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on 5 June 2001
Swami, the son of a lawyer (who is the epitome of Indian respectability), and a truly Indian boy, entertains the reader from beginning to end. He and his friends and their exploits delight one as much as those of Richmal Crompton's William. At the same time, Narayan touches a deeper chord by the happenings that play a small, yet crucial role in Swami's life in the tiny,yet typical Indian town, Malgudi.
Swami's grandmother, his friends - the brawny, not very bright but very trustworthy Mani, the pompous Rajam, son of the Superintendent of police - Swami's attempts at arithmetic (how much he must pay for so many mangoes) under the stern guidance of his father, who refuses to see the point (how could he calculate unless he knew if the mangoes were ripe or not?!), the Malgudi Cricket Club, Swami being served food by his mother, all capture the world of a little Indian boy at the time when India was demanding Independence, beautifully. Narayan's story brings to the foreground world that is really India, which seems to continue to this day, and to which all historical happenings are but backgrounds. The story, being seen from Swami's point of view, is delightfully candid, normal, healthy and funny. But it and don't miss any of Narayan's other books, they are pure delight for anyone who loves a good story.
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on 25 June 1999
This book was excellent! I was totally able to relate to little Swami and his various experiences at home, school and with his friends. R.K. Narayan's great sense of humor is also apparent in this novel. This is a must-read for anyone who wishes to understand the South Indian way of life.
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on 1 March 2008
A delightful book of delightful days. Swami is schoolboy growing up in the shadow of the Quit India movement and he's all to willing a player in the freedom struggle especially if it means he gets to cut class. The author writes with a deft sense of humour and there were several laugh out loud moments in the book. His style is somewhat reminiscent of Graham Greene though this is an unfair comparison as they were near contemperies. The novel though light and entertaining novel has interesting political undertones. Well worth the read.
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