One of V.S. Naipul’s best-known works, this account of chaos and corruption in post-colonial Africa evokes echoes of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.
When Salim is offered a small business in Central Africa, he accepts. Accompanied by Metty, a son of one of the family’s slaves, he travels deep into the heart of the continent and becomes a trader in a town on a bend in a river. Salim believes that: ‘The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it’. But will Salim and his rigid views survive the changing political landscape as social upheaval spreads through post-colonial Africa?