Magic Seeds (2004) Continuing the story of 2001's Half a Life , Nobel winner V.S. Naipaul charts the political awakening (and subsequent spiritual coma) of Willie Chandran. Goaded… 2004-11-16 Fiction Knopf
Book Review

Magic Seeds (2004)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Nov 16, 2004; Writer: V.S. Naipaul; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Knopf

Continuing the story of 2001's Half a Life, Nobel winner V.S. Naipaul charts the political awakening (and subsequent spiritual coma) of Willie Chandran. Goaded into action by his radical sister, Willie — a self-exiled native of India and hugely complacent middle-aged slacker — returns home to join a left-wing guerrilla army. He begins gun-running and fomenting peasant revolt, but his role in one bloody act convinces him, ''I am among absolute maniacs.'' Too static to be much of a thriller and often too schematic to draw us fully to its hero's heart, Magic Seeds nonetheless offers a gripping glimpse at the sadness of a dream deformed.

Originally posted Nov 19, 2004 Published in issue #793 Nov 19, 2004 Order article reprints