Mr. Sampath (1949) by R.K. Narayan – Book Review

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Brilliantly written and well-executed; the finest feature of this novel is that the four main characters: Mr. Sampath, Srinivas, Ravi and Mr. Somu, are unconditionally lovable.

Furthermore, this novel isn’t at all predictable and is also a dramatic page-turner. The plot follows the friendship of Mr. Sampath (the Printer) and Srinivas (the Editor), and discusses important social issues through Narayan’s trademark satire that allowed him to become a household name—both in India and abroad.

Humor primarily moves the story along at a breath-taking pace, which is an unusual aspect for this genre. The dialogues are fun to read, and the characterization of Ravi as a painter who has lost his way, will most probably open up a special place in the heart for readers that are also aspiring artists themselves.

The conclusion is brilliant and it will have many readers remembering this masterpiece for a long time to come. All in all, R.K. Narayan is distinct from other authors in the satirical genre because his stories never show a trace of egoism in them—unlike some of his contemporary Asian authors in the English language.

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