Event Update: RK Narayan Readalong

Have I told you that I read my first book of RK Narayan in 2012? It was a hot summer day. I squatted in front of my tiny bookshelf, picked up Malgudi Days, and blew the dust on the cover. After reading the introduction, I ran to my Father, who was watching 1983 Cricket World Cup for the 14th time. 🙂 I exclaimed, “Appa, Malgudi is a fictitious place.” Father laughed out loud. He held his belly and kept laughing. “What is wrong with you? Everybody knows that Malgudi is not real.” He continued to guffaw. My ego was slightly bruised. But that didn’t matter, for I was about to travel to one of the extraordinary literary places.

A friend asked me once if I were given a chance, would I go to Hogwarts or Malgudi. Without thinking for a moment, I chose the latter. But are you surprised? 🙂

So, I am having a whale of a time now. I am delighted to read your blogs on RK Narayan’s books. Thank you very much for participating. If you were not able to join, please don’t worry. I would love to read your thoughts on Narayan’s books whenever you write. So, please continue to let me know if you blog about RK Narayan.

Here are the links to other blogs:

Katy from A Library Mama read A Tiger for Malgudi and The Man-Eater for Malgudi.

An excerpt from her blog:
I won’t be adding R. K. Narayan to my personal list of favorite authors, but I am glad to have experienced this slice of India.  If you are the type of reader who enjoys character-driven stories featuring the quirky residents of small city and don’t mind that the residents are mostly all male (though this might not be true of all his books – my sampling is quite small), and would like to feel immersed in India, I would recommend that you look into his books.

My dearest friend Heidi read A Tiger for Malgudi too.

An excerpt from her blog:
I found Narayan’s writing in A Tiger for Malgudi to be more complex than in his charming Swami and Friends. Still he maintained the ease of telling his story in a way that draws the reader in, line by line, until we feel that we are experiencing his stories firsthand. I found this story to be more complex and more difficult to understand. Let me explain! Throughout the story I was painfully aware that my lack of knowledge about the Hindu religion was hampering my full understanding of any number of references that were made, or insinuated. When I finished the story I was quite fascinated to think of Raja (such a splendid name for a Tiger) and his life. I think that Narayan was effectively trying to see the human qualities that Raja, and other animal species such as the other circus animals contain. Man is not so different from his animal friends as sometimes is pompously thought. A beautiful example was that Raja’s conversations with the other animals were so reassuring to him, and he missed those words when he was cruelly isolated from the other animals.

Sarah from Hard Book Habit read his first novel Swami and Friends.

An excerpt from her blog:
The tales of Swami along with his pals, Mani and Rajam, reminded me of Richmal Crompton’s Just William stories, with the boys showing a reluctance to go to school and always getting into scrapes and high jinks. There is even an incident where the boys attend a ‘Quit India’ movement demonstration in protest at Lancashire cotton flooding the market and threatening the livelihoods of local weavers. The boys can’t pass up the opportunity to throw stones at the windows of their daily imprisonment – the school. In this way, Narayan manages to point to the wider political climate of the time, but all the while filtered through the eyes of these young boys. 

Janani from The Shrinkette was washed over by a wave of nostalgia. She reread Malgudi Days.

An excerpt from her blog:
His writing style definitely reminds you of Chekov and O-Henry, masters of the short story format. It is amazing how much the man can compress into a story that’s all of 4-6 pages in length. What a versatile storyteller, I’m so glad I loved this just as much as I did when I read it for the first time as a teenager. 

My lovely, lovely friend Bina read my favourite book — The English Teacher.

An excerpt from her blog:
Another aspect that drew me in was how Narayan would treat colonialism, especially regarding Krishna’s occupation as an  English teacher. Without making this the focus of the novel or taking a stance directly, Narayan does criticize the educational system colonialism has put into place.

And, I read the cute The World of Nagaraj.

Many thanks once again! I hope you had fun. And don’t forget to let me know if you read more of Narayan.

Also, I will post my thoughts on Narayan’s The Guide — one of the most celebrated books — in a couple of days. 🙂

BeFunky Collage

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12 thoughts on “Event Update: RK Narayan Readalong

  1. Lovely round-up Deepika. Loved reading all the others’ opinions about RKN. I’m enjoying the readalong.
    PS: I’m yet to start The English Teacher. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for hosting this.lovely readathong, Deepika, I loved getting to.know Narayan’s writing and the world of.Malgudi. You are right to be disappointed that it’s fictitious 🙂 I will post my thoughts in Malgudi Days this week!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so late to tell you how thrilled I was that you hosted the Narayan readalong. I somehow faded away when I couldn’t get my blog to link, but got one of the “Dummies” series of books to help. Although, must admit it is just taking up space on my desk at the moment. I delighted in reading all of the readers comments. I also read “The Painter of Signs” but haven’t written about it yet. My summer reading plan is to pull out more Narayan from the stack that I acquired. Thank you so much for organizing the read along. It was my first, and I felt very happy to participate.

    Liked by 1 person

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