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Mr. Potter

Mr. Potter

Jamaica Kincaid
PDF book size:
1319 kb
ePub book size:
1314 kb
Fb2 book size:
1926 kb
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4.3 of 5
Knopf Canada; 1st edition (2002)
Genre Fiction
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7 Reviews
  • In "Mr. Potter", Jamaica Kincaid examines the life of the subaltern through an allegory of her narrator's father. Mr. Potter, who can neither read nor write, represents different things to the different people in his life, either his employer, his daughter, or others on the island of Antigua. Mr. Potter's experiences reflect the legacy of colonialism while allowing him to exist as an individual. Kincaid's writing uses repetition and stream-of-consciousness to convey her ideas to her readers.

  • Jamaica Kincaid's beautiful narrative is something everyone should be aware of. She puts poetry in the voice of the oppressed and makes it a beautiful experience to read about serious, heavy and intriguing themes.

  • I ordered this book over a month ago and I need it for class. I cannot even give an accurate rating of it because I have not received it. I am thinking to ask for my money back.

  • Mr. Potter is written in the same style of language circling as her Autobiography of My Mother. When I had read about 20 pages, I had to start over to determine if I had missed a transition in the storyline or if the author had omitted the transition - the latter being the correct answer. In Mr. Potter the circular language almost demands that you read out loud - or at least form the words in your mind - if you are to follow the story. In that sense, I did not enjoy reading this book as I had her earlier works.
    However, by the end of the book I had to be in awe of the author. She succeeded in presenting both the despair and the wisdom of being inconsequential. She accurately presented individuals as being shaped by small details such as a line drawn through the father section of a birth certificate. She presented the similarity in displacement whether a rich Lebanonese businessman, a Vienese doctor, or an African slave. Through that similarity of displacement, she made a strong social statement about the relationship of the "have's" and the "have not's".
    The story line is simple - a boy is born without his father claiming him, his mother leaves him as a servant boy while she commits suicide, he learns to drive, he becomes a chauffeur, he has many daughters - one of which is the narrator, he becomes a successful cabbie, he dies. However, through this simple story, through language that is simple and difficult simultaneously, Kincaid crafted a realistic, wise, critical depiction of humanity. I'm impressed.

  • This is the most difficult, most pleasurable books I've read. From the first sentence, the first very, very, long sentence, Kincaid holds you in her arms and rocks you, forcing you to listen to the words and rhythms of Antigua.

    More than prose, this is poetry. You must pay attention to every sentence, every word you will find yourself leafing back to that point where you can hear the echo and the words and feel the meaning--then you begin again.

    If there is anything disappointing about the book it is the ending. All through the book I felt the power of the writer. Kincaid controls you, the reader, and controls the story with precise words, choice of scene and underwritten reactions. But, in the last few pages, I feel she could have "gone in for the kill" and kept that intimacy and vulnerability.

    The story line can be read in other reviews, and if you haven't yet read Mr. Potter, I don't want to share the ending here. But, I will say that the innocent, vulnerable and intimate connection with "Mr. Potter" that the author has throughout the book is grayed in the last chapter.

    I remember reading a one sentence short story by Kincaid---oh, I wish I could remember the title. It was a series of caveats and instructions from her mother of what a good girl would do. In it, she's sassy, young, and her voice wags. (I've got to find that short story and re-read it.)

    To me, Jamaica Kincaid is a genius. She forces me to feel, smell, and taste Antigua. She rocks me in the lilt of the island. She forces me to read every word. It truly was the most pleasurable, difficult book I've read.