cover image

Publisher description for Beyond belief : Islamic excursions among the converted peoples / V.S. Naipaul.


Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog


Information from electronic data provided by the publisher. May be incomplete or contain other coding.


Counter "Brilliant. . . . A powerfully observed, stylistically elegant exploration." --The New York Times

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

"The book's strength lies in Naipaul's extraordinary ability as a storyteller to draw striking portraits of a cross section of individuals."--The Boston Globe

Fourteen years after the publication of his landmark travel narrative Among the Believers, V. S. Naipaul returned to the four non-Arab Islamic countries he reported on so vividly at the time of Ayatollah Khomeini's triumph in Iran. Beyond Belief is the result of his five-month journey in 1995 through Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia--lands where descendants of Muslim converts live at odds with indigenous traditions, and where dreams of Islamic purity clash with economic and political realities.

In extended conversations with a vast number of people--a rare survivor of the martyr brigades of the Iran-Iraq war, a young intellectual training as a Marxist guerilla in Baluchistan, an impoverished elderly couple in Teheran whose dusty Baccarat chandeliers preserve the memory of vanished wealth, and countless others--V. S. Naipaul deliberately effaces himself to let the voices of his subjects come through. Yet the result is a collection of stories that has the author's unmistakable stamp. With its incisive observation and brilliant cultural analysis, Beyond Belief is a startling and revelatory addition to the Naipaul canon.

"Highly accomplished. . . . Another display of Naipaul's remarkable talent." --The Independent (London)

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Naipaul, V, S, (Vidiadhar Surajprasad), 1932- Journeys Islamic countries, Islam Asia, Islamic countries Description and travel, Islam Controversial literature, Naipaul, V, S, (Vidiadhar Surajprasad), 1932- Travel Islamic countries