Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Miguel Street. (Mindscape Reviews)

Hello Readers! April is about to end already, how crazy is that? I have already read 7 BOOKS this month & will most likely finish another by tomorrow, rounding it up to 8! Just like in March! I read V.S. Naipaul’s Miguel Street & it wasn’t to my likes. From my 2020 Reading Challenge, I had to read a book by an Indian author, which is why I thought I’d read this one. Naipaul’s books are highly acclaimed & so I was intrigued to read his works. I suppose I started with the wrong one! I have been told that Naipaul’s ‘A House for Mr. Biswas’ & ‘In a Free State’ are really good. So, whenever I feel motivated to read, I will choose one of those! For now, here’s the review for ‘Miguel Street’.

Miguel Street is essentially a short novel consisting of interrelated short stories revolving around the people residing in Miguel Street, Trinidad, where the author was based in his early years. The narrative is from a young boy in Miguel Street who observes all the things around him. Along with this, there is a lot of dialogue between characters all the time. Given that the story is based in the wartime period in Trinidad, the dialogue is played out naturally, as the people there would say. Which means, about 85% of the book is in incorrect English which was the most painful to read. It is a very simple book with stories of simple people.

I rated this book at 2/5 on Goodreads. It is a book where you will find people living in poor conditions and yet they have so many hopes & dreams. So, firstly, I will tell you the few good parts that I liked. While I hated the prose, I think the structure of having linked short stories was interesting. I also liked how there are so many calypsos throughout the novel. It was a nice touch, given that they are originated in Trinidad. While some stories were okay-ish, others were completely irrational. I liked how a few stories had a sad ending, which was quite realistic. But, in the overall tone of the book, I failed to find any hints of humour. It was entirely a dramatic book. And now, moving on to all its faults.

As I mentioned above, I was not a fan of the prose, that is, the incorrect English. It really made it impossible to read. Even though the idea of interlinked short stories was good, there could’ve been a lot more sentiment to it if it would’ve been implemented properly. In most of the stories you will find men beating their wives & children. Reading something like that with so many examples of misogyny was quite difficult in the year 2020. I suppose the best part was that it was a short book, which lessened the pain of reading it. Anyway, I hate reading bad books which are just not fulfilling. I took a chance on this one because it was a short book which also had a 3.94 rating on Goodreads! Goodreads sure has started to let me down. Anyway, I hope I will like V.S. Naipaul’s other books.

Currently, I am reading Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, Untamed by Glennon Doyle & Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling! I am not at all enjoying Lolita, which is obvious, I guess. On the other hand, reading Harry Potter is giving me all the joy. And, I really hope I like Untamed. It is another highly rated novel, but my bet is that I will like it. Let’s hope!

Until next time,

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