by V.S. Naipaul
Category: Study & Reference / General
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publication date: 7 May 1998
Number of pages: 448
This is a book about one of the more important and unsettling issues of our time. But it is not a book of opinion. It is - in the Naipaul way - a very rich and human book, full of people and stories. Islam is an Arab religion, and it makes imperial Arabizing demands on its converts. In this way it is more than a private faith; and it can become a neurosis. What has this Arab Islam done to the histories of Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan and Malaysia? How do the converted peoples view their past - and their future? In a follow-up to "Among the Believers", his classic account of his travels through these countries, V.S. Naipaul returns after a gap of 17 years to find out how and what the converted preach.
It is a truism that the best travel writing is that which brings a country to life through its inhabitants, through the personal details which encapsulate a culture. Travel veteran Naipaul chooses his examples with finesse. Revisiting Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia and Pakistan after 17 years, he documents trends by revealing the impact upon individuals. Mainly, Naipaul's concern is to chart the spread of Islam. Conflating the humanity of his subjects with the sweep of history, the author reaffirms his status as master storyteller. (Kirkus UK)
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