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3.34  ·  Rating details ·  847 ratings  ·  68 reviews
This is the story of how Mahatma Gandhi's struggle for independence from the British came to a typical village, Kanthapura, in South India. This edition includes extensive notes on Indian myths, religion, social customs, and the Independence movement which fill out the background for the American reader's more complete understanding and enjoyment.
Paperback, 244 pages
Published January 17th 1967 by New Directions (first published 1938)
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Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Mahatma Gandhi ki jai!

Mala warned me that I’d be scratching my head. And it was lovely! But this ND editions provided sixty pages of helpful notes which reduced somewhat that head scratching. But not so much that there was no pleasure left!

The story is the common story of a rural village undergoing political change. But I’m not immediately certain that this kind of story is so common; in our current literary climate which so frequently features alienated individuals as protagonists. Here the com
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I remember driving along the road from K.R. Pet to Nagamangala and coming across a board that said Kanthapura. I knew this was going to be my next book.

I expected stories from around this place, of the Hassan belt, but Raja Rao's Kanthapura existed elsewhere - on the banks of the (fictional) Himavathy river, nearer Karwar, near Puttur and still walkable from the Cauvery. Like Malgudi, it is fictional.

Unlike R.K. Narayan's tales about a few people living in Malgudi, this is the tale of the town
Buku ini sebenarnya mengangkat tema yg menarik. Lahir dan berkembangnya sebuah gerakan kemerdekaan yg terinspirasi oleh Mahatma Gandhi, yg terjadi di sebuah desa bernama Kantapura. Gerakan ini awalnya dipelopori oleh seorang pemuda bernama Moorthy, yg telah membuang studinya untuk kembali ke Kantapura dan membangkitkan perasaan merdeka di kalangan kaum Paria, kaum terbuang di desanya. Merdeka dari para tuan tanah yg sewenang-wenang, merdeka dari para polisi korup dan terutama merdeka dari pemeri ...more
Feb 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2013, university
This is a shining example of the kind of books that professors set for mandatory reading that make you want to scratch your own eyeballs out with a rolling pin.
I don't even know where to begin to explain exactly why I hate this book so much.

It may go something like the terrible grammar and the stupid characters and the over describing and the author's pomposity and the and the and the and the AND THE AND THE AND THE AND THE!!!

How many times can one man use the words "AND" in one paragraph? Acc
Himmilicious Himmilicious
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved reading Kanthapura.This novel is a complete mixture of Religion,Mythology and History. What I personally liked the most that in this novel, the grand harikathas finely blend politics with religious and mythology. The fights between mahatma and british draws the picture of the fight between Rama and Ravana, between the forces of good and evil like Krishna against the Kalia or Kansa, Prahlad against his own father, Harishchandra against the Asuras, Besides, the mahatma is Mohan (Krishna) sla ...more
Oct 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Rao uses English to try to communicate an Indiana vernacular mode of storytelling, with very intriguing (if long-winded) results. The story itself revolve around the rise of Ghandi, and ends on a rather ubiquitous note.
May 02, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
contrary to what E.M.Forster thinks, this is not the best novel written in English by an Indian

Bhumika Kapoor
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it
The book is a good one but mind that it is heavy with Gandhian principles. The protagonist Moorthy is a adherent follower of the principles of Ahimsa and Satyagraha. The village people give him the reverence equivalent to that given to a "Mahatma". There are many instances when Moorthy's being a brahmin poses a slight hinderance in his venture but he overcomes all of them and continues to fight againt the atrocities of the "Government". These goals cost Moorthy his lives. Many other villagers lo ...more
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terrific story of how independence struggle caught up in a sleepy Karnataka Village.
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best part of this book is the honest account of rural India. The narration will make you feel like listening to some rural folk. If you are familiar with rural India then you too will acknowledge the striking similarity in the language.
Scott Cox
Raja Rao’s “Kanthapura” . . . a fascinating read! I was reasonably aware of Mahatma Gandhi’s struggle with the British to gain independence (Swaraj). Gandhi’s methodology combining non-violence (Ahimsa) and truth (Satya) has been studied by such great men as Dr. Martin Luther King and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. However this novel depicts the tension that Gandhi fomented within Indian society amongst different castes. The four major castes consist of Brahmin (priestly), Kshatriya (kingly or warrior), V ...more
Teguh Affandi
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inilah nasib kalau membaca harus mencuri-curi waktu di tengah jadwal cukup padat dan harus ikhlas di tengah-tengah kepadatan kereta Jakarta, ya begini, jadinya lama. Tapi saya cukup puas dengan apa yang saya baca kali ini. Memang ini sastra klasik dan menghibur. Terlebih ini penulis baru yang saya tidak ada preferensi sebelumnya. Sehingga yaa dinikmati saja dan temukan kejutan-kejutan di dalamnya.

Buku ini memang sedang menyorot tokoh bernama Moorthy, dan perjuangan untuk melakukan revolusi di Ka
Gaurav Garg
May 23, 2015 rated it liked it
I have never seen such experimentation with language and grammar as in this novel. It truly reflects the state of society in times of British rule over India. The author seems to be thinking in Hindi and writing in English. To put it in words of his editor Parthasarthy,'We might be intellectually English but emotionally we are Indians.'

A great insight into society and culture and religion and casteism and Gandhi and British. That is the way you will find the expression in this book. Human emotio
Victoria (victoriashaz)
Mar 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
This was just....not good. The amalgamation of myth and reality could have been done in a much more comprehensive and smooth manner. Here, its confusing and makes the work more convoluted than it should be.
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
Tale twined in the village of Kanthapura a real microcosm of India with its casteist village, built-around temple politics, villainous Mohammedan Police man and the christian colonialists.
Jun 24, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Better than other books by Raja Rao that I have read.
Vikrant Rana
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
It is such a difficult read, been almost a year and I still can't finish it. Finally I have decided to call quits on it now.

It's almost like the author decided against writing a readable piece of literature. One reason could be to give it a distinctive flavour of South India, and to be fair that leaps out of the pages. It does feel like well grounded in it's context. The characters, the language, the prose and the stroyline are all so difficult to follow, but at the same time they evoke these s
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
The voice of the narrator, her character, sense of humour, worldview, & her connection to & love for her community are so strong in this tale of Gandhian satyagraha & Congress' efforts at swaraj come to small-town South India. Our narrator - an older aunty of the village of Kanthapura - is the perfect voice to communicate the experience of this time for everyday rural Indians, and her story unfolds as if she is relating a series of events to us, perhaps acquaintances or family of a n ...more
Soumitro Roy
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kanthapura by Raja Rao ( 214 pg, 4 days, Rating : 5/5)
Published in 1938, this book was written, about the pre-independence struggle of India, by Rao far away from India in a castle in France. It's definitely a 'literary manifesto to point out an Indian way of appropriating English Language( which was a brabe work during pre-independence of India). From phrarses, to words, to narrative( an typical tale-telling- grandmotherly way of narrative) Indianness runs through the veins of this book.

Lagan Mangla
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it
"Raja Rao is not interested in the story of the mighty but in that of the nameless."
Check out my full review here:
Saurabh Agarwal
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Finest of Indian litreature in English. It does not lean on the translatory mode to give the native flavour. The ease with which the english gets indianized is remarkable. Raja Rao best is relevent even after eight decades
Rajni Sahota
Oct 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Impact of gandhi on writer is clearly shown in the novel
Swetha Godavarthi
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I have read by Raja Rao, and I was hooked after reading the first few lines. Not for the plot, but for the musical, lyrical quality of his prose. Words tumble in great succession and bring alive the town and people of Kanthapura. As the narrator tells us of the approaching monsoon, you can almost hear the rumbling of the clouds and the whoosh of the wind. Such is the power of not just Raja Rao's words, but the way the words are strung together.

The book is a fictional acco
Accang Santiago
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perlawanan rakyat India terhadap kolonial Inggris di masa Gandhi. Tapi bukan Gandhi tokoh utamanya!
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it
summary, how our indian mentality about caste was there @ the time of freedom struggle, is narrated in most humble and mythical ways...
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
A difficult read, but I appreciate why it was difficult.
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book because it was prescribed in my syllabus. Very interesting book explores the Gandhian thoughts.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Bill Johnston
Jun 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Kanthapura is a fictional village in Gandhi's pre-independence India. A few people in the village declare their loyalty to Gandhi's Congress movement, and over the course of the novel most of them join.

The writing is very lyrical and poetic. The grammar isn't strictly English, being written in English by an Indian as a literal translation of how it would have sounded if he had written it in his native language. It also includes repeated uses of non-English words, explained in the footnotes in th
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Raja Rao (Kannada: ರಾಜ ರಾವ) has long been recognised as "a major novelist of our age." His five earlier novels—Kanthapura (1932), The Serpent and the Rope (1960), The Cat and Shakespeare (1965), Comrade Kirillov (1976) and The Chessmaster and His Moves (1988)—and three collections of short stories—The Cow of the Barricades and Other Stories (1947), The Policeman and the Rose (1978) and On the Gang ...more
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“Then the wind comes so swift and dashing that it takes the autumn leaves with it, and they rise into the juggling air, while the trees bleat and blubber. Then drops fall, big as the thumb … the earth itself seems to heave up and cheep in the monsoon rains. It churns and splashes, beats against the treetops, reckless and wilful, and suddenly floating forwards, it bucks back and spits forward and pours down upon the green, weak coffee leaves, thumping them down to the earth.” 3 likes
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