The Suffrage of Elvira

V.S. Naipaul

The Suffrage of Elvira

The Suffrage of Elvira

  • Title: The Suffrage of Elvira
  • Author: V.S. Naipaul
  • ISBN: 9780140029383
  • Page: 330
  • Format: Paperback

In this book, an old, comically timid and absent minded man, Surujpat Harbans, runs for office, aided by superstition, bribes, and an aggressive compaign.

Recent Comments "The Suffrage of Elvira"

Politics is indeed a dirty game. But this book is to make you know that it can be funny too. Naipul's intensely readable book, full of drama and raw humor, is perhaps the only book of its length that I've read in a day. (kuddos to me – building my focus, deepening my concentration.)The story centers on the events that lead up to the election of one Mr. Surujpat Harbans to the Legislative council in one of Trinidad's counties. The politics played here are plagued by inexperienced ambition (in t [...]

A prime demonstration of Sir Vidia's power with a novel permeated with humour. The tripartite Trinidadian society and their surprisingly happy co-existence, superstition and the mess around a democracy in its infancy make this work a gem of Postcolonial Literature. Characters are rich and some are even present in other works such as Pundit Ganesh, from the Mystic Masseur.

Naipaul's second novel again takes place in Trinidad. It is a spoof on democracy and elections in a developing country.Mr Surujpat Harbans is running for General Assembly as representative for the village of Elvira. Of course he doesn't live there but lives in the city. He is financing his own campaign and visits Elvira to line up his supporters. The villagers, in just four years of democracy, have figured out how to make money for themselves by offering various services to the candidate.This ma [...]

I want to read more Naipaul, but I couldn't get past p. 16 of this. I guess I'll hang on to it for a few more years rather than toss it in the dumpster, because other reviewers seemed to like its slapstick comedic qualities quite a bit.

3.72 is in fact exactly right. If you are interested in better understanding Trinidad or ex-colonialism or the limits of democratic reforms, this book is a highly tongue in cheek observation of how the first election in an inland and relatively out of the way county in Trinidad and Tobago. Working through various soi-disant representatives of the different communities in the county (Hindu, Muslim, Christian/African-origin, and Spanish) in the wake of independence from Britain, a relatively depre [...]

Like a Trinidadian episode of Veep.I like that we never get to hear the political views of those running. We just see the people involved in getting votes.Also, the election in this novel seems very similar to those that occur in America. Hmm'This democracy is a damn funny thing.'

I live in an Indian state where Hindus, Muslims and Christians are constantly pitted against each other during election time by various political parties. The multi-cultural society in Naipaul's novel, set in Elvira, a Carribean island is not too different from the one in my home state. I could completely identify with the machinations and blatant vote bank politics of the "powers that be" (though in this novel, the leaders are as wretched as the people they attempt to lead). A lot of people lik [...]

since I read this as a teenager, as part of the ritual of elections in Trinidad, I would re-read this book. Very few books like this satire are laugh till you cry in places. County Naparoni, the candidate and the plethora of Trinis are so real in places, that you wonder whether fiction imitates reality or vice versa. Mr. Naipaul our first and only (so far) Nobel Laureate for Literature is a master of voice - he uses standard english spelling with the tone and timing to replicate Trinidadian dial [...]

A hilarious black comedy of ne'er do wells in the vein of A Confederacy of Dunces. I cant say how much cultural inside-baseball you need to get this book, but being Indian American mysel I was laughing more at nuances that I was reading into the work that Naipul may or may not have intended. His strong racial hand is still present here, but I say throw PC to the side for a bit and enjoy this bit of political satire. Hell, its not like this election makes any more sense than the USA in 2004.

Finally, finally finished this one. Some of the humour was lost on me, and it took me a while to get used to the patois it was written in. I suspect that if I'd have understood the patois more easily, I would have got into the story a bit quicker and may have "got" the humour better. The ending was not as satisfying as I'd've hoped, but, it did tie up all of the loose ends.Overall, it was okay.

If you come from the islands, this book can not be put down.

The most accessible Naipaul book I have read. Not as deep as Bend in the River, but funny and worth a read. Also it's short.

hilarious, sad, insightful novel/commentary on the "democratic process" in the West Indies.

I read 10 books by Naipaul over the years and I'm a big fan. Unfortunately this one is by far the weakest. He tries to be funny, in vain.

Full review forthcoming at Novel Niche.

Hilarious but also profound.

Classic Naipaul. Very funny book too. I love how he captures the vibe of Trinidadians.

A funny look at politics and politricks in the fictional village of Elvira, in a budding democracy. Based in the pre-independence era of Trinidad circa 1955.

Part Wodehouse, Part R K Narayanan, This is the best slapstick comedy novel I have ever read!

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