In a Free State is a collection of short stories -- one more of a novella -- about expatriates living outside their home country. Naipaul has a good vantage point, being somewhat of a "wanderer" himself: of Indian descent, born in Trinidad, and living most of his life in England. He is well positioned to lay bare the perceived glamour of far-off lands. However, this book did nothing for me. Nothing, nada, zilch. The characters were largely unlikeable. They were mostly male, and his female characters were appallingly shallow. And then I found it impossible to get past Naipaul's misogynist history, having psychologically abused his wife for many, many years. It's disappointing to read a Booker prize-winner, from a Nobel prizewinning author, and have it fall so flat.
This may be my shortest review ever, but there's really nothing more I have to say. ( )