" read Malgudi Days, which has a beautiful, artistic cover. I read it because someone gave it to me and I didn't want to hurt their feelings, and boy, what a find!
It's about this town in India, and it's pretty much just a study of the characters, the people, the values, what goes on in this little town, what it's like to live in a place like that in India. Each of the stories sort of turns a different facet of that kind of life. What is it like to be a beggar there? What is it like to be an America hippie there? That's one of the stories is about a hippie. What is it like to be a young boy waiting for his mother to die of an illness? What is it like to be an old person? Each of the stories kinds of gives us a facet of life in Malgudi.
I would recommend Malgudi Days to somebody who has not read much that's set in a foreign country but would like to branch out and read stuff that's more exotic like something about India, 'cause it really is so personal and so charming. This is writer who shows you that people are people everywhere. They have the same motivations, the jealousies and ambition and urge to conceal things from their past; and it seems so much more human after reading this. I've always been a little afraid of it because you know all that we hear about the disease and poverty and all, but just clearly it's people are people everywhere.
I would rate it a four, I think, because I think that Narayan is letting himself off easily. He clearly is doing these for fun, and each one is just a little squib. They're great, but he's capable of more."