Paul's Reviews > The Guide

The Guide by R.K. Narayan
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's review
Apr 12, 2011

really liked it
Read in April, 2011

The writing is quite spare and there is little description of the backdrop of the novel, apart from what is necessary.
The Guide is about Raju, who tells his story in the present and past. He has been in prison and has taken refuge in an empty temple by a river. The locals begin to believe he is a holy man. Interspersed is the story of Raju's past, his childhood, his time as a tourist guide. Then his affair with a married woman and its consequences. Raju is a rogue who is often self serving, but has some likeable qualities. The end is left open; has Raju really become a holy man as he fasts for rain.
There is a strong comedic element in the book, but it is also a fable. Human issues are addressed rather than politics directly and critics have pointed out that there is little to relate the book to a time or political background. Hence, I think the fable element.
It has been suggested that Narayan is easy to read and hard to understand. He is certainly easy to read, but the end of the novel is enigmatic; The Guide is certainly thought provoking.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Petra Eggs I love Narayan so I really want to read this book.

Paul I had read the critics first, so didn't know what to expect; but I generally ignore what others think and it was an excellent and enjoyable read

Petra Eggs I finally read it. I also gave it 4 stars. I wouldn't have read it if I hadn't read your review, so thank you :-)

Paul Always a pleasure Petra!

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