Here’s How NOT To Buy A House
I’ve only read the prologue and first chapter of A House for Mr. Biswas, but I love the premise of the novel. It’s simplistic—almost Seinfeldesque in a sense.
Here’s a guy who just wants his own house.
From what I can tell, the prologue places you toward the end of the story, after Mr. Biswas finally found said house, before dropping you into the backstory at the beginning of the novel.
I love Naipaul’s description of this house.
The very day the house was bought they began to see flaws in it. The staircase was dangerous; the upper floor was sagged; there was no back door; most of the windows didn’t close; one door could not open; the celetox panels under the eaves had fallen out and left gaps between which bats could enter the attic. They discussed these things as calmly as they could and took care not to express their disappointment openly. And it was astonishing how quickly this disappointment had faded, how quickly they had accommodated themselves to every peculiarity and awkwardness of the house. And once that had happened their eyes ceased to be critical, and the house became simply their house.
Buyer’s remorse, perhaps?
I think Mr. Biswas got “house fever” and left common sense at the door. Seriously, I believe the prologue of this novel should be required reading for antsy homebuyers and overeager real estate agents.
Who doesn’t notice that a window won’t close and that there are bats in the attic?