Wednesday, March 25, 2009

R.K. Narayan: The Guide

There's something about magical fiction. It sucks you in, it forces your cynical mind to suspend disbelief, and then, when you finish it, you go, "why on earth did I read that?" Here I am, the girl who reads things like "Looming Towers" and memoirs of abortion doctors, and I follow up with the story of an Indian tour-guide-turned-saint? The writing wasn't quite powerful enough to keep me turning the pages, but there's something about India that is, let's be honest, exotic enough to want to know just what is going on. Or maybe it's my parent's recent trip, and my dad's wonderful blog (start at the beginning chronologically and allow lots of time), that makes me interested in India. I don't know if this story is based on a myth or a truth or just pulled out of thin air, but it's a fast read, and good to pass the time if you're too immersed in serious reading, or serious local news.


THB said...

The Guide is an odd book in that outside of the context of India it seems in the magical fiction category and inside the context it seems just another story of the unfathomable playing itself out, one of many plausible stories in a society this diverse.


Meera said...

Haven't read The Guide but I read The White Tiger last month which is also set in India and very unemotionally paints the picture of economic divide as a basis for its story. (Fiction but written without excessive sensationalism.)

I started reading your dad's blog and I had to stop myself from trying to comment on posts and clarify things about cottage cheese and "bumble bees". I'm only 3 posts down and it is SO fun reading a tourist's perspective of India.