Nobel Laureate Sir V.S. Naipaul’s classic novel, published in 1961, is the story of an ordinary man’s long, lonely journey to acquire a house. Mr. Biswas, so named from the moment of his birth, is a man of big talk, big dreams, and limited means. His life is marked by brutal ironies and arduous struggles, yet the book is funny and light-footed. The story, set on the tiny island of Trinidad, manages to encapsulate a whole world, Dickensian in scope and Chekhovian in spirit. Let’s read the novel and explore the nature of ambition and failure, as well as the ways in which tragedy and comedy intertwine to define the human condition.