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Author: V S Naipaul
Publisher: Picador India
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0330487132
Set on a troubled Caribbean island - where Asians, Africans, Americans and former British colonials co-exist in a state of suppressed hysteria - Guerrillas is a novel of colonialism and revolution.
A white man arrives with his mistress, an Englishwoman influenced by fantasies of native power and sexuality, unaware of the consequences of her actions. Together with a leader of the 'revolution', they act out a gripping drama of death, sexual violence, and spiritual impotence.
Guerrillas depicts a convulsion in public life, and ends in private violence. Place and people are evoked with an intensity unrivalled elsewhere. The novel comes with extraordinary force from the center of a profound moral awareness of the world's plight.
Impeccable prose, precise, austere, modulating always from place to people to dialogue with a fastidious reserve, Guerrillas seems to me Naipaul's "Hear of Darkness: a brilliant artist's anatomy of emptiness, and of despair.
The violence actually is in the tone. If you read the book aloud you will see that it's violent in its rhythm. It wasn't angry. It was just violent.
- V S Naipaul