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Under the Banyan Tree and Other Stories

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Under the Banyan Tree and Other Stories.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    R. K. Narayan(Author)

    Book details


An enchanting collection from India's foremost storyteller, rich in wry, warmly observed characters from every walk of Indian life - merchants, beggars, herdsmen, rogues - all of whose lives are microcosms of the human experience Like Nambi in the title story, Narayan has the mesmeric ability to spellbind his audience. This he achieves with a masterful combination of economy and rhythm, creating haunting images and a variety of settings to evoke a unique paradox of reality and folklore.

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 there. In 1958 Narayan's work The Guide won him the National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy, his country's highest literary honor. In addition to his novels, Narayan has authored five collections of short stories, including A Horse and Two Goats, Malguidi Days, and Under the Banyan Tree, two travel books, two volumes of essays, a volume of memoirs, and the re-told legends Gods, Demons and Others, The Ramayana, and the Mahabharata. In 1980 he was awarded the A.C. Benson Medal by the Royal Society of Literature and in 1982 he was made an Honorary Member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Narayan died in 2001. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Book details

  • PDF | 208 pages
  • R. K. Narayan(Author)
  • Penguin Books; Second Edition edition (August 16, 1990)
  • English
  • 9
  • Literature & Fiction

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Review Text

  • By A customer on April 19, 1999

    This book is in the same mold as "Malgudi Days". Some stories ,like the title story & "Dodu" are pure gems. I read and re-read this book and still found them as fresh.The characters ,the situations are so real that one wonders whether the author picked them out of his own experiences.

  • By [email protected] on October 15, 1999

    Narayan was a great writer. I like best ths story titled "anamalai", "Breath of Lucifer" and of course "Under the banyan tree" itself. Some of those short stories are so easy to understand, some are so deep, so i have to read it carefully to get the skillfully written rethorics. It's a classics, worth buying and kept for lifetime.

  • By d.b. on December 11, 2014

    I guess I discovered America when ordering this book; R.K. Narayan is - most deservedly! - a very famous writer; I hadn't got to reading him until now. The short stories in this collection are masterfully written, funny, tragic, touching in many ways, and told in a voice all his own. A great writer, a wonderful book.

  • By AYJ on February 14, 2015

    I was put off by the first of the stories in this collection - it seems a tale without a conclusion or consequences. I stuck with the book because of the cover comment by Graham Greene: "Narayan is the novelist I admire most in the English language." Greene is such a master storyteller that I figured things had to improve. And they did. The second story had a lovely twist ending, and I began to enjoy the leisurely development, the exposition of locale and social position of the characters, and the affectionate tone of the narrator, who seems to love all his characters indiscriminately.The surprise ending, I grew to see, is characteristic of Narayan, at least in this collection. I could never tell exactly where the story was going to go next, but I was able to enjoy each twisting path. I am a big fan of Rudyard Kipling since my elementary school days, and was very interested in the way Narayan took characters and scenery which had been affectionately described by an sympathetic colonial, and made them uniquely and directly Indian.These are small stories about individuals. There are no mass movements here, no political messages, no sectarian violence. Equally, there is no slapstick humor, no guffaws. It's a book for reading in a quiet corner and smiling ironically to yourself.

  • By Anush Moorthy on January 29, 2012

    Now I see why Narayanan is regarded as a fine author, FINALLY (I read a disappointing "Waiting for the Mahatma" before)! These set of short stories capture the essence of rural India so well that Adiga's book -- Between Assassinations -- seems to pale in comparison. Narayanan's narrative is elegant, simple and crisp. There are wonderful stories here, some of which barely span two pages but are so deeply etched in my memory, and are so well connected with the Indian-psyche that I cannot help but marvel at the transformation of my opinion of Narayanan in a matter of a book! I am happy now...I can read more of Narayanan. I think the key is to read his shorter works rather than his novels -- though I am curious to try out the Malgudi days novels.

  • By Fred Elgin on October 24, 2014

    The flavor is so oddly "rural India", that it's hard to relate to.

  • By Douglas S. Wood on July 1, 2007

    'Under the Banyan Tree', a collection of 28 short stories published late in R.J. Narayan's career in 1985, demonstrates the warmth, humor, and simplicity that made him so beloved. The tales are set in and around fictional Malgudi and include a number of stories featuring the Talkative Man.Narayan's works are sometimes criticized by the literati - but see also a 2001 New York Review of Books essay titled 'The Great Narayan' by Pankaj Mishra. Pick up 'Under the Banyan Tree', read a short story, and make up your own mind. I think you'll be warmly rewarded.


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