Review of V.S. Naipaul’s In a Free State

In what seems to be a sadly brief period between the end of colonization and the rise of a thuggish totalitarian state, two English escapees (close to being refugees) take a car trip across the African landscape. Neither is particularly likeable: a sexual predator unable to live in Britain and a vampish woman aiming to drain her environment for a living and the conversation between them is necessarily strained. This is in addition, of course, to the inevitable reticence that informs so much conversation between English people; the prospect of superficiality offers little to ease the strain between the two and any opportunity to stop the car and interact with someone else is gracefully seized.

Read the full review here.


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