Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Tiger for Malgudi” as Want to Read:
A Tiger for Malgudi
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Tiger for Malgudi

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,375 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
A venerable tiger, old and toothless now, looks back over his life from cubhood and early days roaming wild in the Indian jungle. Trapped into a miserable circus career as 'Raja the magnificent', he is then sold into films (co-starring with a beefy Tarzan in a leopard skin) until, finding the human world too brutish and bewildering, he makes a dramatic bid for freedom. R.K ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 1st 1994 by Penguin Classics (first published August 4th 1983)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Tiger for Malgudi, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Tiger for Malgudi

2 States by Chetan BhagatI Too Had a Love Story by Ravinder SinghThe 3 Mistakes of My Life by Chetan BhagatThe Immortals of Meluha by Amish TripathiRevolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat
Indian Books - Fiction
849 books — 2,296 voters
The God of Small Things by Arundhati RoyA Fine Balance by Rohinton MistryThe White Tiger by Aravind AdigaShantaram by Gregory David RobertsSiddhartha by Hermann Hesse
629 books — 708 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Petra X
There is a tiger underneath the desk. The headmaster and the deputy are going to call in a sharpshooter when in walks a sadhu, a mostly-naked, Indian holy man. They say, "Who are you?" He says, do they know who they really are? That he's been trying all his life to find out who he really is.

A most unusual story. Hinduism, philosophy, a wife who wants to be nothing more than a wife and a husband who wants to exist on the spiritual plane only. And the tiger, the talking tiger he charms from under
From BBC Radio 4 - Afternoon Drama:
By R K Narayan, dramatised by Ronald Frame.

Now the companion of a Sadu, an ageing tiger looks back on his life. A rich evocation of Indian life in the 1970s, this comic narrative views human absurdities through the eyes of a wild animal.

Directed by Lu Kemp.
Deepika Ramesh
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just when I was whimpering about my inability to read more books this year, something pushed me to start reading 'A Tiger for Malgudi', which I bought in last year's annual book exhibition. After almost a year of hibernation in my wardrobe, the tiger Raja chose to befriend me. :)

I'm a big fan of R.K. Narayan and who wouldn't like the poignant stories of 'Malgudi Days'. 'A Tiger for Malgudi' is the second book that I read of R.K. Narayan and I must say that he didn't cheat me. He has now made me
Gorab Jain
May 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, buddy-reads, indian
One of the weakest works of Narayan, and still enjoyable.

Why weak?
- Circus part was lame
- School part was super lame
- Both of these make up around 70% of the book

Why enjoyable?
- First person narration by Tiger. At parts funny and interesting.
- The conversations (mostly monologues) between Tiger and his master were funny and soothing.
- Reminisces of characters from his previous books, which were not needed and added deliberately. Still enjoyable :)

Avoid. Not up to the mark and nowhere com
Nov 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After having read half his collection of novels, A Tiger in Malgudi is certainly clear of what it wants to convey and there are only few instances of Malgudi in the end. This is a deep insight into the life of circus animals and how they would feel and express their misery if they had a voice of their own. Despite protagonist being a Tiger, the story telling was lucid and simple like all other Narayan’s works.

Simple things are hard to express in words, that Narayan does the best. The intentions
Mar 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Once more the great story-teller R. K. Narayan mesmerizes the reader with a tale from his humane corner of the world. It is a corner of his own creation and like other fictional worlds its stories are a delight to read. In this, short novel. we find a narrative for those who like their stories told from the animal's point of view. In this case, a Tiger for the small town of Malgudi; a tiger who is trapped first for a Circus and later sold for use in films. You will be cheering for him as he seek ...more
Ashok Krishna
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How I wish I could give more than 5 stars for this book!

(Review to follow soon)

Dramatised by Ronald Frame.

Description: Now the companion of a Sadu, an ageing tiger looks back on his life. A rich evocation of Indian life in the 1970s, this comic narrative views human absurdities through the eyes of a wild animal.

A talking animal book so those who dislike that genre, this is a book to avoid. There is a subtly preachy tone, however that didn't stop me appreciating this understated and gently amusing story. Rating=three tigers

Srinivas Veeraraghavan
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Been eons since a book REALLY moved me. Maybe, that has a bit to do with my erratic reading flings of late but nevertheless, I felt a warm glow within when I was done with this fine piece of writing. RK Narayan is a Master at getting it just right. His works straddle between melodrama and artful absurdity but never veers perceptibly to either side. It's fiendishly difficult to pull it off but Narayan does it with ridiculous ease.

This might just be the finest work in his oeuvre. Although I'm part
Jun 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of R.K.Narayanan
R.K.Narayanan saved me from the hardy boys and their ilk. This novel in particular helped me make that shift to real books. The narrator is a tiger... this still impresses me on the concept front. Although I read it many years back I can still recall the conversation between Raja (the tiger) and his friend, the Sadhu towards the end. They discuss theology and Raja envisions God to be a powerful tiger with many arms and fierce fighting skills. The Sadhu observes that for every creature on earth, ...more
Shruthi Mudireddy
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Just wow! Narayan at his best! Every Indian should read the complete bibliography of Narayan's, otherwise it's sacrilegious! I've never read anything so sensitive, that too, from a tiger's perspective! And to top it, Narayan has such a wise sense of humour that gets you tickled at the most unassuming circumstances! A majestic tiger, a beautiful village of Malgudi, a satanic circus runner and a profound sage, all in this wonderful fable of Raja the Magnificent!
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Le avventure di una tigre raccontate finalmente dal punto di vista della tigre stessa. Il risultato è davvero ottimo, scorrevole e, per quanto non sia reale che una tigre parli in prima persona, incredibilmente realistico.
Asra Ghouse
There are some stories which you don't forget. No matter how long it has been since you last read them. A Tiger for Malgudi classifies as one such story.

Although Malgudi was introduced to me via Swami and his friends, I remember less of him, for some incomprehensible reason. Perhaps I had found this story more humourous than Swami's.

The story is narrated by a tiger, Raja, who recounts the story of his capture by a circus owner, his escape; people's reactions on finding a tiger roaming free in th
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We can safely say that just as how any number of generations cannot change the fact that Dame Agatha Christie is the uncrowned queen of the quintessential British murder mystery untouched by time ,R.K.Narayan has and will always been the uncrowned king of Indian fiction.Such simple plot narratives about incidents that can happen in our own homes or towns ,with crystal clear prose that bring out the idiosyncrasies and follies of human nature.All characters in a R .K Narayan novel will resemble so ...more
Ashwani Gaur
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is an implementation of the results of Pavlov's dog experiment....At times it is funny and emotionally appealing but the writer never forgets to reveal how the tiger has been manipulated by the Captain. Overall a good story and somewhat unique.... And yes we hardly read anything with the perception of a tiger. And that was kind of adoring.
Chethana Ramesh
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Man in his smugness never imagines for a moment
that other creatures may also possess ego,
values, outlook and the ability to communicate,
though they may be incapable of audible speech.

- R.K.Narayan.


Knowledge, like food must be taken within limits. You must know only as much as you need and not more.

Eight years ago, I had the pleasure of attending a book launch by celebrated British Author, Jeffrey Archer for his book ‘Honor among Thieves’. When quizzed about his favourite Indian author, the
Karen GoatKeeper
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read2014
A different kind of book. Narayan was born in India and English was probably not his first language although the book was not translated. This makes reading interesting as there are unusual turns of phrases and word choices.
Another aspect is the religious one. The book is not just the life of a tiger but the story of the tiger's quest for enlightenment. I have a smattering of information on Buddhism but would definitely have gotten more from the book if I had more understanding of it.
The book is
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
R. K. Narayan, a true wizard of Indian literature in English, makes it a very interesting view of the human world through the eyes of Raja, the tiger. Human behaviour is accurately described through Raja's observations. What makes this book so very interesting for me was during the final few pages when Raja and his Master speak to each other. A man can learn a lot when he sits down away from the hustle and bustle of human settlements!
Mallika Soni
Jun 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book has amazing scenes of a monkey and tiger talking and a tiger getting prepared for acting in a movie. So if that's the kind of books you like. This is it. Its one of the worst books that I read in the past month. Narayan guy had no damn idea about what he was Trying to write. Awful. It took me like a life to finish this extremely bad book.
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Such a wonderful book that took me inside a tiger's mind on his life journey, being an animal lover, reading this book for me was amazing!
Dushyant Mukkamala
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Don't crave for the unattainable. It's enough you have realization. If you brood on your improvements rather than your shortcomings, you will be happier."

You wouldn't think the aforementioned phrases would be from a book about a Tiger. I was pleasantly surprised as well when I found out that the book was mainly about the interaction between a Beast and a Self-realized human.

Having grown up on Malgudi Days (TV show) I have always been a huge fan of R. K. Narayan but then having read numerous lit
susan haris
Despite his good intentions, A Tiger for Malgudi is strictly anthropocentric without the grace of observation and wit that marked Gerald Durrell's encounters with animals. The story is funny in parts but I suspect that is just R K Narayan's writing style because the story was made to move forward whenever the radical potential of the imprisoned tiger became too big for the text; then you had him kill the Captain or submit to the monk. With his sparse style he is able to evoke how terrible the ti ...more
Taylor Troncin
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve spent the last two weeks reading this book off and on for a class on postcolonial literature. I enjoyed the book, despite being enraged on some of the treatment of the tiger at various points ... but ... In-between the time in which I started reading this book and finished it, a friend of mine passed away. I’m still dealing with her death and have had trouble focusing, etc. ... the final two lines spoke volumes to me: “both of us will shed our form soon and perhaps we could meet again who k ...more
Jan 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book n plot was good n different.i felt the climax was too sudden n expected to have more interactions between Master n Raja..The author had used every possible setup to imagine a tiger in n having the story from tiger's point of view made it more interesting n amusing at times..on d whole a quick relaxing read but more thoughtful wen one s willing to invest one's mind n time on the master's words:)
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abondoned
My first disappointment with R.K.N: After having a pleasure of two of R.K.N Books, picked-up this with high expectation. Now It seems, rather I shouldn't have.

Though R.K.N attempts to crawl into the skin of Tiger to narrate its interaction with the environment, it hardly catches your attention even after 50 pages - So I have to abondon this Book.

Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the finest books I have read. This book is a living testament to R.K.Narayan's genius. There is a gamut of emotions : happiness, sadness and everything in between. R.K.Narayan was truly a master story teller
Feb 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
Very simple. The problem with prosopopoeia is that it usually makes absolutely no sense, and results in weak texts. Because we have no tiger thinking - we have an author thinking what it would be if his mind was inside a tiger.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
While reading this, I found once again the sheer joy of reading the work of a master storyteller!
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
easy read. most of novel has a tiger narrator.
Hari Ram Narayanan
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A gripping story told from a tiger's perspective that is also filled with spiritual wisdom.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Story-Wallah: Short Fiction from South Asian Writers
  • Coolie
  • Eating India: An Odyssey into the Food and Culture of the Land of Spices
  • Sunlight on a Broken Column
  • Time Stops at Shamli and Other Stories
  • Leaving India: My Family's Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents
  • Lotsa Luck (Sabrina the Teenage Witch, #10)
  • Joothan: An Untouchable's Life
  • Swimming Lessons and Other Stories from Firozsha Baag
  • Kaze Hikaru, Vol. 3
  • Limits of Language: Almost Everything You Didn't Know You Didn't Know about Language and Languages
  • The Crooked Line: Terhi Lakir
  • The Adventures of Amir Hamza
  • God's Little Soldier
  • Stonehenge Decoded
  • The Immortals
  • Breaking the Tongue
  • Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin: The Subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin
R. K. Narayan is among the best known and most widely read Indian novelists who wrote 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 the
More about R.K. Narayan

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe [Kindle in Motion]
    $1.99 $0.99
  • An Empty Cup
    $3.99 $1.99
  • I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Abby's Journey
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Underground River
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Word Game
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fraulein M.
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Sister of Mine
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Bury What We Cannot Take
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Chomp
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Searching for Grace Kelly
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Bricking It
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Fifth of March: A Story of the Boston Massacre (Great Episodes)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Starfish
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Thunder and Rain
    $9.99 $2.99
  • All Grown Up
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Light of Hidden Flowers
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Olive's Ocean
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Ecstasy
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Elephant Keeper's Daughter
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Virtues of Oxygen
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Home to Harmony (Harmony #1)
    $11.14 $1.99
  • Dog Crazy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Towers of Tuscany
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Who We Were Before
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Reluctant Midwife (Hope River, #2)
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Sin No More (Reverend Curtis Black)
    $10.39 $1.99
  • The List
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Lost & Found
    $5.74 $1.99
  • A Watershed Year
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Savage
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Designer
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Novice: A Story of True Love
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Go Away Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Leaving of Things
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Train I Ride
    $6.99 $1.99
  • We'll Always Have Paris: Stories
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Hidden Flower
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Greyhound
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Lisette's List
    $11.99 $1.99
  • This Burns My Heart
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Journeys of Socrates
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Annie on My Mind
    $9.99 $1.20
  • An Absent Mind
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Book of Ruth
    $18.99 $1.99
  • Smoke
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Covenant
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Digging In
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
    $11.99 $12.99
  • The Traveling Vampire Show
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Long Way Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Going Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • In Between Days
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Girl in the Glass
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Super Sad True Love Story
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Prayers and Lies
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Go the F**k to Sleep
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Fat Chance
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Just a Couple of Days
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Boleyn Inheritance (The Tudor Court, #3)
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Girls from Corona del Mar
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Daughter of Union County
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Fighting Ground
    $6.49 $1.99
  • Embers
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Sugar Men
    $3.99 $1.99
  • You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down: Stories
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Last Storyteller: A Novel Of Ireland
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing
    $5.99 $1.99
  • A Dog's Purpose (A Dog's Purpose, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Temple of My Familiar (The Color Purple Collection)
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Vengeance Road
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Ungifted
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Julie of the Wolves
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Mrs. Saint and the Defectives
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Stiltsville: A Novel
    $10.99 $1.99
  • To the Bright Edge of the World
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Patriots
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Flicker of Old Dreams
    $9.99 $1.99
  • All the Good Parts
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Food of Love
    $3.99 $1.99
  • So Long, See You Tomorrow
    $11.99 $2.99
  • A Scattered Life
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Every Ugly Word
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower Sellers
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Desert God (Ancient Egypt, #5)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds (Malayan #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • An Amish Buggy Ride
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Old Yeller
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Secret Healer (The Secret Healer #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Elizabeth Street
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Gates of Rome (Emperor, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Unkillable Kitty O'Kane
    $4.99 $1.99
  • It Is Well
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Sinful Calling (Reverend Curtis Black #13)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • On a Cold Dark Sea
    $4.99 $1.99
  • My Lady Viper (Tales from the Tudor Court #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Kings of Broken Things
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Edward Adrift
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Restaurant Critic's Wife
    $3.99 $1.99
“Every creature is born with a potential store of violence.” 2 likes
“violence cannot be everlasting. Sooner or later it has to go, if not through wisdom, definitely through decrepitude, which comes on with years, whether one wants it or not.” 1 likes
More quotes…