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Bend in the River

A Bend in the River - V.S. Naipaul This is a book that I really wanted to enjoy. Listed on the 1001 list, Nobel prize winning author, a book that takes place in another country, audiobook read by Simon Vance and an ebook version to read along with. But this story never drew me in and I think I attribute it to Naipaul's style. The book is about Salim, an Indian Muslim who lives in a small town at the 'bend of the river' in Africa and owns a sundry shop that sells everyday supplies. Salim is an outcast. He is not African and the country (unnamed in the book) is undergoing change and is trying to distance itself from the 'White Man' and at the same time keep some of it's heritage while moving into the modern 20th century. There was lots of opportunity for character development and conflict, but the story is mostly told through Salim's thoughts - very little action and very little dialog. At the end of the book, I couldn't really describe Salim - was he a good person? What were his strengths? It wasn't so much a matter of not liking the main character as feeling overall ambivalent. People rave about Naipaul as an author so I might try another book... but not for awhile.