The Suffrage of Elvira

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

  • Title: The Suffrage of Elvira
  • Author: V.S. Naipaul
  • ISBN: 9780140029383
  • Page: 351
  • Format: Paperback
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      Posted by:V.S. Naipaul
      Published :2018-06-19T03:59:52+00:00

    About the Author

    V.S. Naipaul

    Naipaul was born and raised in Trinidad, to which his grandfathers had emigrated from India as indentured servants He is known for the wistfully comic early novels of Trinidad, the bleaker novels of a wider world remade by the passage of peoples, and the vigilant chronicles of his life and travels, all written in characteristic, widely admired, prose.At 17, he won a Trinidad Government scholarship to study abroad In the introduction to the 20th anniversary edition of A House for Mr Biswas, he reflected that the scholarship would have allowed him to study any subject at any institution of higher learning in the British Commonwealth, but that he chose to go to Oxford to do a simple degree in English He went, he wrote, in order at last to write In August 1950, Naipaul boarded a Pan Am flight to New York, continuing the next day by boat to London 50 years later, Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad V S Naipaul was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Literature for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories.

    359 Comment

    • Moses Kilolo said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

      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 [...]

    • Carlos Rubens said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

      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.

    • Judy said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

      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 [...]

    • Lobstergirl said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

      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.

    • Bert van der Vaart said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

      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 [...]

    • Salvatore said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

      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.'

    • Cbj said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

      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 [...]

    • Joy Ramlogan said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

      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 [...]

    • Aditya said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

      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.

    • Sam said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

      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.

    • Joz1 said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

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

    • Diana said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

      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.

    • Renee said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

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

    • Noah said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

      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.

    • Shivanee Ramlochan said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

      Full review forthcoming at Novel Niche.

    • Carol Allen said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

      Hilarious but also profound.

    • Renee said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

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

    • Devon said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

      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.

    • Nallasivan V. said:
      Sep 24, 2018 - 03:59 AM

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

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