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The Guide: A Novel (Penguin Classics) Paperback – August 29, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Revised edition (August 29, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143039644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143039648
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.6 x 5.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

R. K. Narayan (1906–2001), born and educated in India, was the author of fourteen novels, numerous short stories and essays, a memoir, and three retold myths. His work, championed by Graham Greene, who became a close friend, was often compared to that of Dickens, Chekhov, Faulkner, and Flannery O'Connor, among others. October 10, 2006, is the centennial of Narayan's birth.


Michael Gorra is a professor of English at Smith College. His books include The Bells in Their Silence: Travels Through Germany and After Empire: Scott, Naipaul, Rushdie.


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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11
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See all 37 customer reviews
The most importent thing about Narayan is the language that he uses through out the book.
Amazon Customer
He draws the reader into his stories with the simplicity of his writing technique, and succeeds in bringing his characters to life.
Vashti Bowlah
The description of everyday of fasting by raju shows beautiful transformation in the petty guide.
Venkat Manthri

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Dr. G. on September 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
Despite other reviewers' insistence that this is a "beach book," "a light read," you should read this book and carefully. Its deprecators need to try again; not everything is to be read and understood on a superficial level. Their comments say more about them than the book, and I wonder if they're not a little condescending. I was always disappointed that Narayan did not win the Nobel for literature; his is a wondrous gift of language and humanity. Your heart and mind will be enriched by reading it, and it will always stay with you.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 29, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The way Narayan interlaces the two different streams of stories in the book is wonderful. The novel is a masterpiece in the way it is written and takes the reader to a visual tour of malgudi lansscape. The way Narayan has developd the city of malgudi is really exemplery. The transformation of Raju from a high society man to a saint is well laid out. The lives of Raju and Rosy has been well presented. The day to day activities around Raju, the saint's, during fasting is also well presented. The whole episode is dramatised to such an extent that we can visualise the whole thing in front of our eyes. The most importent thing about Narayan is the language that he uses through out the book. Its amazing the way he presents the whole novel in such a simple language. The climax is really heart rendering. Narayan holds the readers interest through out the book. A must read for anyone.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Ellen Martin on October 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
N.K. Narayan's The Guide, for which he won the National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy, his country's highest literary honor, is a deep yet wryly humorous examination of the frailties of humans and the meaning and consequences of our actions. The main question seems to be, "Are we creators of our own destinies, or are we mere reactors to the people and circumstances which surround us? And, furthermore, does it really matter, in the end, why we do what we do? Or is the final result the only thing that matters?" What more important inquiry can there be? An entire philosopy course could be taught using this wonderful book as the basis.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Aniruddha G. Kulkarni on May 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
Caveat- if you have watched the Hindi film Guide by Dev Anand and think you already know enough about the book, you are wrong! The author hiself was almost disgusted with the film.

Book is sublime. Raju the guide is very ordinary person but his story shows us how extra-ordinary one's life can become. Indeed it is one. One has to just discover it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Eliyahu on March 23, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am in complete agreement with G. Young's review. In essence, the book is an account of the spiritual journey of a man who becomes a saint despite himself, written with humor, compassion and consummate skill. My favorite book by my favorite author.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nagaraj on April 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Marvellously written book. Winner of the highest literary award in India, the Sahitya Kala Academy Award, this book makes fascinating reading. Among the few books that I managed to finish on an overnight train journey without being able to put down. I am sure it would be a book that would be reread by all those who have read it once. Charecterisations that Narayan weaves for Rosy and Raju are just brilliant. The high point of the book is I think the transformation of Raju, unaware to himself, into a sort of hermit from the guide at the railway station that he used to be.This has come off so beautifully in the book. Quite worth putting your money into. The book was also made into a highly successful movie by the same name staring Dev Anand. This movie,many may not be aware, was also made in English and had its screenplay written by oscar winning screen writer Pearl Buck.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert Reid on November 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is a first-person account of a charmingly neurotic character, whose materialism, protectiveness, and dishonesty lead him to success as often as they get him into trouble. His fortunes rise and fall as a shopkeeper, a tour guide, a lover, and ultimately an unwilling saint. He even finds success and happiness in prison, where his charisma leads him to build many friendships amongst fellow prisoners and security staff alike.

This book successfully treads the narrow space between tragedy and comedy, bringing lightness to an otherwise heavy theme.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Venkat Manthri on August 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
Truly a literary classic, Guide is a brilliant presentation of the master story teller R.K.Narayan. From a petty tourist guide to a swamy the transformation of Raju was depicted with shocking reality and exceptional lyrical beauty. Transformation from the position of a neglected wife to an accomplished dancer of Rosy was another parellel life we see here. Both these lives reaches their pinnacle when raju becomes a swamy and do the wonder because of the belief of people on him. The description of everyday of fasting by raju shows beautiful transformation in the petty guide. The climax is really heartbreaking. Raju puts down his head, leaves this mortal world and it starts raining. It gave me little shrill in my spine and greatest sad feeling. Truely unforgettable work by the master.
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