Swami and Friends

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The first book of R.K. Narayan’s famous trilogy, ‘Swami and Friends’ happens to be Narayan’s first published book as well. It was published in 1935 with a lot of motivation and help from Graham Greene, a famous novelist. The setting is of British India, in a fictional town named Malgudi. Swami is a ten-year old boy who studies at a mission school. He lives with his parents, younger brother and grandmother. He has a set of friends in two schools that he gets removed from. Events lead Swami to leave his house and go on a run. He is drawn heavily towards the unrest that is prevalent everywhere in India, but he fails to understand the cause. What happens with Swami? Will he be able to get back home safely? To know the answer, read this book. Narayan successfully creates a child’s perspective about the adult world. What problems do kids face? What do they think of the world they live in? These are the kind of questions you might find answers to. Graham Greene in his review of the book thanked Narayan for making him feel like an Indian through his words. This edition has been published by Indian Thought Publication. Swami and Friends is a true portrayal of complexities faced by Indian middle class. Readers get a feeling of common humanity among people of this country. You can feel that soul of India is one through this book. It is a funny and interesting tale of Swami and his adventures. Other characters are Swami’s friends, his family and people from his town and people he meets while on these adventures. Readers get to see the world through the eyes of a ten-year old boy. Readers get to see his boyhood. The priorities and problems that kids find very important can sometimes look inappropriate as an adult, but for kids, that is their world. Narayan has captured that pre-independence world of Malgudi.

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