Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Vendor of Sweets” as Want to Read:
The Vendor of Sweets
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Vendor of Sweets

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  1,281 ratings  ·  64 reviews
A widower of Gandhian principles, Jagan harbours affection for his son Mali. Yet even Jagan's patience begins to fray when Mali descends on the city of Malgudi full of modern notions. From different generations and different cultures, father and son are forced to confront each other, and are taken by surprise.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published June 1st 1993 by Penguin Classics (first published 1967)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The God of Small Things by Arundhati RoyA Fine Balance by Rohinton MistryThe White Tiger by Aravind AdigaMidnight's Children by Salman RushdieThe Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Best Indian Books
77th out of 585 books — 1,749 voters
2 States by Chetan BhagatI Too Had A Love Story.. by Ravinder SinghThe 3 Mistakes of My Life by Chetan BhagatRevolution 2020 by Chetan BhagatThe Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi
Indian Books - Fiction
289th out of 704 books — 1,865 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,353)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Fatema Hassan , bahrain

أول قراءة لي للروائي الهندي آر كي نارايان و ليست مشجعة أبدًا،فالرواية باهتة دون محفز يجعلك تواصل القراءة و تعالج الأحداث بسطحية خالية من العمق والتشويق ، في أحد أطياف المجتمع الهندي ( التاميل ) يكدح جاجان بائع الحلوى الذي يربي إبنه الوحيد مالي بعد وفاة والدته ، رتابة حياته أكثر ما في تفاصيلها أمانًا فالروتين زاده الهندي على ما يبدو و أي تغيير ولو طفيف سيكون بمثابة إشعاع روحاني سلبي وشرير يحاول غزو رتابته ، وهذا ما يهدد حياته الآمنة فولده الذي نشأ بينهما حاجز الصمت الذي جعلهما أغراب في بيت واحد ك
Khaled Mohamed
تنتمى هذه الرواية إلى الرواية العائلية فهى تشبه رواية القوس والفراشة لـ محمد الأشعرى لأننا فى الروايتين فى مواجهة بانوراما عائلية , اللغة فى هذه الرواية سلسة جداً على عكس رواية القوس والفراشة بالرغم من أن رواية القوس والفراش يظهر فيها ألقاً فى الأستعارات ورشاقة فى الأسلوب أكثر مما ظهر فى هذه الرواية, لكن كاتب هذه الرواية أمسك كل تفاصيلها بإحكام ورسم شخصياتها بدقة ولذلك أستمتعت بقرائتها حقاً
Written in the late 60s and probably set at about the same time (I don't know the history well enough to pinpoint: clues are the increasing use of private motorcars in provincial cities, the liquor prohibition laws which provide a pivotal plot point, a 60-year old who went to jail as a youth for civil disobedience as a follower of Ghandi and some sort of early computer).
The story is loosely about the old India versus the new. The son of the titular sweetshop proprietor goes off to America for a
This was a nice read; light and refreshing after finishing dense and menacing “Woman in white” by Wilkie Collins. This is a story of contradictions between a father and a son. Father is average and very normal Indian Father who is constantly worried about his son’s future and who irrespective of seeing his expectations crushed every day keep loving his useless son. Then scenes from the past when Jagan himself was a son portrayed the irony of parents’ and childerns’ relationship in humorous way. ...more
I find it hard to review this book, or even to pin down what I liked so much about it. Mostly, I think I enjoyed the window into a life with very different touchstones and sign posts from my own.

The main character is (perhaps not surprisingly) a person who owns a store that makes and sells candy in the Indian village where he lives and grew up. We gradually get to know him and the world as seen by him. The people who work in his shop, his son (whose point of view would probably be more familiar
Ashish Gautam
Typical R K Narayan story.. sweet, simple centered in malgudi portraying the later age days of a genuine, selfless and satyagrahi turned sweet shop owner. His life is full of grief due to society and above all his own spoilt son. Narayan has beautifully portraid the helplessness of an indian father with his traditional values against his son returned from america with a girl and a lot of foolishness.
Enjoy to read and it is very sad but practical to understand the feelings of jagan, the shop owne
Khalid Almajed
رواية بسيطة في المفردات وسهلة في فهم الأفكار وهي أول قراءة لي للروايات الهندية .. تدور أحداث الرواية بين الأب جاجان وابنه مالي

الراوية كتبت باللغة الإنجليزية وتم نشرها لأول مرة في أمريكا وبريطانياعام
الرواية في مقامها الأول تتحدث عن تربية الرفاهية أو كما نسميها بالعاميّة "الدلع" وكيف أن الأب يحاول تربية ابنه عن طريق تلبية جميع احتياجاته واغراقه بالمال. الأب يعارض بعض أفكار ابنه ويحاول مناقشته فيها لكن في نهاية الأمر يستسلم الأب أو يخشى ازعاج ابنه أحياناً ثم يعطي كل شيء لأبنه حتى انتهت هيبة واحتر
Thus I conclude that if one wants to live many lives or many places, one must read books; more and more of them. But I adore the memory of that little self sufficient town with lives so simple yet characters so complex in each other’s company. The monotony I never admired is interesting when I read the lives of Malgudi. There is no day distinctive from the other in Malgudi, yet there is much to graze as the prying of private lives will never come to a stop.

I have been browsing much simpler word
Rishi Prakash
Yet another very well written story my the great man where he brings out the much seen and debated East-West conflict between two generations of an Indian family. It is the conflict between a genuine Indian or Eastern father and his Western-bred son. RK was way ahead of time when he highlighted this issue which we started hearing a lot much later.

Going abroad for studies is still a big thing in India so we can easily understand the enormity of the event in our Malgudi town! Every single letter
Deepa Swaminathan
Secretly, Jagan’s mind was bothered as to why there was always an invisible barrier between him and his son. He had never been harsh to the boy. Yet, reading a sense into the boy’s actions was fatiguing, like the attempt to spell out a message in a half familiar script!

R.K. Narayan :

Every Indian is well acquainted with the portrayals of South Indian primitive village life by the great author R.K.Narayan, the creator of the fictional yet famous Malgudi.
His articles, fictional stories, retold e
One of the best classics EVER. It's rich with Indian culture and family traditions versus the modern man's world. Jagan, the 'vendor of sweets', is an old man running the business of making and selling sweets. He is a man devoted to Bhagavad Gita (an ancient Indian scripture 'song of God'), and is a keen follower and supporter of Mahatma Gandhi, which shaped his young adulthood life into a short prison term during the 40s Ghandi movement. Jagan has unconditional love for his son Mali, who eventu ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shimaa srour
اثنان ونصف
اعتمد المؤلف على رسم المفارقه بين ما عاناه جاجان في صباه وشبابه من سطوة التقاليد الغير مفهومة بالنسبة اليه ومن العادات الباليه التي تطوق حياته وتقيد حريته
وبين محاولة فرض جاجان نفس التقاليد على ابنه مالي ولو حتى بصورة مختلفة
باختصار صراع بين جيلين
فقط حاول ان تستبدل العادات والتقاليد الهندية بالعادات والتقاليد الخاصه ببلدك ولن تلاحظ أي فرق
احببت كثيرا الاجزاء لخاصة باستعراض الحياة الاجتماعية والسياسيه في الهند
طاهر الزهراني
رواية سلسلة، وظريفة، تتحدث عن صدمة الحضارة، وهي فكرة كانت متدوالة في الرواية قبل خمسين سنة، لاحظت انه هناك أخطاء في بناء الشخصيات إذ انه يبني شخصية ثم يهدم ما بناه بكلمة او جملة غير مقصودة، أيضا الفصل الثاني عشر من الرواية كان مجانيا، ولم يقدم شيئا للحدث العام بل أخرج القراء عن اجواء الرواية بمقدار 40 ص تقريبا، أما بالنسبة للترجمة لم تكن بذاك فقد خذلت المترجمة أمور منها اللغة ، في النهاية هي رواية ظريفة ومناسبة للأطفال أيضا ..
Everything was perfect, until the ending...
Mirang Shah
Unlike other novels by RK Narayana , this novel wander on various matters due to which , I felt its loosing it's track & leading towards boredom , felt tough to go ahead ..
Still anyhow , I finished in longer time than a 180 page novel usualy takes .
Inshort , if you are a fan of RK Narayana , expecting his same mastery in storytelling with this one aswell , you might feel disappointed .
The prose as usual plays a pivotal role in bringing the joy to the reader. This is the story about a sweet vendor Jagan, who finds it difficult to understand his son Mali. Mali has been depicted with a stone heart role and his meaning for living the life as it goes . just describes how self centered he is with every one. The author hasn't mentioned any where about the character's attitude directly, but that is the way the author has showed his diplomacy and left things to the readers to have the ...more
Frederick Glaysher
The Vendor of Sweets. R. K. Narayan.

India’s Kali Yuga…. December 21, 2000

The novelist R. K. Narayan (1906-2001) was born into a Tamil-speaking, Brahmin family. For several years he attended Christian schools in Madras, where he was raised by his grandmother, a devout Hindu who taught him the traditional songs and prayers. His fiction often presents a persona who undergoes a crisis that drives him back in some way to a resolution suffused with an evocation of the Hindu past. Often portrayed as a
El Templo de las Mil Puertas
Jagan tiene 60 años y una tienda de dulces. Vive en la India y hace de la tradición el eje espiritual que guía su vida: reza diariamente, come sólo lo que necesita y valora la austeridad por encima de cualquier mentalidad empresarial. Sólo hay algo en lo que no escatima gastar su dinero: su hijo Mali, para quien tiene prevista la mejor educación en la universidad. Él, en cambio, tiene otros planes: quiere irse a América, y quiere ser escritor.

Jagan, aconsejado por «el primo», su máximo confident
Prateek Gupta
Time is a strange teacher. It makes you act contrary to all your desires and judgements.

R.K Narayan’s "The Vendor of Sweets" is composed in simple, lucid English that can be read and understood without turning and returning the pages after a single read.

After reading this novel, Narayan’s maturity in handling sensitive issues comes into picture. The book revolves around the theme of generation gap. The son considers his father’s lifestyle redundant and draggy and does not care to understand him,
It was a sheer pleasure to read such an amazing prose by R.K. Narayan! So many things were said in such a simple language that you could feel every inch of what each characters were going through. Specially the journey of ‘the vendor of sweets’ Jagan’s changing thought flows, his Gandhian principles, his Bhagavad Gita preaching (which sometimes he himself could not follow) all seemed very realistic and also the conflict between Jagan and his son Mali was portrayed beautifully. But I truly expect ...more
Ritesh Patnaik
Its a good typical R.K.Narayan book.. As a 14year old , I liked it upto a certain extent.. But not that good that I'll re-read it .. If I've to pick up a book, it surely won't be this one.
Sathwik Sharma
A book with an awesome description,an optimistic way of explaining things..a long life of a vendor in a remote village..a relationship that's partially lived for and an accidental Transformation in a man..
Mallee Stanley
One of Narayan's best set in his fictional village in South India like all his tales that I've read
struggle between tradition and technology, old and modern western ways
Aruna Kumar Gadepalli
Interesting and quick read. usual Narrative style of R.K. Narayan.
Gouri Shankar
As usual R.K.'S style of writing ....impressive !
A beautiful little book about a man coming to terms with his life.
Dhananjayan Jayabal
Ending is not good again
Jan 09, 2008 L.J. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: general
Good book, excellent character driven narrative with believable conflict and interesting outcome. A good book for someone like myself that is not familiar with Indian culture but also just a really good read as it makes a strong case on many levels that transcend the subjects being Indian. The story works because it can relate to so many traditional/modernity struggles and a reader can become better acquainted with the culture and problems but understand the human level behind such conflict whic ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 78 79 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Late Bourgeois World
  • The London Novels
  • Facial Justice
  • The Aerodrome
  • The Mandelbaum Gate
  • Sweet Dreams
  • Falstaff
  • The Disenchanted
  • Autobiography of Anthony Trollope
  • The Anti-Death League
  • Dubin's Lives
  • Meghaduta Of Kalidasa
  • The Groves of Academe
  • Cocksure
  • Untouchable
  • The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch
  • The Autobiography of William Butler Yeats
  • The Fox in the Attic (The Human Predicament, #1)
R. K. Narayan is among the best known and most widely read Indian novelists writing in English.

R.K. Narayan was born in Madras, South India, in 1906, and educated there and at Maharaja's College in Mysore. His first novel, Swami and Friends and its successor, The Bachelor of Arts, are both set in the enchanting fictional territory of Malgudi and are only two out of the twelve novels he based there
More about R.K. Narayan...
Malgudi Days Swami and Friends The Guide The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic The English Teacher

Share This Book

“Certain things acquired an evil complexion if phrased, but remained harmless in the mind.” 4 likes
More quotes…