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The Man-Eater of Malgudi Mass Market Paperback – 1965


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Four Square (1965)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000CSZHQM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By premlata shankavaram on June 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
"Man eater of Malgudi" by R.K. Narayan,one of India's first internationally-known writers who chose to write in English, is easily one of the author' best works. Vasu,a big blustering bully, moves into the lazy little South Indian town of Malgudi,the fictional town in which nearly all of Narayan's stories are set, and overturns the life of Nataraj the town's printer. A colourful retinue of other characters: the "sizzling" prostiute Rangi,a poet, Nataraj's practical assistant, the lovable temple elephant Kumar...all add to the novel unique charm and fascination. Much of the novel's complexity lies in the fact that Narayan loosely bases his tale on the ancient Indian myth of a blustering demon Bhasmasura who terrorises the world of mortals. Much has been written about Narayan's 'comic vision'. Beneath the frothy light-heartedness of 'Man eater...' is a serious and complex exploration of many issues central to life in modern India - an individual's caste and how it determines his life and relationship with others, the battle between 'good' and 'evil' and how these values are determined by a society, the confrontation between modernity and tradition - a way of life which is thoudands of years old.These issues are further highlighted by the fact that Narayan uses English the language of 'modern' India and, at the same time, adopts the rhytmns, sytanctic structures and diction which make for a unique brand of 'Indian English' The novel also transcends the regional in that it touches on some of the tragi-comedy of human life, some of the boredom, horror and glory that make up our existence.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nikhil Iyer on June 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a story of the triumph good over evil. In some ways it is much like the many mythological stories told to young Indian children at temples and schools by their elders.

The important thing in those tales and in this one as well, is to realize that just because something is "evil", it isnt entirely unholy or deviod of any good. Bhasmasura, the demon whom this tale is based on, was a very powerful and devoted disciple of God. Similarly, Vasu has his strengths as well. The reader will notice how the two faces of the same coin start merging. The simple print shop owner who was docile and timid enough to print the lawyer's invites for "free" changes over the course of the book to become more street wise and less of a push over much like Vasu.

Every form has its good and bad. R. K. Narayan wraps up this little nugget of truth with some very humurous touches in The Man-Eater of Malgudi.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By premlata shankavaram on June 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
'Man eater of Malgudi' by R.K. Narayan, one of India's first internationally acclaimed writers who chose to write in English, can easily be rated one of the author's his best efforts. A story set in the small South Indian town of Malgudi in which most of Narayan's stories are set,'Mane eater ...' captures much of the mind-bogglingly intricate aspects of modern Indian life. Much of the complexity of the novel comes from the fact that Narayan's plot is loosely based on the Indian myth of 'Basmasura' a powerful demon who wreaks havoc on the world and is finally destroyed in the most ridiculous manner. Much has been written and said about 'Narayan's comic world view'. It is perhaps wise to think of this novel as a good instance of the writer's amazingly complicated use of the comic mode - under the light-heartedness, charm and cheer is a powerful awareness of the complexities of Indian society and indeed,life itself : the conflict between tradition and modernity, the intricate inter-caste dynamics which dictate the way characters think and relate to each other, the war between 'good' and 'evil', 'weak and 'strong'. Narayan captures some of the beauty, the sadness, the laughter and the glory of human existence. The author's use of English is especially interesting because Narayan's very 'Indian' English capttures the syntactic structures and rhythmns of India's native languages. Besides,the use of a 'modern' Western language in this little Indian town which is still deeply rooted in a way of life which is thousands of years old, itself signifies some of the novel's themes.Narayan's mode of story-telling owes much much to the ancient Indian tradition of ofolk-narrative . One can say without any much, exaggeration that this one of the best books in English ever written by an Indian.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Without revealing too much of the plot, I just want to say one thing.

A friend of mine handed this book to a White American, telling him, "This will explain the Indian mindset to you."

I can't think of another book that would do a better job. No one can summarize a billion people in a single book, but at least as far as middle-class Indian men go, Nataraj is as close to the quintessential Indian as I have ever read. Set in a different world fifty years ago, but still as real today as it was then.
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