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The Guide

The Guide

Lowest online price: 135.00 69 (49% off)
Language English
Contributor(s) R. K. Narayan
Binding Paperback
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Overview: The Guide

The Guide, by the well known Indian author R. K. Narayan was written in English and published in 1958. Most of Narayan's stories take place in Malgudi, a fictional town located in the South Indian state of Karnataka. The famous novel tells us of the transformation of a young man named Raju, from an ordinary tourist guide into that of a spiritual guide who goes on to become a highly venerated holy man. The novel brought the author the highest literary award in India, the Sahitya Academy Award for 1960, for fiction in English. The Sahitya Akademi, by the way, is the country's principal academy, established to encourage good writing.

The Guide was written in a purely socio-economic context, at a time when India used to be a country steeped in tradition, with most of the nation's population living in villages. These people were for the most part simple, uneducated, naive and superstitious. As children, they grew up listening to the myths and legends of many sages, gods and goddesses. These myths and legends were permanently imprinted in their minds, and these influenced their way of thinking to a great extent. Hence, Narayan deliberately chooses a village as the background of the novel.

The Guide opens with its central character Raju, released recently from prison, resting on a stone slab near an old village temple. A person belonging to the village sees him and mistakes him for a holy man who had done a miracle for him in the past, while he was facing a dire dilemma. Raju reluctantly accepts the new role thrust upon him and gradually turns into a real saint in the end. And Narayan, the supreme ironist, by means of his gentle humour, reveals the meaninglessness of the situation.

The major theme of The Guide is what makes a man a guru and he goes on to explore the two sides of a question that have baffled many:he asks whether Raju is a true guru as also whether a guru is for real. At a deeper level, it is a question of modernity in India. Can a person remain both modern and traditional at the same time? The answer is like Bob Dylan once sang "is blowing in the wind".

The Guide was also made into a movie starring Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman and directed by Vijay Anand in 1965.

Other best selling books by the author are The Man-Eater of Malgudi and The Vendor of Sweets.

You can buy this book online and get delivered right at your doorstep. Its ISBN-10 number is 0143039644 and ISBN-13 number is 978-0143039648.

Features: The Guide

  • Fiction
Product Details
Language English
Publication Date December 1, 2007
Publisher Indian Thought Publications
Contributor(s) R. K. Narayan
Binding Paperback
Edition 76th Reprint in 2010
Page Count 247
ISBN 10 818598607X
ISBN 13 9788185986074
Dimensions and Weight
Product Dimensions 13.9 cm x 1.1 cm x 21.1 cm
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Most Helpful Reviews
  1.  Simple yet entertaining and uplifting 26 November, 2013 On
    The Guide is, without any doubts, another success book by R.K.Narayan. The book speaks about a journey of transformation of a convict into someone who is worshiped by people as a saint, but without consciously deciding being one. The story turns around Raju and it keeps going back and forth into the past and present time. Raju grew up helping his father with his shop and he later become known as Railway Raju as he set up his new shop, after his father's death, at the newly built railway station and soon he also ventures into a guiding business providing the tourists who come to visit his town's and its surroundings with tours and other arrangements. One of his clients is a young married girl with who Raju helplessly fall in love. This is when his already corrupt soul starts to fully manifest itself and slowly lead him to a jail time.
    As it is with his other books, R.K.Narayan portraits people and their misdemeanors with simple yet true words. What I like about his books is the fact that no matter what he keep his faith in people.
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  2.  R. K. Narayan brings life to a story 4 April, 2013 On
    I really loved the vivid nature of descriptions by the author. Your senses are made to feel the warmth, smell, and the environment of each scene.
    I also read "The Bachelor of Arts" by the same author, which I like more than this book.
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