Overview

R. K. Narayan (1906—2001) witnessed nearly a century of change in his native India and captured it in fiction of uncommon warmth and vibrancy. Swami and Friends introduces us to Narayan’s beloved fictional town of Malgudi, where ten-year-old Swaminathan’s excitement about his country’s initial stirrings for independence competes with his ardor for cricket and all other things British. Written during British rule, this novel brings colonial India into intimate focus through the narrative gifts of this master of ...
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Swami and Friends

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Overview

R. K. Narayan (1906—2001) witnessed nearly a century of change in his native India and captured it in fiction of uncommon warmth and vibrancy. Swami and Friends introduces us to Narayan’s beloved fictional town of Malgudi, where ten-year-old Swaminathan’s excitement about his country’s initial stirrings for independence competes with his ardor for cricket and all other things British. Written during British rule, this novel brings colonial India into intimate focus through the narrative gifts of this master of literary realism.
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Editorial Reviews

Amit Amit
"The novels R.K. Narayan are the best I have read in any language for a long time....His work gives a conviction that it is possible to capture in English, a language not born of Indian, the distinctive characteristics of Indian family life." -- Daily Telegraph
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345803795
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/25/2012
  • Series: Vintage International
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 459,524
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


R. K. Narayan (1906–2001) was one of the most prominent Indian novelists of the twentieth century. Most of his stories are set in the fictional South Indian town of Malgudi, a place that Narayan populated with numerous characters. He was the recipient of many awards for his work including the National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy, India's highest literary honor. In 1980 he was awarded the AC Benson Medal by the Royal Society of Literature, of which he was an honorary member and in 1982 he was elected an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2005

    The Universality of Boyhood

    Swami and Friends is one of the rare books that one wishes took longer to read. The setting is foreign and fascinating, both culturally and historically, but the characters are recognizable to a former young boy from a small town in the western United States. The nobly-motivated mischief, the innate awareness of the social structure, and the sense of urgency surrounding boyish activities are universal. Narayan's writing reads effortlessly, providing the key details to allow one to understand why the story proceeds as it does.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2000

    Tale of an ordinary Indian boy told simply, powerfully

    R.K. Narayan is quite simply one of the most graceful writers I have ever read. As an Indian, I found that the scenes he described and the characters he chose - like all his characters, simple, ordinary human beings - rang true and reminded me of home. I hadn't read him since my teen-age years back in India. I read this book a few weeks ago (I now live in the U.S.) after reading a long list of European, Latin American and North American authors. And I found Narayan's book more meaningful than most, and a gentler work with a subtle plot set in 1930s India in the fictional town of Malgudi that Narayan has created as his literary mileu. But it is by no means a parochial work. Anyone will find parallels in the tale of Swami and his friends - Mani, Rajam, etc. The writing is lucid, and like the best of writers, Narayan never steals attention from the story with unnecessarily complicated words. A great tale told simply. This is an ideal work to read through quickly and then to return to savor the flavor of Narayan's India and the grace of his outlook and writing. And yes, the book is very funny, too.

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