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Book InformationBook Information
Buy this book....
"Sir Vidia's Shadow" by Paul Theroux
Published by Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: 1998 
Section(s): Essays/Letters/Memoirs
Price: $25.00
ISBN: 0395907284

Reviews by Bookery Staff and friends
Theroux's popular travel books often carry silly subtitles like this one. A kind of half-memoir detailing the epic (length) friendship between Theroux and the great V.S.Naipaul. The book has drawn some cheap criticism for its obvious one-sidedness and gallant, wounded posturing on the part of the young Theroux, whose friendship with Naipaul deteriorated under strange circumstances.

What remains is a book full of Theroux's weaknesses as a writer (he has always seemed to have taken Naipaul's advice "Tell the truth" to an illogical conclusion - everything in there, regardless of its arguable relevance, so that Theroux's writing carries the breezy mish-mash feeling of first draft), yet the book is shot through with love in the way that only veterans of love can understand it.

Filial, bewildered, adoring and petty, the portrait of Naipaul is indelible. The book reveals (at last) that the world of letters may be the most damaging and lethal of all Beaux Arts.

Worth arguing about...or arguing with, anyway.


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