Read The Guide by R.K. Narayan Michael Gorra Online


R.K. Narayan (1906-2001) is unusual among Indian authors writing in English in that he has stayed contentedly in his home country, venturing abroad only rarely. He rarely addresses political issues or tries to explore the cutting edge of fiction. He is a traditional teller of tales, a creator of realist fiction which is often gentle, humorous, and warm rather than hard-hitR.K. Narayan (1906-2001) is unusual among Indian authors writing in English in that he has stayed contentedly in his home country, venturing abroad only rarely. He rarely addresses political issues or tries to explore the cutting edge of fiction. He is a traditional teller of tales, a creator of realist fiction which is often gentle, humorous, and warm rather than hard-hitting or profound. Almost all of his writings are set in the fictional city of Malgudi, and are narrowly focused on the lives of relatively humble individuals, neither extremely poor nor very rich.The Guide is one of his most interesting books, which begins as a comic look at the life of a rogue, but evolves into something quite different. It should be noted that Narayan is not a devout Hindu, and has accused Westerners of wrongly supposing that all Indians are deeply spiritual beings; but it is also true that he was deeply impressed by some experiences he had with a medium after the sudden death of his young wife (described movingly in The English Teacher (1945).Narayan has stated that the incident of the reluctant holy man was based on a real event which he read about in the newspaper.Formerly India's most corrupt tourist guide, Raju--just released from prison--seeks refuge in an abandoned temple. Mistaken for a holy man, he plays the part and succeeds so well that God himself intervenes to put Raju's newfound sanctity to the test. Narayan's most celebrated novel, The Guide won him the National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy, his country's highest literary honor....

Title : The Guide
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780143039648
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Guide Reviews

  • Petra X
    2019-06-15 21:09

    First book of 2014.Narayan's The Guide is a good story about a man who is a tourist guide who does his absolute best to please his customers honestly or dishonestly, as is the nature of tourist guides everywhere. But he is brought low by romance and becomes a bit of a rogue. I don't want to spoil the story by writing out the plot but eventually, from the absolute depths a man can sink to, he rises on the back of being thought a holy man. His innate moral sense overrides his desire for an easier life and he risks all by telling it how it is. Lucky for him, he isn't believed and the superstitious locals continue to treat him as a guru. Or maybe he has become a guru. Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too.

  • K.D. Absolutely
    2019-06-08 22:16

    Those of you who think that Indian novels are always about sadness and despair of poor people, must think again. This book, The Guide by R. K. Narayan is funny. Unlike let's say, The God of Small Things or The Inheritance of Loss, this book will not make you squirt some tears from your eyes. Rather, when you close the book, you'll be happy yet mesmerized by its beauty. It's beauty is not really in the narration or innovative storytelling. The novel's beauty is its ability to show you the traditional Indian way of storytelling that is not really different from the not-too-old stories here in the Philippines. The story is about a tourist guide Raju who gets convicted for a crime of forgery. On his way back home after two years in prison, he is mistaken for a holy man. Then he becomes like a God-like symbol and ends up fasting for the rain to come to Malgudi. This reminded me of a scene in the Ishmael Bernal's masterpiece 1984 movie, Himala where provincial people are asking Elsa, the fake faith healer, to rain. The Oscar-nominated 2001 film Lagaan also has that scene and so the barrio folks go out from their huts and palaces and wait for the rain to come and when the rain finally comes, they all dance merrily.In the middle of the story is a flashback to Raju's life prior to being incarcerated. He is a tourist guide (that reminded me of Slumdog Millionaire) but he cheats his customers. Then comes his love affair with a dancer Rosie who is married to Marco who ridicules her dancing. Rosie falls in love with Raju because he supports her passion and so they live together and she becomes a star. Raju lives on her money and he gets involved in a crime so he gets imprisoned.I used to have a boss, a regional manager of supply chain, who has a wife that studied traditional Indian dancing in the university. So, I know how important is dancing in that country. It is one of the highest expression of artistry so while reading the book, I could emphatise with Rosie whose passion is dancing yet her husband does not appreciate him. Her walking away from him to live in with Raju seems like a justified move because of this. So, she dances and dances until she becomes rich. However, she still keeps the picture of her husband Marco in her wallet. This again is quite the same with her in the Philippines. Since our country is predominantly Catholic, there is no divorce and we are told to believe that what God put together let no man put asunder. So, in Rosie's eyes, Marco and not Raju, is still her husband.The use of shifting timeline as the scenes are presented back and forth makes up for the simple story. It is a light classic book, but classic nevertheless. It is similar to Rabindarath Tagore's The Home and the World because they both have marital conflict as their main course. However, Narayan has superstitious beliefs (religion) and art (dancing) as his side dishes while Tagore has social status and politics. So this Narayan's book is much lighter and even funnier than that of the Nobel laureate's.Overall, nice book. Not sure if it will stick with me though. There are just too many other memorable Indian books that have refused to leave my mind and probably decided to stay there forever.

  • Stephen Durrant
    2019-06-18 03:02

    My friend Jim Earl recently wrote an excellent article entitled "How to Read the Indian Novel." This article was the culmination of reading sixty Indian novels over a fairly short period of time. His favorite Indian novelist of the many he read is R.K. Narayan. So I picked up Narayan's "The Guide" and read it with some words from Jim ringing in my ears: "Narayan always seems simple and easy to read, but he leaves one with much to ponder." Yes indeed. Raju, the central character in this novel, is a guide in several respects: a tourist guide, a guide to his lover's new career as a dancer, a guide to the inmates in the prison where he serves, and finally, and most significantly, a spiritual guide. However, he is always either exploiting others or acting disingenuously. He falls madly in love with a married woman named Rosie, detaches her from her scholar-husband, and builds her new career as a dancer into a remarkable success. Still, this is an exploitative relationship as his sexual obsession turns into an obsession to use her talent, as well as her access to a box of jewels, to acquire as much wealth as possible. His fall ensues, and after two years in prison, where he becomes the warden's chief assistant, he takes up residence in a temple along the Sarayu River. Soon villagers come, somewhat mysteriously, to regard him as a saint, and Raju inadvertently is caught up in a new act, one which is sometimes quite funny and yet may (or may not) ultimately lead him to become precisely the holy man the worshippers think he is. Narayan writes all this with great skill. The novel is essentially a flashback, as Narayan weaves together the story of Raju the holy man with Raju the scoundrel and obsessed lover. "The Guide," I think, will stay with me, and, if it does, it will one day perhaps be upgraded to five stars!

  • rahul
    2019-05-29 22:04

    Just quoting from the song written by Shailendra for the movie, sung by none other the great S.D Burman.kehte hain gyaani,duniyaa hai faanipaani pe likhi likhaayihai sabki dekhi,hai sabki jaanihaath kisike na aayikuchh tera naa mera,musafir jaayega kahaandam lele ghadi bhar,ye chhaiyyaan,payega kahaanwahaan kaun hai tera O traveller.. where will you go..Learned people say,this world is a mirageeverything is written on waterit is seen by all, it is experienced by allbut no one has understood itnothing is yours, nothing is mineso where will you go, o travellerbetter take a breather here, here, if only for a momentyou may not get this cool shade againThere is to call your own, o travellerthere is no one yours... The Video

  • Syl
    2019-05-25 22:04

    it has truly been described as a 'pensive comedy' - this is the story of Raju, an ordinary middle class man in South India, who vicariously rose to the height of fame, had a plunging fall, then again rose up like the phoenix to become a swamiji, a demi-god. More than Raju, I sympathize with Rosy, the dreamy eyed girl, whose only passion was dance, for which she had to suffer. Her husband left her, she took up with Raju, but then Raju soon became somewhat like a mercenary feeding upon her income. To the end, she remains true to those who befriend her. I would have loved to hear the story from Rosy's view point too. All in all, an enjoyable book with the usual R K Narayan flare for creating unusual situations involving ordinary people.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-05-23 03:13 Raju's first stop after his release from prison is the barber's shop. Then he decides to take refuge in an abandoned temple. Raju used to be India's most corrupt tourist guide - but now a peasant mistakes him for a holy man. Gradually, he begins to play the part.It is written on the brow of someThat they shall never be left in peaceRaju seems to be somewhat Zelig in nature, becoming anything at a pitch of a hat.His Holy Man routine becomes ever believable.

  • Alok Mishra
    2019-06-14 02:22

    From life on the earth to the Karmic theories of purgatory; from real life details to the world of Gods; from sin to atonement... this book, The Guide, by R K Narayan will take you to new dimensions of readership. Perhaps one of the greatest novels Indian authors writing in English have produced, this book is a classic in the sense it's always there. Today also, you can find the novel's relevance in the society. Plot, theme, plot movement, language... everything about the novel is perfect and you get this masterpiece by Narayan. Still the most loved novel in India, if I may say so, it will always be there as a reminder that once Indian authors could also touch the heights of writing! A must read!

  • Vikalp Trivedi
    2019-05-25 03:00

    "The Guide" by R.K. Narayan is an excellent example that how beautiful and intriguing simplicity can be . Mr. Narayan wrote the novel with sheer simplicity of language and expression . Even with simplicity - which is the power of the novel - the story is deep and touches the inner recesses of human nature . The story is about how a being makes himself and destroys himself , but in midst of this creation and destruction the changes which takes place in a person are more important . I think through Raju , Mr. Narayan has painted the very basic of human psyche i.e. how far can a human go to what he wants and what changes occurred in him while getting what he wants . And somewhere these changes later define one's fate .The female protagonist character Rosie is in my opinion a representation of the human "want" for which human doesn't care that whatever he is doing is whether right or wrong . On the other hand the character of Rosie is a satire on the so called modernity of the society . Like when you hear the name Rosie the first image comes in mind is that she is a modern girl aware of creating her identity . But in the novel Rosie is a common woman desperate to create her identity but bound by notions and hypocrisy of the society . And in Raju she finds that chance to create her identity . In short it can be said that Raju and Rosie are each other's want and the story is about what they do for what they want . Other than simplicity and clarity of expression the characters were perfectly built and aptly used . I don't think that any other author can pen down the human psyche with so much simplicity . Perfect 5 stars . Indeed A Classic . A Must Read .

  • Katie
    2019-06-06 02:24

    This is the first of Narayan's novels that I've read, and I was bothered by it in the same way I'm always bothered by stories that sacrifice psychological verisimilitude for the sake of plot. Raju, the main character, begins the book as an unethical, opportunistic, but essentially likable fellow; as the story goes on he transforms first into a money-grubbing, misogynistic, self-serving asshole, and then into some semblance of a holy man. I don't have a problem with characters undergoing changes, but none of these changes felt organic to Raju's development, and they foiled my attempts to connect with the book on an emotional level. I will say, however, that the final image of Raju collapsing while he feels the river rising around his legs is poignant, enduring, and powerfully drawn.

  • Joseph
    2019-05-22 23:09

    The Guide is set up as a frame story, beginning with our protagonist, Raju, turning up at an abandoned temple after being released from prison. Basically, he's squatting, but a local person named Velan comes to ask Raju to help him solve a problem with his willful daughter. Raju keeps feeding Velan statements of profound nonsense, but when Velan's daughter comes around, word spreads about Raju's holy nature. When a drought hits, Raju offers one of his statements, which is interpreted around the country side as his promise to fast for eleven days to ask the gods to send relief. In a desperate attempt to show that he's a fraud, Raju spends one night explaining his life to Velan. That's when we get the backstory of Raju growing up as the son of a shopkeeper who is more interested in conversation than selling or family, Raju's love of trains, his own shopkeeping days, and finally his involvement with a dancer named Rosie, which brings about his rise and downfall, landing him in prison. Velan hears it all, but the story makes him believe in Raju even more. Raju is left then with the choice of simply leaving in the night or going through with the fast.I admit that I found the frame story about Raju's stint as a faux-swami far more fascinating than the story of his life -- until he became involved with Rosie. His mother calls her the serpent-woman, but Narayan's description of Rosie's serpent dance is one of the most intense and visual descriptions I have ever read. I could see the dance lifting off the page and carrying on around me. There is a movie version of The Guide, but I don't think I want to see it just because no visual interpretation of this dance could match the beauty of the one in my head. Another striking aspect of the book is its presentation of Hindu culture and belief in the growth of the soul. This is a complex process in Hinduism, but Narayan's skill makes it digestible for Western readers without much of a background in Hindu belief. For readers who know that religion, how Narayan builds Raju's character from its selfish depths to the point where he can become a vessel of Brahman (symbolized by the empty aluminum vessel where he hides food) is truly profound. While some of the backstory got a bit tedious while I was reading it, once I got to the end, I realized that all of it was necessary for what Narayan was doing: showing the slow pace of self change in which tragedy and joy run parallel, and I was even more impressed. The Guide is simply an amazing achievement.

  • Rajan
    2019-05-28 23:56

    This is a very moving story of greed, illicit relationship, chasing you dreams, destiny taking you to unimaginable, power of faith, superstition, luck and finally divinity.My first introduction to RK Narayan was through TV serials 'Swami' and 'Malgudi days'. I was a kid so i liked Swami very much which was about the antics of a young boy and his friends. The stories of Malgudi days were a bit mature and found them boring at that time. Today in hindsight i see that they have great psychological depth, beauty and yet were simple.Similarly i did not read the guide first. I saw the Devanad-Waheeda Rahman starrer guide first and was smitten by it. I find it the best Hindi movie till date. Then i found out that it is based on a novel of same name by RK Narayan. In fact his brother RK Laxman is more famous coz his cartoon used to appear on front page of TOI daily.So very next day i bought the book and read it. Both are equally good but not similar. Chetan Anand (director) has taken some liberties and made changes. I heard RKN did not agree to the changes. The book traces the story of a small boy raju who is poor and doesn't have father. He becomes a famous Raju guide. One fine day a archaeologist comes and hires him. Raju seduces his lonely wife Rosie who wants to be a dancer. Raju promised her to make one and she elopes with him. And he helps her to realize her dreams. Soon Raju becomes insecure and does a foolish crime for which he is jailed. After serving his time he doesn't come back home due to shame. He goes away and takes shelter in an old decrepit temple. There the villagers mistake him for a godmen and rest is the story of his evolution and faith.PS I suggest you watch the movie first. Firstly it was made in english due to fear of backlash of Indian Public. So when you will read the novel whenever you will read Raju and Rosie, you will imagine Devanad and Waheeda Rehman.

  • Adee
    2019-06-10 19:58

    Hmm. What do i say about a book that i just finished last night and which has been growing on me since then...too early to say anything? yeah, maybe. but if i delay, i won't be able to pen down this mini-review of sorts. R.K. Narayan writes in the simplest of English, a bildungsroman of sorts of a man named Raju. Actually, weaves would be a better word instead of writes, because the book is actually a tapestary of Raju's life and that of other major and minor characters, Velan, Rosie, Marco (whose temperament I found close to mine!), Gaffur, Rahu's mother and uncle interwoven with life in a small town and villages in southern India. Actually India is as much a character in this story as the main protagonists, because i don't think it would have taken place anywhere else in world. And yet, like truly great stories, it is universal in appeal. The rise and fall of a man, love and 'unlove', marriage and infidelity, a woman's place in a patriarchal society, a conman and his final redemption (maybe?)- there are so many lenses that this story could be viewed from, understood and appreciated. And then there is humor, sparkling and earthen and as Indian it can get, though it kind of toned down towards the latter part of the story.I'd seen the classic Indian movie based on this novel a few times already and i've always loved the story, especially the lyrics by Shailendra and music direction of S.D. Burman but i found the novel more mature than it. The open way infidelity is introduced and the ambiguous ending, wouldn't have been possible in the India of 50s and 60s.All in all, a must read for its timeless tale of a man's fight with himself, what he was, what he could have been, and what he became.

  • Mizah
    2019-05-25 01:18

    I didn't really put much thought into what kind of story this would be, but now that I have completed it, let me just say it went beyond my expectations. R. K. Narayan has a flair for storytelling.I've been reading a lot of books which move back and forth in time, and 'The Guide' is one which does so brilliantly. The narration of the past is told in relevance to what is happening in the present, and written in a consistent manner too, making it easy for readers to follow.I think the best thing about 'The Guide' is the character development and how it is told. The plot takes the reader through the transformation of the protagonist, Raju. He is the kind of person who is too street smart for his own good. He went from Railway Raju to Manager-of-Nalini to Swami to Sage. He is the epitome of everyman- a flawed human who is eager to improve in social mobility and grows foolish for wealth and for a girl. When he hits jackpot, he forgets himself and suffers the consequences, only later to return to a humble setting.It's the kind of story that is funny not in the laugh out loud sense, but the witty type which deserves an appreciative chuckle. There are instances when you feel sorry for the main character, and at other times you feel that he deserves to be punished. It's a story which leaves readers thoughtful. For me, it has a fair ending, it's not happy, and not sad, just right.

  • Paul
    2019-06-04 20:23

    The writing is quite spare and there is little description of the backdrop of the novel, apart from what is necessary.The Guide is about Raju, who tells his story in the present and past. He has been in prison and has taken refuge in an empty temple by a river. The locals begin to believe he is a holy man. Interspersed is the story of Raju's past, his childhood, his time as a tourist guide. Then his affair with a married woman and its consequences. Raju is a rogue who is often self serving, but has some likeable qualities. The end is left open; has Raju really become a holy man as he fasts for rain.There is a strong comedic element in the book, but it is also a fable. Human issues are addressed rather than politics directly and critics have pointed out that there is little to relate the book to a time or political background. Hence, I think the fable element.It has been suggested that Narayan is easy to read and hard to understand. He is certainly easy to read, but the end of the novel is enigmatic; The Guide is certainly thought provoking.

  • Saimah
    2019-06-01 22:16

    'The Guide' is the story of transformation of the protagonist, Raju from a simple tour guide to a great spiritual guide. Starting as a tourist guide in the small village of Malgudi, Raju more often known as Railway Raju, leads a very simple life with his widowed mother. However the entrance of Rosie and her husband, Marco, brings about a turmoil in all of their lives. Rosie aspires to be a famous dancer while Marco is focussed towards his career and totally apathetic towards Rosie and her dancing dreams. In comes Raju, as a listener, an admirer and eventually a lover. He succeeds in fulfilling Rosie's dreams, and his own too, but the greed to make more money wouldn't cease. He ends up in jail for forgery, which is when Rosie makes an exit from his life. After the prison sentence he takes refuge by the bank of a river and the people there think of him to be a holy man, all thanks to his words of wisdom and experience. Raju starts enjoying the role and attention. However, his holiness is put to test when he is expected to observe a fast of several days so that the village might get some rain. Initially reluctant, later on Raju wants to keep alive the faith and hopes of several hundreds of people.The flow of the story is too beautiful to keep the book down at any point. A simple but artistically told tale. The cliffhanger end is something worth relishing.

  • Selva Subramanian
    2019-06-12 02:04

    I thought I would just say "guys, read and make your own judgement"...but thought better of it:) Typical RKN's writing: decent, simplistic, with subtle humor. This is kind of the most respected of his novels. On that score, it left me a little disappointed. I actually didn't get the point of the novel. Probably the point he was making is there is no point :) Life has to be lived and you can't do nothing about most things. It is not as bad as you think or it is not as good as you believe. I could totally relate to the titular character except that I knew how the events were going to shape up. Like when you can guess the twists in a movie. That is a big minus! I actually wished that I had read it during the days I was reading RKN i.e. more than a decade back. It had certain lessons which may not come across so powerfully unless you have been through something similar. It is just an opinion. Recommended for Literary fiction lovers. Actual rating: 3.5 stars

  • ♥ Ibrahim ♥
    2019-06-01 23:07

    The book feels like it was written by Joseph Conrad, who I am a big fan of. The style is also that of 19th century English, a bit old like King James Bible style of English, too formal in such a way that reflects the Indian Spirit. All that was compensated for by the author's wit and charming spirit and sense of humor; I mean, this is a lively book and it is fun for me to read and I can read it over and over again and find it amusing. The trouble is, English is my second language and I do care about reading books in modern style so that I absorb all that and it comes in my own writing; otherwise, I end up sounding like the literature of the Elizabethan as well as the Victorian period.

  • Arpit
    2019-06-16 23:20

    Initial rating.Still confused.Might change them after little thinking.

  • Uttara Srinivasan
    2019-06-03 04:08

    The Guide is the story of Raju and his journey through life – mostly his days in the fictional town of Malgudi – immortalized by R. K. Narayan in so many ways. Raju is a young child who dislikes school, holds most people around in slight disdain and is yet inventive enough to take whatever opportunity life offers him (and he does snatch at most of these) and make the best out of it – hook or by crook. The boy and eventually the man that Raju becomes is unabashedly self-absorbed, almost shameless in the way he twists things to work in his favor. Since most of Raju’s story – especially when it involves Marco and Rosie – is told from his perspective and in “wisdom” that comes from his eventually saintly sojourn, there is enough room for the reader to glimpse growth and at least attempt at maturity that comes with someone who evaluates his choices.The highlight of the book, for me personally, does remain Rosie. Despite Narayan’s simple writing and despite being written in the male voice, Rosie’s motivations and her actions rarely seem wilful. Here is a woman who took what she could and yet for the most part is very aware of the implications of her choice and what they say about her morality. For the time at which this was written, I am amazed at how truly modern the author’s female lead is.Of course, reading The Guide nearly 6 decades and especially one movie later, does have its effects. Thankfully, Vijay Anand’s cinematic version chose the best faces one could ascribe to Raju and Rosie. But it disappoints me that the truly South Indian flavor which is so richly scattered in the pages of the book (you can almost smell the coffee every time it is offered to someone, you can almost taste the bonda that the holy Raju so craves!) was completely marginalized in the film. Alas Bollywood thinks Madrasi is only Mehmood in a lungi spouting gibberish. Worse still is how the movie complete takes away the essence of Rosie, Raju and Marco’s characters by ascribing the point of change in their dynamics to something that makes their choices, “acceptable” Nevertheless, there is a reason some works and some authors have the place they do. The Guide and Mr. R. K. Narayan both justly revel in their place amongst the best that has come from Indian fiction

  • Pankaj Suneja
    2019-05-24 22:21

    I had such nice time reading this novel. I have entered the life of characters and I could experience them in their moments. I believe Raju was quite reflective in his narration of his momentary experiences about his life. Of course, R.K. Narayan creates characters which have depth to look within and make sense of their experiences and circumstances.I another book by same author, BA Pass, there is part where character becomes sage by default. In this novel, author again experiments with the origin and ideas of life of yogi or sage. This possibly has deep cord with R.K. Narayan as possible life choice he might have thought a lot about.Rosie's character reminds me of the film "Bhumika" where woman's life is about playing roles from one stage to another and eventually in the end accepts her circumstances and begins to live on her terms.I believe Raju lived a life of content and reflection no matter whereever he was, either as child playing on railway construction site or studying in school, or running a shop in railway station, or becoming railway raju as guide and living with full potential. There were conflicts in him when it boiled down to mother and Rosie. And then life thereafter, a life of fame but lived with inner entrapment. The life is jail, he felt free and himself. And in the end, he dies with living life according to other, velan. Such sad it is. It is funny now I look at it that he played the role of sage so accidentally and continued to play to appease other.

  • Vijay
    2019-06-05 02:56

    I have read 'Malgudi days' by R.K. Narayan before and I always liked his style of writing and his unique quality of putting most complex of emotions in simplest and concise manner .Like his other works, Guide also jumps around Indian culture, beliefs, socioeconomic structure, and human nature, which is not particular to any country or group of people. I don't know how can he portray such arcane concepts of very varied and convoluted topic that Indian culture is, in such simple and appealing fashion. In Guide he tells a tale of a fallible and ordinary human being, his trip of rejoice, his downfall and his metamorphosis. While keeping the readers mood light with witty quips and situational humor story unfolds.When you will read the book you will understand the weight it's title holds. Narayan touches and explores many nukes and corners of Indian culture, society and last but not the least mysticism .I have watched Guide movie, which was closely bases on this book, directed by Vijay Anand, and after reading this book I have found that this book and that movie are not same but complementary of each other.I loved both the book as well as the movie equally.

  • Muddle head
    2019-06-09 00:03

    "It's easy to read, but difficult to understand" says Michael Gorra in his foreword. And i agree with him a hundred percent. There are so many interpretations possible from this one. Some may like Raju, some may not. Some may like Rosie, some may not. Some may like Marco, some may not. My review:It's a self-deprecatory repentant narrative by Raju as told to Velan after he's released from prison (earlier convicted for forgery). Am trying to forget the first person narrative by Raju and look at the story from the other characters' perspective and trying to judge Raju. He seems benevolent, funny, caring and a bit eccentric! He also seems egoistic, selfish towards the end with more and more money flowing in. A similar study of the other characters may need one more read and more time. In all it's a book that makes u think. And the last line of the novel leaves everything open for discussion: (view spoiler)[when his legs give away, does it mean he falls down dead? Does it rain at last? (hide spoiler)]

  • Shibam Karmakar
    2019-06-08 22:59

    It was only when I felt the urgency to seat for my exam I began to read this novel without having any inherent interest and prior acquaintance with RK Narayan's style or narrative technique . As I proceeded, I found Raju more of a typical rural Indian boy ,playing and cavorting around with gaily spirit , and less of a man who knows only to beguile everyone with acute eloquence and amicable manner. His emerging from the shopkeeper to tourist guide ,his seduction of the wife of Macrow ,then his subsequent turmoil when Rosie left her husband and came to live with him, his great contribution to make Rosie to climb the zenith of her popularity in the world of dance and forgery of the signature and consequent imprisonment , his befooling the villagers on becoming a saint are all humorous and enchanting. He truly loves Rosie but he more loves money. A good entertainment it was.

  • Gorab Jain
    2019-06-18 01:14

    Brilliant stuff. Very different from the usual R.K.Narayan's books. For it leaves much to the reader's imagination. Have been a big fan of Narayan for the simplicity of his narration and simple stories. But can't say the same things for him now... though I'm a slightly bigger fan now!Was going with 3.5 till the penultimate chapter, going for 4 for the epic (anti-)conclusion!

  • Laura
    2019-05-31 04:19

    From BBC Radio 4 Extra:Railway Raju is famous for helping tourists above and beyond the call of duty - until Rosie arrives. Stars Nitin Ganatra.

  • Zoya Iqbal
    2019-06-11 04:09

    A timeless classic!!!

  • Rohit Sharma
    2019-06-17 02:09

    Unfortunately I had't read none of R K Narayan books for some unknown reason (call it availability as they are still not available in stores - not talking about online stores). Which better book to start but with "The Guide", on which a timeless cult classic movie was made which I believe was a super success. I have already seen it multiple times and the visuals are pretty much intact in my brain with those lavish locations where Rosie (Waheeda Rehman) dances to the tunes of the official "Guide" Raju, terrific Dev Anand at his best and Rehman as Marco (in my imagination), Rosie's Husband whose only interest or reason to live is Archaeology. Because I too loved the book I thought to pick up the book which turns out to be way better narrated than the Movie for sure and I realized they did change the movie ending (Of-course for better) in this case too. The best part of reading this book was the faces behind the characters, it was fortunately so good, the story, the characterization, location (Malgudi), locales, people and their own stories, the book was totaly fun to an extent and then it all derails and derails big time. Flow is terrific as it keeps moving from first person account to third person flawlessly that after a certain time I actually stopped noticing. The very first unfortunate part of reading a classic in todays time is the "Foreword" and "Introduction", trust me on this, YOU DON'T WANT TO READ THEM. Now onward, I am never going to read them ever before reading the book, rather I would love to read them after I am done with the book. In this case too, they have given out everything about the story, its analysis, critical is still fine or explaining the way R K Narayan handled his stories too is alright to an extent but it made me biased towards so many things before even I started the book, that was such a bad start. I so much wished I hadn't read the Introduction, don't even care now whoever wrote it in this particular edition. R K Narayan's story is simply brilliant, I mean who can forget "Swami" and "Malgudi Days" at least from our part of the world (India) we loved them so much. The simplicity and the real life characters, situations and what not. Totally had me in splits and a permanent smile plastered on face almost throughout the book. Although its a very short book hardly 200 pages but once the story is set, the mood is made unfortunately it just drags mid ways onward and simply refuses to reach the abrupt ending. Totally unbelievable. Like a friend of mine commented "Murakami looks like a cake walk" as RK Narayan has left so much to be interpreted by the reader in the book that it totally made me not like it all (I hate to call hated it). All the love and affection I had for Raju the guide who falls in love with someone's else's wife just because he wasn't giving her her due (as per him) and later on becomes exactly like her own husband in the first place. It all becomes predictable at some point of time to no end. Didn't expect this from R K Narayan. But then the Introduction and Foreword got me thinking, those guys were actually right about him in calling him merciless. Although this was my first book from him, so I will be very keen on starting my journey with the very start and get the earlier books to know how right these guys actually are about the man. On his prose, writing, story, characters, locations and almost every other thing the stuff is top notch. But it fails to connect with the reader (or may its me only) and refuses to give me a closure which unfortunately movies gives in a very convincing way. If you have read this and liked it, do tell me how you liked it and if you haven't read it, I don't know what to say :) go ahead take a peek, who knows it may work for you. But if you do read, do come back and tell me your interpretation of the ending.

  • Srija
    2019-06-02 23:03

    I absolutely despised all the main characters. R. K. Narayan is nothing short of a genius. What a bunch of people he had created in this comedy/tragedy. It was a quick and an engaging read. I'd read this first when I was a lot younger, and I remember not understanding most of it. I had thought of Raju as a fool, Rosie as a manipulative and an equally gullible woman, 'Marco' as an extremely harsh man.While not most of these views have changed, I have to acknowledge that these characters cannot be put into boxes this way. They fall under a grey-scale, and hence, are very realistic.Time to go watch the movie now. I wonder if they censored the extra-marital aspect of Rosie's and Raju's relationship in the movie, given the time it had been made in. (just Google, Srija, just Google it.)

  • Sohabran Pundir
    2019-05-20 23:11

    Mr. Narayan brings out the fondest memories of good old days. How one can bring such a change onto oneself is what makes this book one of it's kind. Humans, tend to bring out the worst and best in them as per their circumstances and vice versa stands true as well.. Intricacies of Nalini's mind leaves you completely surprised leading to the stage of being annoyed too. Raju being the simple and devoted son transforms to someone who has lost the touch of his old self since the time his mother leaves him. But such a beautiful turn of events. A must read, I think for everyone.

  • Hrrostami
    2019-06-18 04:01

    این کتاب درباره راجو مردی از طبقه متوسط هند است که شغلش راهنمای جهانگردان و توریست هاست و به این واسطه با زن و شوهری آشنا می شود که باعث تغییر مسیر زندگی اش می شود. عاشق زن می شود و رابطه زن و شوهر را خراب می کند. تمام تلاشش را برای شکوفایی هنر زن می کند و در این راه پول زیادی را به دست می آورد و ...به عنوان اولین کتاب از نویسنده، فضای داستان و زبان ساده و طنز گونه متن را دوست داشتم