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Waiting for Mahatma

by R. K. Narayan

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1812108,410 (3.38)None
"R.K. Narayan . . . has been compared to Gogol in England, where he has acquired a well-deserved reputation. The comparison is apt, for Narayan, an Indian, is a writer of Gogol's stature, with the same gift for creating a provincial atmosphere in a time of change. . . . One is convincingly involved in this alien world without ever being aware of the technical devices Narayan so brilliantly employs."—Anthony West, The New Yorker "The experience of reading one of his novels is . . . comparable to one's first reaction to the great Russian novels: the fresh realization of the common humanity of all peoples, underlain by a simultaneous sense of strangeness—like one's own reflection seen in a green twilight."—Margaret Parton, New Herald Tribune Book Review "The hardest of all things for a novelist to communicate is the extraordinary ordinariness of most human happiness. . . . Jane Austen, Soseki, Chekhov: a few bring it off. Narayan is one of them."—Francis King, Spectator "The novels of R.K. Narayan are the best I have read in any language for a long time."—Amit Roy, Daily Telegraph… (more)

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Sriran is in his early 20's, orphaned, & lives with his Granny. I would call him a "layabout" as he seems to do nothing but what he feels like. While he is literate, he also seems very naive about what is going on--or perhaps he has just been sheltered & spoiled by his Granny. He becomes enamored of a young woman who is involved in Gandhi's movement, & becomes involved himself as a way of being with Bharati. It is obvious he has no dedication, no commitment to anything but just doing what it takes to spend time with her.
He's not a very likeable person. What this novel does provide is a sense of daily life in India in the 1940's for a common person who is not poor. We learn only a little about Gandhi. This book is entirely written from POV of Sriran. ( )
  juniperSun | Jul 10, 2020 |
Tale of simple youth and his views as ground level participant of Mahatma Gandhi's satyagrah movement. ( )
  ashishg | Feb 8, 2007 |
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His mother who died delivering him, and his father who was killed in Mesopotamia, might have been figures in a legend as far as Sriram was concerned.
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