Saturday, May 08, 2004

It's a rich brew which turns out to be a great deal less than the sum of its parts. The Theo story is creepily persuasive, but the rest of the novel's elements don't hang together, partly because the various parallels, unconvincing to begin with, are simply stated rather than argued out through the narrative.

-- From Mike Phillips's review of Lawrence Scott's new novel Night Calypso, in today's UK Guardian.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

I knocked on the door. Nothing. I peered through a small window: the place had a deserted, shut-down look. I was about to give up when the door opened. A sleek cat slithered out and started rubbing against my leg. Then a face appeared: a woman with a small diamond in her nose.

"He likes you," she said with some surprise, but with a smile. "He doesn't usually like visitors." The cat's approval seemed a good omen.

Nadira Naipaul, the writer's second wife, ushered me into a small, cosily furnished sitting room, telling me that "he" would be down in a few minutes. I noticed a pile of books on a table, with a well-thumbed paperback about deciphering alphabets and codes on top. There was a portrait of a young, or at least youngish, V.S. Naipaul. And a shotgun propped against the wall next to the fireplace.

-- From Andrew Riemer's profile of Sir Vidia in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald.