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Posts Tagged ‘The Vendor of Sweets’

Review of The Vendor of Sweets by R K Narayan

R K Narayan’s lovely stories set in Malgudi take you back to an age and day far removed from the hectic stress-filled days that we live in. For those of us who have grown up in crowded cities, the idyllic life that Narayan describes is hard to imagine. Equally difficult to picture are the lifestyles of the characters themselves, set in a time when society and being part of a larger social whole set the nature of our activities. R K Narayan captures that atmosphere of mild gloominess yet peaceful living so evocatively in all his books about Malgudi. This one is no different. Jagan is a prosperous sweet vendor who tries to live his life to Gandhian principles. His son Mali is made of different material though and he escapes to America to learn story-writing, returning with a gori wife and a grand scheme to manufacture story-writing machines. It is hard for Jagan to reconcile himself with his son’s activities after he returns and the clash of principles is beautifully captured in this humourous yet sensitive tale.

If you are a fan of R K Narayan or want to know how a large part of India probably was around half a century ago, this is a very good book to read.

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