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The Financial Expert

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  693 ratings  ·  42 reviews
In The Financial Expert, R. K. Narayan once again transports readers to the southern Indian town of Malgudi. This story centers around the life and pursuits of Margayya, a man of many hopes but few resources, who spends his time under the banyan tree offering expert financial advice to those willing to pay for his knowledge. Margayya's rags-to-riches story brings forth the ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 1st 1999 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1952)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,196)
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Katerina
First thought - this book is made to be read in English. I had a French copy and I believe that I have missed the spirit of it.

Nevertheless I consider it as an incredible portrait of a man in the Indian society, or even, I will go further, any traditional eastern society. All the battle between the internal hesitations, very human feelings and the need of being accepted by the people around who have literaly nothing to do with you. All the hypocrisy of the socity and many many other problems wh
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Rishi Prakash
The Master story teller comes out with yet another classic book here. Infact it is one of the best that I have read so far. I am surprised that it has not been made into a movie yet because it has all ingradients to entertain us.
Coming to the story, it tells us about the time in British India when they established community banks to encourage a habit of thrift and to create a system of orderly loans. They did this specially to empower the poor people(which was majority of the population that ti
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James
This is a witty and luminous novel set in the backward town of Malgudi in southern India. It is a world created by R. K. Narayan and like Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County it is memorable and filled with characters that come alive on the page. The Financial Expert of the title is a man named Margayya who sits in a public park dispensing advice on economic matters to people who revere him. Throughout the novel the reader is introduced to several characters that may seem to play only a minor role, b ...more
Jasveer Singh
After watching a TV series based on Malgudi Days, I decided to give this book a try. But It beat crap out of my course books at being dull.
The story drags without much happening and then suddenly it ends with as much logic as it started. When Narayan had been scribbling the boring story for around six months, it got to the nerves of his wife and one morning she said, "Hey you old man! Finish this crap or else no breakfast for you". So obeyed R.K.
A village financial adviser(the protagonist) ente
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Allison
This book is part of my Masters Degree syllabus under "Indian Literature in English". Before I started the book, I was not very keen on reading it and only did so for my studies' sake. Although I have read many books in Indian languages, I had never read an English book by an Indian. I was sure the it would be slow paced and about everyday life of ordinary people. (As opposed to the fantasy and thriller genres that I so enjoy). But once I started reading the book, it just pulled me in. The langu ...more
Sankrutyayan
To start off lightly, this book like any other R.K.Narayan's works will have all the usual characters of Malgudi and those beautiful roads,river,temple etc. But unlike all his works this book was indifferent, as if it had been written out of no purpose at all or with very less inventiveness. As the background is always the same i.e Malgudi, I am happy till there but there is something lacking. And this is only my opinion, I'm in no position to talk of his great work but for me it seemed similar ...more
Daniel
Narayan belongs with Dostoevsky and Chekhov as writers who at once capture both the intimate peculiarities of their fellow countrymen and the common ordinariness of all human lives. Here he returns again to fictional Malgudi, with a tale of a money lender and his son that might be called ‘The Prodigal Father’. Narayan’s sly yet gentle irony and his elliptical dialogue are both put to superb use.
Anil
Another masterpiece from R.K.Narayan. As always, the author creates a fantastic movie in the reader's mind and keeps the reader lively and blissful. Many who have given bad rating to this book have to understand the Indian society and living around 50 years back. Margayya is a wonderful character creation. The book will not let you stop reading it until you complete it. Simple and very detail book!
Sneh Pradhan
Reading this book was a return to my teenage idol-worship of R.K. Narayan's books , each and every one of ém ........Even now , when I am more used to reading pacy , and those twist-and-turn rich tales .......... I savour this detour from those busy, trafficked roads to the irresistible charm of a lazy bullock-cart ride on a quaint Indian village road . Narayan has never failed or , even slipped in his at once , incise and gripping portrayal of Indian village life , As always , letting you live ...more
ej cullen
Charming little book, more like a 245 page short story in its minimalist compactness. Larry Flynt meets Bernie Madoff in India. Only problem is in the last few pages, where Narayan can't seem to get the plane of denouement off the long runway and into the air.
Ajitabh Pandey
The author R.K. Narayan has created a funny character in this book. Overall a decent read.
Ensiform
Set in the mythical village of Malgudi, this subtle book tells the story of Margayya, a self-appointed financial wizard who helps peasants with their money matters. One day, after being shamed by a peon at the big Co-Operative Bank, he decides to become very wealthy. He goes to a priest, performs the rituals, and gets into a variety of money making schemes, offering high interest rates for the villagers’ savings. But when Dr. Pal, the learned journalist, gets too friendly with Margayya’s spoiled ...more
Kaustuv Baral
If one has to know about typical Indian sensibilities one should simply read RK Narayan books. For an Indian, reading through the pages is like himself enacting the story- as at the some point either we have seen this happening or have been a part of it. RK Narayan delves into the Indian common man psyche and presents his story. Financial expert was quirky, funny, engaging and never ever boring. The plot which shows the entire life of the Financial expert- his ups and downs leaves you with a kin ...more
Diane Lynn
A very good story set during the late 1930's and into the 1940's. Another of R.K. Narayan's tales set in his fictional town of Malgudi, India. Through Narayan's wonderful witty prose, we get to know Margayya, the "financial expert", his family and all of their many problems. Malgudi is a very ordinary town filled with ordinary people. Margayya is really just looking to make a quick buck lakh rupee with as little work as possible. He really is very devious and shady. He enjoys advising people in ...more
Ajay


Another marvellous penmanship by RK Narayan. At every review of his books, I at least mention his name once to show my gratitude to his works. This particular pick,is no where less to the royal writing set up by the author. The book as it goes by its name is the story about Margayya. His life started with a small set up under the banyan tree in front of the corporation bank as a financier. He ran hither and thither to taste money. But that never stopped him from making it plenty and finally end
...more
Vic Parsons
Narayan is a great Indian writer. The edition I read, courtesy of a friend, had an intro by the Editors of Time that said Narayan was likely the last of the Indian writers in English because it was the language of the colonizers. How wrong they were! Indian nationals, and writers of Indian ancestry living in both Canada and the U.S. are among the most creative and prominent of today's literary artists.
Ankush Agrawal
This was my first book by this author and I must say the style of writing is good. The subtle humor weaved along with engrossing story makes you feel as if you are a part of the protagonist. You share in the feelings of the main character and would have wanted to help him in any way possible. It truly is an interesting read.
Tenzin Gyaltsen
India and her people struggling to earn their living through various means, even discarding some bold and socially intended beneficial ideas, like many around around the world. Margaya, the main character in the novel even goes to the extend of following strict religious rituals to gain wealth, though he doesn't believes in so when he was well off. This one of the many acts of man, shows he desperate a man can be to fulfill his desires. The author, R. K. Narayan also explores the nature and zeal ...more
Aruna Kumar Gadepalli
What makes R.K. Narayan's story interesting - the narrative style the human nature and the way the life is narrated.
Vandana R
Nothing like RKN to set the mood right. His writing are drenched with irony,philosophy and MALGUDI.
The Financial Expert is a man of his words, the best money-manager you can find. The story weaves the complexities of his family,society and career relationship with sarcasm,logic and a subtle mockery.
RKN is undoubtedly one of my favorites. He knows his country and the minds of Indians ,which makes it easy to relate. You can stare at the mirror and find a little of the financial expert in you,pro
...more
Sachin
Typical Narayan's style, typical of Malgudi,
A Must read to get insight into the world of Malgudi and Margayya.
The person approaching Margayya, who offered him the manuscript, is also interesting
And like the revival of Granny from the pyre in, "Waiting for the Mahatma", melodrama prevails here too with the sudden disapperance of Margayya's son and his supposed death.

Overall a novel offering insight into the world of Malgudi.
russell barnes
By crikey, I had to dog my way through this. Despite the usual excuses - people visiting, being drunk, couldn't be bothered - for some reason I couldn't get into it. I think like The World of Nagaraj, it suffers from the main protagonist being both exceedingly pompous and very vexing at the same time.

How does he do it? It's coming your way Louise
Bernie
If you can only read ONE book in your whole life…or only take ONE book with you to a desert island it should be this…and also "Woman in White" (Wilkie Collins).

THE FUNNIEST AND TRUEST BOOK EVER> Okay, also the third desert-island book should be "A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry.
Bob
Sep 01, 2011 Bob rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: asia
The narrative seemed very jerky to me, moving past whole years without tying up loose ends at the end of scenes, and much of the humor seemed dated. What I did like was the characterizations of Margayya and his wife, which seemed true, painful, and familiar.
♫ ℬuggy  ❀ ℛeviewer ツ
It was somewhat great since it took me to a whole new world- a simple village Malgudi. There were also lots of vocublar texts. This is purely a work of claqssic litrature-proper English and humor sprinkled charecters. Back when there used to be a British rule over India.
Bharath Kumar
A very interesting and captivating book. I was not able to keep the book aside when I was reading it. R.K. Narayan is very good at bringing about a nice and colorful description of his characters and this book was not different in that way.
Gautam Sudev
the characters of the story highights the effervescent images scene on india,When we think about the realm of moneylending sharks across india...the story succeeded rubbing the wounds of the self-Esteem of a banker...loved reading this:)
John Eapen
Very nice unpredictable story
Ashima
Simply laxman :). Takes you back to the scenes from Malgudi Days (if you have seen the series). One can easily picture Margayya sitting under the old tree with his box :). Easy read and perfect for a lazy Sunday!
Anupama M
Nov 09, 2014 Anupama M added it
Shelves: my-books
i liked this book . it is very thought provoking. it teaches us that money will come and go someday and we should not be a spendthrift as one day we will be poor.
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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
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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

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