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General opinions on the novels by R. K. Narayan
Hello, dear members! As students and enthusiasts of Indian English literature, we must have studied the novels by one of India's greatest English novelists - R. K. Narayan. His immortal works like The Guide and other famous novels like The Bachelor of Arts, Waiting for Mahatma, The English Teacher and others are still read and appreciated (but within a very limited range of readers for obvious reasons). What is your general opinion on R. K. Narayan as a novelist? Share your experience with others and let's keep this discussion going forward. 
That's an interesting subject to hold talks! One of my professors always said that R. K. Narayan is one of the three pillars of Indian English Novel! I find his novels always lively and very close to Indian lives. However, the effect of his readings and beliefs cannot be discounted from his novels. One thing is very interesting in his works that even the general plot takes a convincing turn and reaches a different domain altogether. The Bachelor of Arts and The Guide are the best examples - from simple life to a higher pursuit and then the realisation...
I have studied as well as read a few novels by R. K. Narayan. The novels by him were almost like a replica of common lives in South India and sometimes, the country as a whole. However, his novels were very limited in the terms of themes and plots. Except for a few instances where turns are there on the road, Narayan's novels are fairly easy to comprehend.
The novels by R K Narayan display a kind of traditional attitude. The author keeps his stories intact to a place called Malgudi. His novels have the city developing, people working and time progressing. Moreover, his novels also depict social realities in terms of fiction - realities of social evils, realities of the system, realities of struggle society is confronting and many other forms of realities.
Though I love watching Malgudi Days, reading R.K. Narayan's stories is so much enriching to the soul. The simplicity and the grounded reality depicted in his works is really hard to replicate. He created a fictional world that seemed lived in by real characters.
R. K. Narayan's novels represented the realities of his time wonderfully. His novels were confined to time and age and society and there is nothing to complain there. Today, as Tracy pointed out, his novels may seem out of context and old, instead of classics.
The best novels by R. K. Narayan were the novels in which he fused artistry of his writing with harsh social realities. The Guide is a philosophical novel embedded with mortal desires and the cycle of realisation. I agree to an extent with Simran but I will say that The Guide is a classic to me!
I am not sure whether you guys have read his novel Dark Room or not. Dark Room by R K Narayan is a novel that tells the readers, even today, the tale of a serious nature and grave concerns. Savitri's dilemma and realisations are not of her alone but of all the women who want to realise what marriage means (traditionally and literally) and how to get along with it in spite of knowing all the pros and cons that might be... Narayan was a great storyteller with very few stories to tell. I enjoy reading him even today.

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