The publisher's blurb: Swaminathan is living in exciting times. The sleeping giant of India is beginning to stir to the dwelling reverberations which herald the great struggle for independence. But it's all rather confusing for the boy. For like his family and friends, Swami has been immutably moulded by his British rulers - and though he might happily demonstrate against them, he wouldn't dream of missing cricket practice.
"Narayan's humour and compassion come from a deep universal well, with the result that he has transformed his imaginary township of Malgudi into a bubbling parish of the world" (Observer)
"The hardest of all things for a novelist to communicate is the extraordinary ordinariness of human happiness. Jane Austen, Soskei, Chekhov; a few bring it off. Narayan is one of them" (Spectator)
"No writer is more deceptively casual, or less fussed about the Eternal Verities, or more unerring in arriving by delightful detours at his destination - which is seldom a terminus because life keeps bobbing on" (Guardian)
"R K Narayan’s Malgudi novels are humorous gems and it is a great pity that they are not better known. He wrote beautifully and with great compassion." (Alexander McCall Smith Guardian)
"Few writers since Dickens can match the effect of the colourful teeming that Narayan's fictional city of Malgudi conveys" (John Updike)
"There are writers—Tolstoy and Henry James to name two—whom we hold in awe, writers—Turgenev and Chekhov—for whom we feel a personal affection, other writers whom we respect—Conrad for example—but who hold us at a long arm's length with their 'courtly foreign grace.' Narayan (whom I don't hesitate to name in such a context) more than any of them wakes in me a spring of gratitude, for he has offered me a second home. Without him I could never have known what it is like to be Indian."—Graham Greene