Much of Narayan's work deals with the trials and tribulations of 20th century Indian life. Born in India, and one of the few Indian writers in English to have lived there for much his life, this collection affectionately charts the day-to-day life of the folk living in and around the fictional town Malgudi (Thought to be based largely on his hometown, Mysore). If Narayan has a political or cultural axe to grind, he keeps it to himself. His fiction accepts the socio-political situation as it stands and the stories are all the more poignant for that. Narayan's stories are a reflection of life in Malgudi as it is, up close and personal, and not laden with the baggage of political and post-imperial dialectics. And yet, inevitably, these forces come into play. This is what makes this collection stand out somewhat from other short story anthologies I have read - the brilliant subtlety with which Narayan infuses the wider issues with the simple day-to-day tasks of the Everyman, and all this without forcing judgment. He skirts the potential difficulties of cultural understanding simply by avoiding them altogether. The stories do not waste time with social explanation because they stand as their own explanation: This is how it is. Likewise, the stories themselves are acutely original. Tragedy, love, loss, humour, faith and hope all entwine and have a part to play in the lives of the diverse figures that come and go in Malgudi. This collection is exquisitely funny, yet deeply poignant, and always potent with the potential for disaster and chaos. Characters and stories in this volume include a storyteller who takes what he deems to be a necessary vow of silence, an archaeology student unwittingly deceiving thousands of academics, a deaf and mute boy who teaches a monkey to act and a paranoid, superstitious actor who believes he may end up 'acting' his actual death. There are several uniting themes that transcend the tales: ritual, money, social status, the generation gap and the misery of apathy and disillusionment. All are told with tenderness and poignancy only achievable by an author able to laugh at the foibles of humanity as well as reveal their tragic and devastating potential. This book is a classic...
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
Narayan guides you in a world where myth and reality softly merge together and where modernity is only on the doorstep. In every little story there's peace and struggle like in life itself. Even after having closed the book, many of the characters knock at your door like old friends. Narayan is one of the best storytelles of our time.