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The Man-Eater of Malgudi

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,843 ratings  ·  123 reviews
This is the story of Nataraj, who earns his living as a printer in the little world of Malgudi, an imaginary town in South India. Nataraj and his close friends, a poet and a journalist, find their congenia l days disturbed when Vasu, a powerful taxidermist, moves in with his stuffed hyenas and pythons, and brings his dancing-women up the printer's private stairs. When Vasu ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published June 24th 1993 by Penguin Classics (first published February 28th 1961)
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3.83  · 
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 ·  2,843 ratings  ·  123 reviews

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Inderjit Sanghera
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
There is a whiff of Wodehouse about Naryan; the dry, ironical sense-of-humour, furthermore the weak-willed and wimpy narrator is reminiscent a certain type of British humour. And herein lies my problem with 'The Man-Eater of Malgudi'-it's style and characters are too deeply-embedded within the conventions of British literature to really stand out, like it's narrator Nataraj, 'The Man-Eater of Malgudi' is nice if ineffectual, recycling the standard tropes, the bullish, bury blunder-head Vasu, the ...more
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
“Any recommendations on a first Narayan book?” I asked the owner of Focus Books in Pondicherry. Without batting an eyelid she picked out “The Man-eater of Malgudi” and thrust it into my hand.

Narayan created the fictional town of Malgudi in the late 1930s. The endless attempts to identify its genesis miss the point – Malgudi is India’s anytown.
Narayan later said the discovery of it was “earth-shaking.” It is at once intimate and universal – India in a microcosm. The railway-station, the streets,
Gorab Jain
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, buddy-reads, indian
This had a bit of everything - Drama, Mystery, Comedy and a bit eccentric characters.
And the signature simplicity of RKN on top of all this.
So this was yet another RKN buddy read with Arpit ( his review ) and we both loved it.
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bechdel-fail
I was intensely involved with the fate of our narrator. I could hardly bear to read on, so terrified was I of what might next befall him through his own foolishness, yet at the same time I couldn't bear to lay the book aside. At points I cried with laughter at one or another character's words, though it would be impossible to explain why without reading large sections of the story aloud. I was helpless!

I wasn't keen on the introduction to this edition, but I agree with its author about the Naray
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first full length Malgudi novel I have read - there have been a few novellas and of course Malgudi Days, but this one is a little different.

Narayan is able to spend some more time, rounding things out - or maybe dragging things out. The whole time I was reading this I felt like I needed to rush to reach a disclosure, or to get to an important aspect. It is only a relatively short book, and yet I felt compelled to hurry. Perhaps Narayan had too much time to tell his story?
While I enj
Petal Eggs
May 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, fiction
Its hard to rate this book. The writing, as always with Narayan, is exquisite, each sentence adds to the next and its always visual, like watching a film in words. The setting and the characters take front stage and the story seems to be just the vehicle for them. And that's what makes it less enjoyable, this slowness of plot.
Jan 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
A printing press. A rogue taxidermist. An elephant in trouble. What more could you ask of a book?
Meera Senthil
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I had glanced at this book many times in the shelves of bookstores but never actually bought it. Spotting it in my Anni's book shelf I lost no time in packing it to take it with me. And I liked it a lot!!

I've never read Narayan outside my school English textbooks and this book was wonderful. The humour is just amazing and I had a great time. The character of Vasu is the most interesting among all others and I think it is so well developed..we get curious about him even though he's not the good
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
A classic from R.K.Narayan. As usual very recognizable yet interesting characters. The protagonist is a typical middle class man with timid character, never being able to say "No" or stand up firmly against what he despised. The dilemma in his mind as to what is right and what he could do presents an interesting picture common in our lives too. On the other hand the negative character is extremely strong and generates a loathing in the reader. You cant help hating him for what he does and how he ...more
Jim Leckband
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A short parable on civilization and bullies, among other things. Nataraj is mild-mannered printer who mostly has his shop so that he can talk to his buddies that hang around. Until a stranger comes to town. The stranger (Vasu) is an ex-sideshow strongman who peremptorily and impolitely demands things expecting everyone to obey him. If they don't do so quickly, he insults them and badgers them. Twitter was not invented as of 1961 in India or elsewhere, but I imagine the corollary to a certain wea ...more
Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it
It’s hard to imagine a more perfect small-town villain than a bullying taxidermist, and the thuggish Vasu quickly gains the upper hand over Nataraj, the milquetoast printer and narrator. Nataraj whiles away numerous hours in a parlour curtained off from his printing press, holding forth with his friends, Sen - the opinionated, unpublished political journalist - and a man known only as ‘the poet’. Warnings from a temple dancer and a parade appearance by a beloved sick elephant help build the dram ...more
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this a few years ago for a Uni class on Indian literature. It was one of the reasons I was glad I took that class. I found it very funny with the juxtaposition between Nataraj's 'put-upon' personality and the massive, bullying Vasu who rolls into town. A good read if you like 'odd couple' situations. I'm digging it out tomorrow for a re-read!
Mar 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
The earthy fragrance of Malgudi continues in this classic. Amazing plot!
Chaitra Chowdhary
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
BEST INDIAN CLASSIC I'VE READ..!! R.K. Narayan is the best writer and truly no one can ever mimic his writing.
Ashok Krishna
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sheer genius of R.K. Narayan shines through in this masterpiece tragicomedy! ❤
I've read many of Narayan's works: The Vendor Of Sweets ( and Talkative Man to a number of short stories. In reading The Vendor of Sweets, I had an experience of familiarity and nostalgia, much like Pico Iyer describes in his introductory essay to my edition of The Man-Eater of Malgudi, "Midnight's Uncle." But my experience with this novel was rather different. Rather than focusing on the background of the stories, the fictional every-town of Malgudi, Nar ...more
VijayaRaghavan S N
For me this book is a let down. The enthusiasm with which I started reading the book, subsided with each turn of the pages. True. There were enjoyable moments in the book. But those moments were few and far between. Apart from two main characters, the author doesn't give much look into the other characters (there are a lot of characters by the way). Some characters were left hanging. I feel like the author didn't do justice to those characters. Their characters could have been molded to make the ...more
Rishi Prakash
I had a "tiger/lion" in mind when I picked this book so was quite excited to see how they catch it but it turned out to be a "man" who has been termed as the Man Eater of Malgudi! And that is where half of my interest was lost! Having said that it is again a typical RK's story where you get to see how the characters develop in the mythical town of Malgudi :-)
It is a story which is a depiction of the eternal war between good and the bad; battle between goodness and evil where one character "The
Suchi Banerjee
a most delightful read by all means!!!!! i thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it!!!! narayan's magic lies in his simplicity!! the protagonists aren't doing anything extraordinary, neither are they 'important people'. these are simple men living simple lives whose worlds turn upside down the moment there is a slight change in their daily mundane routines!!! i implicitly agree with pico iyer in this!!! we all have encountered a vasu in one form or another in our lives and there is bound to be a bi ...more
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I had to read this book in my first year of English at University. I hated it, almost all the way through, because it annoyed me how the Taxidermist was so dominant and did whatever he wanted to that sweet Indian man, who did nothing at all. After the end of the book, I thought about it, and realized how brilliantly the author made me loathe the characters. I think that's a true testament to this author, and overall it made me appreciate the story.
Karen A.
This was listed as a read alike in Novelist for 'Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency'. It takes place in India. Its protagonist is a printer in Malgudi who has the misfortune of befriending a taxodermist. This man moves in above the print shop and takes advantage of the protagonists unwillingness to confront him or be impolite. It does fully immerse the reader in the country and culture of India but can be tiring at times. The plot meanders.
Feb 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book is about looking beyond just the story. Its the philosophy behind it. RK Narayan is by far one of the best Indian authors and he happens to be my favorite. His stories are everygreen and suitable for all ages. This book is a modern day adaptation of the famous story about Bhasmaasura from the Hindu mythology.
Oct 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
One of those rare books which i could really relate to (being basically from a small town n all).
Great read.Deals with how simplicity is such a a complicated thing.The characters are real,subtle in their humor and most importantly for me,Indian.
David Jose
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was a leisurely read, taking the reader through the simplicity and liveliness of the small city of Malgudi.
The climax of the story was humorous. I never expected the story to end in that fashion
Shitikanth Kashyap
Jun 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
The book was humorous in places. I was disappointed by the abrupt and stupid ending though.
Saif Hasan
Oct 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Supreme artistry. The legend of Bhasmasura modernised. Malgudi becomes immortal yet again, this time with a twist in its tale.
Abhranil Dutta
Oct 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Quite a good book to read...!!
The writing is beautiful as usual, the characters looked real, in some parts of the book there is presence of humor..!

But not as good as 'Malgudi days'... :(
Himadhar Narayan
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the classics I would recommend to new comers in reading! brilliant way to start of an addiction, of reading..!
Balaji Sankara Moorthy
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
People who have read R.K.Narayan would have pondered as to where Malgudi is or which place he had in mind while designing the fictional Malgudi. Despite the fact that the author himself had said time and again that Malgudi is any Indian town, the readers cannot help but presume its existence somewhere in South India. Such is the vividness of his stories and the characters woven in it.

Adverting to the novel at hand “the Man-Eater of Malgudi”, one who has not read the gist on the rear end of book
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Simple. It's the kind of story which happens in our next door. Generally, I used to have a thought that the plot which revolves around foreign countries sounds interesting. But this novel made me realise that the location or environment doesn't matter for the can create a huge impact on the readers, irrespective of the plot 's surrounding. At first, I thought what would be the final climax in this plot..a boring ending might be!!!..But I honestly admit that I gave a jerk, when the auth ...more
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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