The Guide is a 1958 novel written by famous Indian novelist R. K. Narayan. It is entertaining as well as enlightening in a perfect way and it walks the talk which was proposed by a famous novelist Thomas Hardy that a novel is the uncommon feelings of common life. We see the characters like Raju and Rosie and Marco who are the common people next door by they manage to show us that life can be really bizarre at times and really awesome at other times. R. K. Narayan has managed to keep the readers indulged until the last page is turned and we see the blank paper in front of us announcing that the novel has ended. Have you read this novel yet?
The Guide has been praised by most of the readers and Indian book critics who have read this novel. It takes a philosophical turn after the simple writing which keeps the readers from going off track. We find Raju who is a shrewd tourist guide and we find Marco and Rosie who are husband and wife. Marco is a self-absorbed person who cares the least about his wife Rosie. On the other hand, Rosie is a woman who believes in independence – internally and externally. She is the daughter of a temple-dancer and is married to Marco so that she can lead a normal life, unlike her mother. However, things don’t go as planned and Rosie rather finds herself happy with Raju who believes in her dancing abilities. Their union invites problems for them both and they have to leave Malgudi, the famous R. K. Narayan’s town which also breathed!
Success, fame, problems and Raju is enlightened. He goes to jail because of an unconscious mistake that he does to secure Rosie does not leave him. When he gets out of Jail, he does not go to the world he left once and there the novel takes turn… you find the full flow of R. K. Narayan’s theory of Karmic philosophy. Raju turns into a compelled saint and he has to do something which a thug could never do… will he do it? You will find this only when you read the novel The Guide. I don’t want to ruin your pleasure reading this wonderful fiction which fetched the fame for Indian English literature and pushed it to a further height.
The language by the novelist, as usual, is very decorated and you will find the work attractive with the use of words – English as well as native ones. The art of storytelling is always a gift with R. K. Narayan and he uses it to the maximum. The theme is wide and deep and the dealing is equally bright. You will be reading something which can be termed as a complete fiction in the truest sense in the context of Indian English literature. You will seldom find something like this in the modern fiction produced by this generation of Indian writers. Have yourself some good time reading this wonderful novel.
Review by Ravi
The Guide - review
- Theme & Plot
- Narrative & Language
- Reading Ease & Pleasure
Just go for it! Don’t ask more; think neither! R. K. Narayan is at his best in this work!