A Bend in the River

eAudio - unabridged
Audio (10.78 hours)
Product Number: Z100097059
Released: Jun 21, 2015
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781481599719
Narrator/s: Simon Vance
Please log in to view pricing


This incandescent novel chronicles both an internal journey and a physical trek into the heart of Africa, a place caught between the dangerously alluring modern world and its own tenacious past and traditions. Exploring political and individual corruption, it expresses skepticism about the ability of newly decolonized nations to forge independent identities. Salim, a Muslim Indian merchant, opens a store in a sleepy small town at a bend in the river, whose inhabitants include a Belgian priest, a witch, and a white intellectual named Raymond. The president of the new country is a demagogue called the Big Man who hires Raymond as his speechwriter. Salim loses control of his store to the commercially inexperienced Citizen Theotime, who hires Salim to manage it. Gradually, the town's veneer of civilization begins to crumble.

Author(s): V.S. Naipaul
Awards:1979-Fiction-Shortlist-Man Booker Prize
Original Publish Date: Jun 26, 2005

All formats/editions

Author(s): V.S. Naipaul
Product Number EB00171464
Released: Dec 30, 2013
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: #9780307776587

Professional reviews

"Simon Vance has just the right plummy accent for an Indian merchant in post-colonial Africa. He has purchased a shop at a bend in the great river. He sells pencils, copy books, razor blades, and iron pots for people who live in the jungle. A friend has got the Big Burger franchise. "But the airplane is a wonderful thing," his brother tells him. "You are still in one place when you arrive at the other. The airplane is faster than the heart." The jungle reasserts itself. Civilization withdraws. They are going to kill everybody who can read and write. Vance delivers the detached ferocity that won Naipaul the Nobel Prize. B.H.C. (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine"

Sign up for our email newsletter