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Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Guide by R. K. Narayan

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.

My take on the book:
It worries me to a great extent that people don't pay much heed to our national literary award - Sahitya Akademi Award. Not that there are top-class books under the banner, but not all are that uninteresting. I read Laburnum For My Head by Temsula Ao last year and was deeply intrigued in this award. I checked out the list and was surprised to find this book on the list. I had this book with me for a very long time. It was hidden under the rubble of other books I acquired recently and want to read. The list had made me dig this book up and seriously read it.

Fortunately or not, I was travelling when I decided to read this book. En route Varanasi I read Ubik and on my way back to Hyderabad via Kolkata, I started reading this. It took me not more than a couple of sittings to complete it. Not to mistake. The language wasn't easy nor was it small.

The book is suave in every sense. The story was brilliant. The narration was smooth. The pain is inflicting to the reader. Overall, the book feels very great.

Off the record, the cover of my edition was pretty depressing for its lack of artistry. I mean, it doesn't have the apt richness of the story. 

There isn't much I could talk about the book or the story. All I could say is that a person much surely read it no matter what and he wouldn't regret it. That is our BookReviewwala Assurance for you.

Narayan, just like Ruskin Bond, is one author you can't get enough of...



Title: The Guide

Author: R. K. Narayan

ISBN (edition I've read): 9788185986074


Read between: 19-05-2015 to 24-05-2015

Publishers: Indian Thought Publications

Pages: 247

MRP: ₹ 100

The best deal for this book could be found here:  

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