through it. Not a good choice for such a good narrator like Vance

4 people found this helpful

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  • John A.
  • 12-03-2022

A great book

A fantastic book that is very well written. I found this book to be developmental and maturative to a young man coming of age like myself. I very much like the author and further highly recommend this book.

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  • JK
  • 14-09-2021

ENJOYE

An other masterfully written book by V.S. Naipaul.
It is a collection of short stories, written as an autobiography.
The narrator, Simon Vance, reads the book at a fast pace, so don’t let your mind wander, JK


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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-08-2021

Riveting

Everyone, especially Naipaul's many detractors, would benefit from giving this a listen. And it is narrated especially well.

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  • Joy
  • 08-08-2021

Do not bother

it's the way the author or rather the narrator says about black as if it is the nastiest thing he's ever had to say and then he says colored occasionally and I'm not really sure if he understands that that word isn't used in a modern-day book and this book is not taking place in the time frame that would make it colored ethnicity or race not for me don't think anybody black would enjoy it by the way black is the word to use not colored not Niger not black in the way it was spoken

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  • AuntGert
  • 01-04-2021

Rather a slog

Although described as a novel, this book reads like a history lesson with multiple historical facts, descriptions, and citations frequently repeated. Despite such repetitions, the speakers in the history selections are hard to separate and then you find that confusion doesn’t matter so much because these imagined conversations are not especially interesting or entertaining. If Naipaul includes the backstory of colonized Trinidad as a way to understand the island of his upbringing, it’s odd that he only focuses his history on the 17 & 18th C Spanish and British invasions with little to no focus on the Indian diaspora to which he belongs.

Also, as great a reader Simon Vance is, he’s a peculiar choice for this book. Did Naipaul develop a posh upper class Brit accent, abandoning his Trinidadian accent when going to Oxford University? The book is told from three different first person narratives, with only one (Sir Walter Raleigh) being an educated Englishman. Therefore, Vance’s accent and manner of speaking seem to belong to someone other than a Trinidad or a Venezuelan general.

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  • Ladyfilosopher
  • 17-01-2022

syntropy brought me to this book

this book flows while carrying the reader between islands and continents, the past of one current life time and dashing through many lifetimes in the remote past. Echoes of themes held so bitterly in his book "Mimic Men" sounded between the chapters, but with much more humanity, charity and warmth (enhanced by the narrator's tone?). His history is peppered with self awareness I had forgotten he was capable of. i will be reading every bit of material that he has written.

1 person found this helpful

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