on 17 June 2001
"Man-eater of Malgudi" is the first book of Narayan's that I read and it wont be the last.
The book is basically about a man standing up to a bully. The main character, Mr. Nataraj, owns a printing shop in Malgudi and is quite happy with his lot until Vasu, a big hunk of a man, moves into Nataraj's attic.
Vasu who is a taxidermist likes to push people around as if he owns them and is almost immediately resented by the quiet Nataraj and his friends. Only when the taxidermist threatens a beloved temple elephant does Nataraj decide that enough is enough and decides to confront Vasu...with terrible consequences.
R.K. Narayan's potrait of a small fictitious town in India is beautifully done with his exquisite English. One can read about an Indian family eating rice off banana leaves on their kitchen floor and do their ablutions in the river; all that and many more written in such perfect English that one does not feel any strangeness. On the contrary, the reader is pulled closer to the story and the characters regardless whether the reader is an English, American, Japanese, African or whatever. Narayan's lack of pretense in his writings is his merit and his charm.
I was saddened to hear of his death in early 2001. India and the English-speaking world in general has lost a great man of letters. Hopefully, through his books the genius that was R.K. Narayan would live on.
on 23 May 2006
R K Naryan was a rare Gem in the literary world. All his books are excellent and must read for anybody who can read English.
Its specially nice for people who would like to know what Rural India was.. The relationships, the environment, the society - each and every aspect is explained in such an amazing and interesting way that you feel you are there when things are happening - you are transformed to places and situations.
Even if you are not interested in India, still its a great read. The way Narayan handles the language is must read to believe. You would have never imagined that simple stories and sitatuation's can be explained so beautifully.
Once you start reading the book you cannot stop infact you will end up reading the books again and again as i do ( which i do not do with any other books )
Its highly recommended to buy all the Novels / Books of R K Narayan