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Swami and Friends, The Bachelor of Arts, The Dark Room, The English Teacher (Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics) by [Narayan, R. K.]
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Swami and Friends, The Bachelor of Arts, The Dark Room, The English Teacher (Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Length: 650 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“There are writers–Tolstoy and Henry James to name two–whom we hold in awe, writers–Turgenev and Chekhov–for whom we feel a personal affection, other writers whom we respect–Conrad for example–but who hold us at a long arm’s length with their ‘courtly foreign grace.’ Narayan (whom I don’t hesitate to name in such a context) more than any of them wakes in me a spring of gratitude, for he has offered me a second home. Without him I could never have known what it is like to be Indian.” –Graham Greene

“[The English Teacher is] an idyll as delicious as anything I have met in modern literature for a long time. The atmosphere and texture of happiness, and, above all, its elusiveness, have seldom been so perfectly transcribed.” –Elizabeth Bowen

“Narayan’s humour and compassion come from a deep universal well, with the result that he has transformed his imaginary township of Malgudi into a bubbling parish of the world.” –The Observer

“The first writer of his kind…A more accurate guide to modern India than the intellectually more ambitious writers of recent years.” –Pankaj Mishra, The New York Review of Books.


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

R K Narayan's writing spans the greatest period of change in modern Indian history, from the days of the Raj - Swami and Friends (1935), The Bachelor of Arts (1937) and The English Teacher (1945) - to recent years of political unrest - The Painter of Signs (1976), A Tiger for Malgudi (1983), and Talkative Man (1987). He has published numerous collections of short stories, including Malgudi Days (1982), and Under the Banyan Tree (1985), and several works of non-fiction.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4655 KB
  • Print Length: 650 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman's Library (May 29, 2009)
  • Publication Date: June 3, 2009
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002BH5HP8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #878,678 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tanstaafl VINE VOICE on April 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book contains four novellas. In reality it is 2400 pages in only 600. While many writers take twenty pages to write what should have taken up no more than ten, Narayan took those ten pages and wrote them better in five.

He draws you into the world of his characters so quickly and thoroughly you are amazed that so much was told in such a small space. Each of these four novellas take place in Malguti, a fictional town in South India. Narayan wrote these in the 1930's and 40's, While it would be helpful to have some knowledge of the India at that time, it isn't required to enjoy his writing. This Everyman's Library edition has a time line of his career along with world and literary events for each time period. This was most helpful as an introduction to Narayan's works.

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Swami and Friends: This is an example of "boys will be boys" no matter where they live. They can be studious or laggard; helpful or cruel; friendly or surly; humble or haughty or all at the same time. As I read this I kept thinking of the "Little Rascals". Those of you too young to know about them (aka "Our Gang") owe it to yourself to try to find copies to watch.

Swami is an underachiever who lacks self-confidence and tries to get it vicariously from his friends. This is both an amusing and moving novella. Like so many of us in youth, Swami, to others, is so ignorant; but to himself his brilliance knows no bounds. He is a master at rationalizing his actions, yet so in need of love and support.

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The Bachelor of Arts: Young men will also be young men. We journey with Chandran from college (What do I want to do when I grow up?) to after (I've grown up! What am I going to do?). There's love and disappointment. There's hope and disillusionment.
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Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed these carefully crafted novellae. I particularly like 'Swami & Friends', which reinforced the universal forces that act upon children -- loyalty, belonging, and love. I also thought the 'Dark Room' was an excellent work, contrasting the response of an upper-class Indian housewife's ultimately failed attempt at rebellion with her husband's lack of appreciation for what he has. I highly recommend Narayan's work -- a window into Raj and post-Raj India with few peers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was the stuff I was looking for: The English Teacher contains a thinly veiled autobiographical account of the death of Narayan's wife. It was very interesting to learn about Hindu death and cremation services. The account of how he used a medium to get in touch with her spirit, who was constantly watching over him and their child, was riveting.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just re-read The Dark Room, which has stayed with me for years and years. I found it even more heartbreaking than before. Narayan helps the reader inhabit and personalities and feelings of characters very quickly. Years ago, I remember being terribly moved by The English Teacher, which I will re-read again soon. He is a treasure.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am writing this review for the Kindle version of R.K.Narayan's set of 4 novels, "Swami and friends", "Bachelor of arts", "The Dark room" and "The English Teacher".

Though the novels are great by themselves, the reason I am rating 3 for this is because of the following reasons:
1) At many places, the formatting of the punctuations, word splits, spelling of proper nouns, etc are incorrect and hence can get irritating at times while reading in a good flow.

2) Also, in certain chapters of Swami and friends, the story gets disconnected and abruptly some other chapter's part comes in, which is of course highly undesirable.

So, I would suggest any of you to rather pay more and get a better Kindle version than this one.

Thanks.
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