Blurb (from the jacket):
Railway Raju is a disarmingly corrupt tourist guide, who lives by his wits and falls in love with a beautiful dancer. More by chance than skill, he seduces her away from her husband, a lonely writer who is obsesses with local rock-carvings, and transforms her into a celebrity courted by wealthy and influential dignitaries wherever she performs. Raju makes and loses a fortune, finds himself in jail, and - through a series of hilarious, ironic circumstances - become one of India's great holy men.
The history of his success and unexpected fame has all the excitement of a suspense story, told with Narayan's customary tolerance and delightful humour. At the same time it raises many profound and disturbing questions.
THE GUIDE floats as gently as a lily pad on the surface of Indian life and yet suggests the depths beneath. It manages to describe a saint who is neither born nor made but simple happens, almost like a weather.