Saturday, December 20, 2014

The World of Malgudi - R.K. Narayan

In a writing career spanning over half a century, R.K. Narayan created the imagined landscape of a town called Malgudi, located somewhere in South India. 
Malgudi is a town just like any other, its inhabitants like old familiars one might meet round the corner of any ordinary street. 
With deft strokes of his pen, Narayan is able to flesh out characters and situations that entertain us on the first reading and linger in our memory for years afterwards.

The World of Malgudi brings together four of Narayan's most memorable novels set in Malgudi. 

In Mr Sampath, we are told of the collaborative efforts of Srinivas, the editor, and Mr Sampath, the printer, who work together on a local weekly .
We next meet Margayya, in The Financial Expert, who sits under a banyan tree and gives advice on methods of extracting loans from the local cooperative bank.
In The Painter of Signs, we encounter the unlikely love story of Raman, the local signboard painter, and Daisy, a birth-control propagandist who is on a visit to Malgudi. 
Finally, in A Tiger for Malgudi, a venerable tiger looks back over his life, from his early days roaming wild in the jungle to his unhappy years in captivity. 

Available for the first time in a collectors' edition, with an illuminating introduction by S.Krishnan, the novels in this volume will be a delight for Narayan's fans as well as for first-time readers.
  [Source: Book Cover ]

My Review:
I have been a great fan of R.K. Narayan ever since I first read his novel "The Dark Room" when I was a kid.
It was a real pleasure to read this anthology of four of his novels in this book.
The novel "A Tiger for Malgudi" in this compilation is  totally different from any other novel the author has written. It has a unique blend of philosophy, satire and humor. I liked this one the best in this book. [All Project Tiger enthusiasts will love it too !]

  • I remember reading somewhere that the name "Malgudi" was created by R.K. Narayan by combining the names of two well known localities in Bangalore - Malleswaram and Basavanagudi
  • R.K. Narayan's grandson was my colleague and we often used to discuss about Narayan's writings , during our 40 km commute back home from our factory.

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