Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Half a Life


Half a Life by V.S Naipaul

I picked every book for a reason. I didn’t buy this book this time but borrowed at the state library. What interest me about this book is that the writer won a Nobel Prize in literature not for this novel though. I don’t know what to expect, the cover was quite plain with a half broken green spectacles. I assume it was a mystery book (without reading its review of course).

As they said; ‘Do not judge a book by its cover’. I like this book, I like everything about it. It makes me think and it made me feel much more ignorant. I believe I do relate to the protagonist in a way though the protagonist is William Somerset Chandran, an Indian man. The issue that I relate to him of course the ignorance, the feeling of wanting to be accepted, lost and forgetting the real achievement you wanted in your life.

Although this book really meant criticizing racism found at the places the protagonist spent his life. It started in India, where the protagonist’s father is an Aryan which is an upper class in the caste system married his mother the lowest class in the caste system to show his rebellion (I might say) against the traditional culture. He lived a double life, preferring his mother than his father and wanting to venture out of India. When he graduated secondary school, he went to a college by scholarship at London. He experience culture shock and was intrigue by its racial diversity. That is when he started writing pursued by his Lawyer friend and managed to get it published. The book wasn’t a big success though it leads him to love of his life, a Portuguese African (I believe Cape Town is the Portuguese part in Africa but do correct me if I’m wrong). He moved to Africa with her only to lived there for 20 years before determine to leave her after suffering from a fall. From Africa he moved to Germany to visits his sister who is a second wife to a German photographer.

I like the story. Why, because it made me wanna travel places and risk everything to experience a new life. Think about it, you can be a different person in another country. Though it every country do have it pros and cons but that what fascinate me. I wanna live and learn about other culture (irony is I haven’t even truly understand mine). From my review probably you will assume this book is a serious book well, it is quite funny. So do check it out and you won’t be disappointed.

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