Probably one of the most famous fictional cities in India, Malgudi was a little part of my childhood too!
#theguywiththebookreview presents The Man-eater of Malgudi by R.K. Narayan.
Set in Malgudi (based somewhere in South India) we have Natraj, a very hardworking owner of a small 2 man printing press which is also a daily place to socialize for a couple of local men. Sastri is Natraj’s assistant and the book sets off in a very relaxed pace until Vasu, a taxidermist moves to town and somehow manages to rent out Natraj’s attic but never pays him a dime.
Vasu has ironically a very straight forward approach when it comes to getting things done but has no problem twisting things when it comes to being responsible for his own actions.
The Malgudi series of books seem to have been a very genuine commentary on Indian culture and way of life. Through the inclusion of a ‘loose’ woman and the different reactions of men to her presence Narayan manages to seamlessly navigate through and deconstruct the thoughts of different people.
Midway through the plot picks up pace and the final 25 pages take a very intriguing turn in events and the book is no longer just a social tale.
I think the brilliance with Narayan’s approach of using a fictional town is to detach the characters and events from any particular place and via fiction make us all look into ourselves transparently. (I don’t know if this makes sense but it’s been 5 minutes and I don’t know how to say this any other way)
Pick this up! Rating 🐘/5
Click HERE to buy. (This is linked to a 2 in 1 book which also includes A Tiger for Malgudi)