Set on a troubled Caribbean island – where Asians, Africans, Americans and former British colonials co-exist in a state of suppressed hysteria – V. S. Naipaul's Guerrillas is a novel of colonialism and revolution. A white man arrives with his mistress, an Englishwoman influenced by fantasies of native power and sexuality, unaware of the consequences of her actions.
Together with a leader of the ‘revolution’, they act out a gripping drama of death, sexual violence and spiritual impotence. Guerrillas depicts a convulsion in public life, and ends in private violence. The novel comes with extraordinary force from the centre of a profound moral awareness of the world’s plight.
‘Impeccable . . . Guerrillas seems to me Naipaul’s Heart of Darkness: a brilliant artist’s anatomy of emptiness, and of despair’ – Observer