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One is transported and thoroughly engaged. Best of all, Mr. Narayan delivers the heart of astory without the glitter and glare of literary cleverness and intellectualshowing-off. The gift is so simply and honestly packaged that one isamazed and gratified by its depth. It centers aroundthe life and pursuits of a man named Margaya who daily sits in a publicpark and offers expert advice--to those willing to pay for it--on mattersof financial import.

As you follow along, it seems as if Margaya's lifehas finally taken a turn for the better, but in reality all is unraveling. The book is rich in imagery of life in India, and one's ease in absorbingthese details is due to Mr. Narayan's ability to present the unfamiliar insuch a familiar light. I hope that many more people are lucky enough todiscover Mr.

Narayan's work. Malgudi Days Penguin Classics by R. Narayan describes how in India "the writer has only to look out of the window to pick up a character and thereby a story. Read more Customer Reviews 19 Classic Having been a fan of malgudi days from childhood, this book was something I always wanted to read. And it din't disappoint. This is a collection of short stories, which depicts simple human emotions which are hard to put into words.

Most of the characters are post - independence or early independence period, and bring along a view of inquisitiveness and also innocence or lack of knowledge. All I have to say is this, pick it up, and read it. You wont regret it. For people who have no clue about what I just wrote.. Narayan offers the reader a wonderful chance to experience the ordinariness and pleasant magic of life on the Sub-Continent. This collection of short stories provides an array of vantage points from which the reader can consider Indian life.

While meant to be tongue-in-cheek commentaries or light hearted reflections on the social and political realities of India, Narayan doesn't fall short of capturing and relaying a truly authentic feel. Personally, this book made a wonderful traveling companion as I toured the South of India. The details of the stories were more manifest in the environment around me than in any other part of the country, yet the story themes were in no way constrained by locale.

They very much hold auniversal appeal. If you enjoy the writing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, then you will enjoy the work of R. Excellent Short Stories R. K Narayan brings to life the people and places as he narrates the story. I would strongly recommend this book for the people interested in Indian culture. One of the best Indian writers This book is a collection of short stories written in very simple language. What really makes the difference is the connection it establishes with the readers. Stories are about simple people and simple issues in life. RNK is one of the best authors I have read.

He has his own style of writing. Revisiting the old classic.. Nostalgia makes it sweeter I reread Malgudi days after 20 or so years! It was a delight just as it was when I read them the first time. Only this time; being in the US, made the Characters more endearing! Looking through the mist of time the village with all its sounds sights and smells looked prettier than a real one. This is a book for you all ex-pats to curl up on a snowy winter day with a hot cup of tea even better if someone makes hot Pakoras to go with! To the non-Indian friends, may be a hot coffee and some chicken nuggets or soy nuggets!

To the couple of readers who were disappointed! Well the whole point behind these stories is to capture the life as it flows. The climax is in the journey itself. Editorial Review Product Description While the colourful sweetmeats are frying in the kitchen, Jagan immerses himself in his copy of the Bhagavad Gita. A widower of firm Gandhian principles, Jagan nonetheless harbours a warm and embarrassed affection for his wastrel son Mali.

Yet even Jagan's patience begins to fray when Mali descends on the sleepy city of Malgudi full of modern notions, with a new half-American wife and a grand plan for selling novel-writing machines. From different generations and different cultures, father and son are forced to confront each other, and are taken by surprise Read more Customer Reviews 1 Amazingly well-written and insightful R. Narayan's books offer a wonderfuly detailed and intricate view of the South Indian world,and The Vendor Of Sweets fits into this mould to a T. In this novel,the life of Jagan, the vendor of sweets, and the trials and tribulations of his life are wonderfully captured.

Malgudi ka Raja

What is refreshing, however, is the description of the South Indian way of life that is provided by Narayan--the way Jagan runs his business, the views,opinions he possesses,the fears he entertains. Narayan also vividly portrays the confusions and fears that a person from such a conventional milieu would face when thrown into unconventional situations-- such as having a foreigner for a daughter-in-law, for example. Being a South Indian myself, I can truly appreciate the imagery that his writing evokes, and can also vouchsafe for the fact that it is no easy task to put across to readers whatever he has managed to convey in his books.

On the whole,to summarize this review in one sentence:read the book;you will not be disappointed. Editorial Review Product Description A sweeping tale of abduction, battle, and courtship played out in a universe of deities and demons, The Ramayana is familiar to virtually every Indian. Although the Sanskrit original was composed by Valmiki around the fourth century BC, poets have produced countless versions in different languages. Here, drawing on the work of an eleventh-century poet called Kamban, Narayan employs the skills of a master novelist to re-create the excitement he found in the original.

A luminous saga made accessible to new generations of readers, The Ramayana can be enjoyed for its spiritual wisdom, or as a thrilling tale of ancient conflict. Read more Customer Reviews 16 A delightful tale of adventure and enlightenment, very well told in this shortened and accessible version by Narayan When the ten-headed Ravana takes advantage of the powers he'd won from the gods, Supreme God Vishnu decides to do something about it.

Ravana can't be harmed directly by a god, so Vishnu incarnates himself as the mortal man Rama, who is born as a prince to a great king. Initially unaware of his own divine identity, he meets and falls in love with Sita, who is stolen away from him by Ravana himself after they are exiled from their kingdom due to treachery. He faces down many hazards and destroys many demons, and must in the end join forces with the race of monkey-men, in order to take vengeance and win her back.

If you haven't read this, you owe it to yourself. It's a delightful epic of intrigue and wonder, that's as well known and influential in India and many other places in the world as the Homeric tales or even the Bible have been in the West. It really ought to be more widely known. It can be read and enjoyed on many levels: as a heroic epic, as Hindu scripture, as a great romance.

As it is retold in Nina Paley's brilliant Sita Sings The Blues, it is also a story of how men get all the credit as they go off on big adventures and alternate between taking women for granted and behaving jealously. There's a great story in which Rama appears to act rashly, by intervening in the sibling rivalry between monkey kings Vali and Sugreeva, and that story can be read as a vivid ancient contribution to debates on colonialism or the more recently discussed issues of "cosmopolitanism" and "multiculturalism.

Highly recommended. Exactly what they say and what I needed The book is in very good condition and it is readable. If you do not want it new then this is perfect for you Engaging Introduction to a Classic The Ramayana is a one of the most fabled classics of Indian literature, and though it is not technically a sacred scripture, it is so revered in India and by Indians it almost has the default status of being one.

The original texts of the Ramayana are quite immense, and writer R. Narayan has condensed the epic down into a quite readable page work. Those who are curious about this Hindu classic, who are first time readers, will probably find it very engaging. While there are alternate versions of this very popular epic, Narayan has selected one he considers most traditional and mainstream, and will be a very worthwhile introduction for a very important book.

This is roughly like the Indian version of The Odyssey but even Bigger and more pervasive in the Indian world. A fantastic journey that covers love, action, betrayal, tragedy, and everything in between. The hero Rama can be a bit too perfect at times, but that only helps him to achieve greater feats. The beginning has a list of characters in the book with pronunciation so you don't get confused. Fun read for a class. Editorial Review Product Description For Raman the sign painter, life is a familiar and satisfying routine.

A man of simple, rational ways, he lives with his pious aunt and prides himself on his creative work. But all that changes when he meets Daisy, a thrillingly independent young woman who wishes to bring birth control to the area.

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Set in R. I read it mainly because Graham Greene, one of my favorite authors, was a long-time proponent of Narayan's works. I fully concur with Greene that Narayan is a nuanced writer who achieves great effect with a few carefully selected words. I see how Greene came to feel that he "knew" India and Indians from reading Narayan's multi-decades stories of the fictional city of Malgudi and its surroundings. Like America's Faulkner, Narayan creates a fully realized place which comes alive to the reader, both in setting and its various characters.

I truly believed I was in India around It is hard not to love Raman, the opinionated sign painter. While it is hard to love Daisy, the westernized birth controlling technocrat, I found the relationship between the two both exotic and mesmorizing. I couldn't put the book down and had to know how his infatuation-turned-love ended. I appreciated how chaste the book is both in its choice of words and description of events. The book is simple yet beautiful. I loved this book so much that I gave it to my daughter to read this summer before she matriculates at college.

I now plan on reading Narayan's earlier works. Superb read that has Narayan's ironic signature all over it! As a big fan of Narayan's collection of short stories "Malgudi Days", I wasn't sure what to expect of this novel. The premise sounded interesting enough, with the jolting of Raman the sign-painter's world with the entrance of a love interest. All three main characters are interesting in their own ways. The protagonist, Raman, is an utterly sympathetic bachelor who didn't know what he had until he lost it.

Daisy, the love interest, is a pig-headedly modern and unbending feminist with a mission to lower the national birth rate. Raman's aunt, an old-fashioned matriarch, is ironically more liberated than the so-called feminist, Daisy, by deciding to finally do what she has always wanted. As with Narayan's "Malgudi Days", there are so many messages and symbolism in this book. It is interesting that Narayan explores two female characters who are such polar opposites of one another that they are more like caricatures.

Nevertheless, this is a great book that warrants another reading with fresh eyes in another few years for mw! A well-crafted non-classic The Painter of Signs is a good story, and it shows RK Narayan's capacity for wit and irony. The man could write, and it shows. Yet I must disagree with the notion that The Painter of Signs is anything close to a great novel.

We are told that Raman, the main character, is someone who wants to live in the Age of Reason, but we don't see it very much. Oh sure, he tires of his pious Aunt, who attends readings of the great Indian epics at the Temple every night, but that is not about the Age of Reason -- that's a standard intergenerational squabble. Similarly, Daisy, Raman's love, is a very flat character: she appears, she speaks, she does what she does. But we know very little about her. Narayan attempts to let us know her through relating what she tells Raman, but this almost seems like necessary background in order to make the plot move which it does.

In the end, she is a flat character. I enjoyed the book, and it is a good read, but I find it a strangely muted window into India. As always, Narayan's description of the people and life of Malgudi are terrific and at times laugh-out-loud funny. Another work that is based on fiction and has been unfortunately overlooked is Jonah Blank's beautiful Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God, a retracing of the Ramayana. My own view is that one compelling reading of The Painter of Signs is one that Narayan would have abhorred, namely, a political reading.

Narayan didn't like critics finding allegories in his books, but I think it works here.

A Tiger for Malgudi | Revolvy

Raman is India itself, torn between its rich traditions the Aunt and a seductive modernity Daisy. Narayan does not choose between these two, and he was hardly a defender of traditional India, but a political reading of The Painter of Signs shows him or the text cautioning about the embrace of modernity that cannot deliver what it promises -- or what a person might convince himself that it promises if he is infatuated by its appearance. Clash of principles and emotions I read this book years ago but never forgot it.

I read it again this week and was in awe of its deceptive simplicity. On the surface, it seems like nothing more than a love story, but then there is Daisy-- the antithesis of a romantic heroine: abrasive, brusque, rigidly obsessed with ideals and principles-- in sum, kind of a bitch. But isn't it always the people who don't fit into our preconceived ideas of what a person should be who drive us to distraction? So it is with Daisy, who is perhaps attractive to Raman because of her near-complete indifference to him; so unlike his aunt; so unlike the tradition-bound life he both loves and longs to escape.

A beautiful, entertaining read. Not just a charming travelogue Narayan's The Painter of Signs is considerably more than a charming travelogue or a narrow slice of provincial Indian life. While giving us all of that and with considerable charm,Narayan creates characters and situations that touch the heart and delve deeply into the essential contradictions of human life.

A Tiger for Malgudi

While some, including Monica Ali, who wrote the informative introduction to the latest edition call Narayan a comic writer, he can more accurately be called a serio-comic one. This book, like many of his novels, has its tragic components. There is a basic dichotomy within Daisy, the committed family planner and sexually repressive young woman. Similarly, Raman yearns to be a rationalist but finds himself overcome by sexual thoughts.

Thus, when the two young people inevitably get together, it creates a hopeless tension that finally destroys their relationship. The complications of their "modern"love story is played out against the tranquil life of Raman's aunt, who has her act together. This would all seem cheery if we didn't know that the aunt is leaving Malgudi to go to Benares, the holy city, to die, alone, separated from Raman, her surrogate child.

Raman's parents were victims of modern life--killed in a railway accident. While the book gives us considerable insight into daily Indian life, it gives us even more into the lives of young people trying to find their way in a world changing before their very eyes. Narayan does not avoid the controversies of the times. Set in the days of Mrs. Gandhi's Emergency,Painter of Signs deals with the contradictory impulses of family planning:to make a good life for some, we deny potential life for others,an ironic opposition almost no one on either side of the issue is willing to confront, probably because it is basically unsolvable.

And Narayan sees that. At the end of the book, Daisy is off on her Quixotic quest to limit births;the aunt is deprived of her home; and Raman is left with only his memories of the time with Daisy. He returns to the lesser life of The Boardless and his cronies , and his own business life as a minor artist, a painter of signs. Narayan has painted for us a very charming and deceptively simple picture of the complexities of Indian and human life. Narayan — witnessed nearly a century of change in his native India and captured it in fiction of uncommon warmth and vibrancy. The four novels collected here, all written during British rule, bring colonial India into intimate focus through the narrative gifts of this master of literary realism.

The Bachelor of Arts is a poignant coming-of-age novel about a young man flush with first love, but whose freedom to pursue it is hindered by the fixed ideas of his traditional Hindu family. These pioneering novels, luminous in their detail and refreshingly free of artifice, are a gift to twentieth-century literature. From the Hardcover edition. Read more Customer Reviews 1 Journey to Malgudi - and be prepared to stay a while. This book contains four novellas. In reality it is pages in only While many writers take twenty pages to write what should have taken up no more than ten, Narayan took those ten pages and wrote them better in five.

He draws you into the world of his characters so quickly and thoroughly you are amazed that so much was told in such a small space. Each of these four novellas take place in Malguti, a fictional town in South India. Narayan wrote these in the 's and 40's, While it would be helpful to have some knowledge of the India at that time, it isn't required to enjoy his writing.

This Everyman's Library edition has a time line of his career along with world and literary events for each time period. This was most helpful as an introduction to Narayan's works. They can be studious or laggard; helpful or cruel; friendly or surly; humble or haughty or all at the same time. As I read this I kept thinking of the "Little Rascals". Those of you too young to know about them aka "Our Gang" owe it to yourself to try to find copies to watch.

Swami is an underachiever who lacks self-confidence and tries to get it vicariously from his friends. This is both an amusing and moving novella. Like so many of us in youth, Swami, to others, is so ignorant; but to himself his brilliance knows no bounds. He is a master at rationalizing his actions, yet so in need of love and support. We journey with Chandran from college What do I want to do when I grow up? What am I going to do? There's love and disappointment. There's hope and disillusionment. There's growing up for real and???. This is more serious than the first novella. Narayan lets us see into the mind of Chandran as he battles with himself to find his place.

Malgudi may be fictional but it is truly part of the real world. Middle-aged women will be This is about "He who rules the castle and all in it. It is very stereotyped but the writing is still great. It was not to be. Our hero this time is a teacher and want-to-be poet. Looking for his place in life, following family tragedy, he ventures away from the norm to try the new. This one is said to be somewhat autobiographical and is very moving. The characters are drawn from life and placed in real world situations.

Narayan's concise style continues throughout and draws the reader in to Malgudi. Fortunately there are many more that follow for me to read. Narayan , the forefather of modern Indian fiction, human-scale hopes and epiphanies express the promise of a nation as it awakens to its place in the world. Sampath—The Printer of Malgudi is the story of a businessman who adapts to the collapse of his weekly newspaper by shifting to screenplays, only to have the glamour of it all go to his head. In The Financial Expert , a man of many hopes but few resources spends his time under a banyan tree dispensing financial advice to those willing to pay for his knowledge.

As charming as they are compassionate, these novels provide an indelible portrait of India in the twentieth century. Read more Customer Reviews 2 Introducing Narayan's Malgudi The three novels gathered in this omnibus edition make an excellent introduction to the works of Indian writer R. The novels all take place in the fictional Indian city of Malgudi. They each offer a mix of wisdom, comedy, pathos, tragedy, romance, and action. Sampath" is a coming-of-age novel but one with a particular Indian twist. The main character Srinivas is sensitive but immature, but he isn't lost or even dissatisfied.

He needs to be prodded unto the path towards manhood by his elder brother. Maturity is acceptance of one's lot but by participating actively in the world around us. We might not like him but it's difficult not to empathize and understand him. Narayan wrote it soon after the events and Indian history serves as a backdrop to the story of a young couple in love; they in turn can be seen as symbolizing India and the Mahatma.

Narayan paints an intimate portrait of India rather than an epic canvas. Cloth bound hardcover book printed on acid free paper and with a bookmark ribbon attached. It feels good to hold and smells nice. Vincent Poirier, Tokyo Links to separate editions of each novel: Mr. R K Narayan provides the most complete view of the Indian soul to the outsider, with his many novel all set in the town off Malgudi. Admired by Graham Greene , I am sure youwill enjoy this collection of the novels by one of my favorite authors and an excellent introduction.

The Guide by R. K Narayan. Editorial Review Product Description Raju's first stop after his release from prison is the barber's shop. Then he decides to take refuge in an abandoned temple. Raju used to be India's most corrupt tourist guide - but now a peasant mistakes him for a holy man.

Gradually, he begins to play the part. Read more Customer Reviews 25 An extraordinary novel First published in , The Guide is a timeless story of reluctant redemption. The chapters alternate between the life of an Indian rogue before and after his prison sentence. Son of small-time shopkeeper, Raju is a silver-tongued go-getter from his youth. He runs a shop at the railway station, while also guiding tourists around the local sights. One fateful day, he serves as guide to the beautiful dancer Rosie and her scholarly husband - and his life slowly but surely spins out of control.

Raju falls prey to his own character defects, as much as to Rosie's charms. Always ready to guide others, he's perpetually losing his own way. Raju's tentative grip on morality, and reality, eventually lands him in prison. After his release, resting cross-legged by an ancient shrine he attracts the attention of a villager who takes him for a holy man.

An incurable people-pleaser, Raju obligingly becomes a guide to souls. But sainthood turns out to be a deep and dangerous role that may just consume him. This is just a bare hint at the storyline, which is often funny, sometimes painful, and always thought provoking. Narayan shows tremendous insight into the psychology of love and self-love. I highly recommend The Guide as an enchanting tale of one man's journey through the world of illusion.

He draws the reader into his stories with the simplicity of his writing technique, and succeeds in bringing his characters to life. We live in the world he has created from the opening line to the closing word. I would recommend The Guide to anyone who appreciates quality writing as it is truly an enjoyable book. The Guide, an interesting journey into self-delusion R. Narayan's novel, The Guide, written in , is recognised as one of the author's best.

It's selected within a collection of " books to read during your lifetime" collection which some French publishers were selling over Christmas. It tells the story of Raju, whose father was lucky to own a shop near a spot where a railway station was going to be built. Raju was then a boy who enjoyed his life outside, and when the tracks and station were built, the shop in the station was entrusted to his father.

The boy soon started helping him, pleased at not having to be sent to school any more. But the father died accidentally, and Raju who must have been 12 or so, took over, and over the years cleverly understood the interest of the railway, because not only did he see the importance of the shop for travellers, but also that of the travellers' needs. He became a tourist guide, and is so keen and scruple-free that his business flourishes. Then comes the day when a special tourist arrives in Malgudi Narayan's fictitious pet town situated in the South : he's a historian, a lover of old inscriptions and engravings.

He wants Raju to take him to some caves in the mountains where archaeological treasures have to be surveyed. Along with him is Raju's destiny, in the form of his wife, Rosie. She's as different from him as Raju's quick practicality is from old stone inscriptions. The husband, called Marco by Raju because of some connection with Marco Polo the discoverer is a bespectaled intellectual who seems to drag his wife around like so much baggage.

She's an educated young woman, but belonging to a caste of dancers which condemns her to accepting whatever her husband decides for her. Among which, no dance. When she meets Raju, who is staggered by her beauty and dancing skills, he quickly enters her life, and looks at her in a way that wins her over to him, in spite of her wife's principles.

In fact, the trio settles in the mountain, near the caves, even if it means for Raju to leave his shop and guide business unattended. A story of self-deception begins. Narayan suggests that Raju has been bitten by the "snake-lady", has been bewitched, and that in his mind, instead of the astute self-made money-maker, a "saithan" now rules supreme. He cannot leave Rosie, who makes him lose appetite for everything except her.

Classic situation indeed. Of course, in time the husband gets to know about the liaison, and sends Raju away, with Rosie concurring. A month elapses, and one morning she arrives at his little hut where he lives with his mother. This time, it's as if she's been thrown out.

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I pass some events, but their life together, fragile as it is in middle-century India, prospers because Raju's flair for business surfaces again; he manages to turn Rosie into a traditional dance diva, and acting as her impresario, soon reaches a style of living which he had never before attained. But there's something wrong in their enterprise. Raju has big debts, a distant enemy in the shape of Marco who hasn't divorced Rosie, and a habit of spending, lying and procrastinating which the reader understands will lead to his downfall.

This would all be rather banal, if the structure of the novel wasn't in fact quite different from the way I have told the story. We start with a forlorn Raju who has just left prison, and is resting on the steps of some abandoned temple, when a peasant stops by, and starts conversing with him. Narayan hints that, perhaps of his "disciple-like nature", he mistakes Raju for the temple-priest, and little by little the aimless and hungry Raju is looked after. The chapter closes and we are plunged into his old life near the future railway.

One more chapter, and we come back to the temple, and Raju's increasing success as adviser, sage and eventually swami, when a drought threatens, the villagers believe he might help them though prayer and fasting to bring the rain. Naturally, because the book is called The guide, the reader is quickly led to make the link between the various meanings of the word: tourist guide, spiritual guide. And when Raju watches Rosie and encourages her even if with mixed intentions , one might say he's a guide there too, because he does indeed guide her towards her self-fulfilment.

The problem of the book is what to make of the reflection about this guide figure. Raju is evidently not a guide in the sense of a political or moral guide who leads a community towards his destiny. Everything he does is self-centred. He guides people, but with his own interest in mind all the time.

Narayan is making a satirical point here: the guide that people look up to is himself the one most in need of a guide. This is clear when Raju reflects upon what his friend Gaffur the taxi-driver advises him: to leave Rosie and all the stress connected with the false situation he has let himself enslaved by, and go back to his old joyful, carefree life. Raju says that, at the time, this was excellent advice, but he also that he was incapable of following it. In fact he is constantly running away from his responsibilities. For example when he knows he has all those debts, and prefers taking a cheap lawyer rather than face the problems, and go through the uncomfortable but real world of responsibility.

As a lover also, he lives from day to day, never wondering who the person he shares his life is, really is. He has drunk her blood, so to speak, gorged on her, but he's lived with a stranger. Even when he decides at the end to go ahead with the abhorred fast to bring back the rains, as the crowds of villagers have asked him, he adopts an attitude which he hopes will make the decision forgetful: "With a sort of vindictive resolution he told himself "I'll chase away all thought of food. For the next ten days, I'll eradicate all thoughts of tongue and stomach from my mind".

The resolution gave him a particular strength Has Raju learnt the lesson? Has he finally passed on the other side, where selfishness yields to selflessness? Have circumstances been his master, and has he found the guide he had been needing all his life? If the answer is yes, then the book is a moral or religious parable, telling us that there is a meaning, a balance of right or wrong on earth, no matter how ill-advised men live, their dharma will one day be forced on them. But if it's no, then everything must be considered maya, illusion, and life on earth is one big farce.

I would personally opt for the second solution, because nothing really in the book prepares us for salvation.

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On the contrary, RK Narayan stresses continuously his character's thoughtlessness. No salvation for Raju then, as far as I'm concerned, in spite of the quotation above which one can read as the statement of his punishment. But on the other hand, what the book might be saying is "something" or somebody guides the guide. Thanks to Raju, Rosie has found her way. Thanks to his love and determination even though self-interested , she has been given a freedom she probably would never have been given otherwise.

It is just that Raju is punished the way he is, and just that Rosie is freed. Destiny or the order of things has utilised Raju as an instrument of liberation for her, and has punished him for his self-centredness. In that respect, the title "The guide" might well refer, not to Raju, but to this other Guide above, which uses our human choices in order to make his own justice come to fruition. Evolution The Guide is like a weaving. It is intertwined, deep, and rich. In it you will see the amazing way human lives can evolve.

Are we creators or merely reactors? Narayan's The Guide, for which he won the National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy, his country's highest literary honor, is a deep yet wryly humorous examination of the frailties of humans and the meaning and consequences of our actions. The main question seems to be, "Are we creators of our own destinies, or are we mere reactors to the people and circumstances which surround us?

And, furthermore, does it really matter, in the end, why we do what we do? Or is the final result the only thing that matters? An entire philosopy course could be taught using this wonderful book as the basis. Editorial Review Product Description This is an enchanting collection from India's foremost storyteller, rich in wry, warmly observed characters from every walk of Indian life - merchants, beggars, herdsmen, rogues - all of whose lives are microcosms of the human experience.

Like Nambi in the title story, Narayan has the mesmeric ability to spellbind his audience. This he achieves with a masterful combination of economy and rhythm, creating haunting images and a variety of settings to evoke a unique paradox of reality and folklore. Narayan's career in , demonstrates the warmth, humor, and simplicity that made him so beloved. The tales are set in and around fictional Malgudi and include a number of stories featuring the Talkative Man. Pick up 'Under the Banyan Tree', read a short story, and make up your own mind.

I think you'll be warmly rewarded. I like best ths storytitled "anamalai", "Breath of Lucifer" and of course "Under the banyan tree" itself. Some of those short stories areso easy to understand, some are so deep, so i have to read it carefully toget the skillfully written rethorics. It's a classics, worth buying andkept for lifetime. I read and re-read this book and still found them as fresh.

The characters ,thesituations are so real that one wonders whether the author picked them outof his own experiences. Editorial Review Product Description Growing from an oral tradition of ballads based on historic events in India, the Mahabharata was passed down and extended through the centuries, becoming the longest poem ever written. I myself has never been exposed to the material before, and this book definitely makes it interesting, helpful and very easy to understand for newbies like me.

Recommend for beginners. Mahabharata for the busy folks R K Narayan has a way of telling stories that is very earthy and simple. This book is a highly condensed and compressed form of Mahabharata; so compressed that the soul of the epic has perhaps gotten lost in the process. Moreover it is not just a literary masterpiece but contains the 'song of the lord', the Bhagavad Gita. The philosophical part is intentionally left out here and rightly so because a shortened version can never quite convey the right meaning.


R K Narayan's focus here is purely on the story and he says, "Although this epic is a treasure house of varied interests, my own preference is the story". He has given an outline of the story admirably well. If you looking to understand the gist of the epic and a peek into the vedic philosophy you would be better of finding another version.

But if your objective is to quickly get an overview of the story, the characters and the main events, then this book, I think, would suit you fairly well. An overview of the story is indeed the intention of this book. A little "too abridged"? Having just been mesmerized by my exposure to Indian literature through Ramesh Menon's outstanding version of the Ramayana, I looked to continue my journey through this corner of the literary world by reading the Mahabharata.

Unlike the Ramayana and the Bhagavad Gita which I intend to read next , no version of this tale jumped out at me on my perusal through Amazon reviews. I decided to give Narayan's version a shot due to name recognition and popularity. Having just finished the tale, I have mixed emotions.

On the one hand, I found the story itself to be interesting and Narayan's prose to be quite readable; on the other, I felt like I just scratched the surface of this great tale.

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I typically avoid abridgments, and should've known better than to think that an epic could be reduced to a mere some pages, but I was truly disappointed by the abbreviated nature of this version. After relishing the richness of Menon's Ramayana, I felt like this version captured neither the rich grandeur needed to appreciate the scale of the epic nor gave the attention necessary to allow the reader to dwell on the deeper philosophical points.

Because unlike the Ramayana, which was truly an archetypal "good versus evil" struggle, the Mahabharata is full of interesting moral wrinkles because it keeps the battle in the family. GBP 2. Sign in to check out Check out as guest. The item you've selected was not added to your cart. Add to Watchlist Unwatch. Watch list is full. Longtime member. GBP 0. Item location:. Ships to:. This amount is subject to change until you make payment.

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Novels by R. K. Narayan

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