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Book Review - Swami and Friends by R. K. Narayan

Updated on June 25, 2013
book cover
book cover

A little bit about the book...

Anything I mention about the book can be mistakenly understood as 'spoilers', so I would rather give a glance into the book without mentioning any events or plots of the story.

Swami is a mischievous little kid of about 10 years old and living in the era where India was under the British ruling... Like most kids of that age, Swami is a kid who cannot stay at one place and absolutely hated school, even worse Mathematics. School is his absolute nightmare. Anyway the story unfolds around the happenings of this kid and how he constantly gets into trouble and gets a good beating from his father.

Swami is a talkative little kid and thinks that's his way of facing life, talking himself out of everything. But he does learn the truth the harsh way. As many teens back then, all he wants to do is play under the sun, kick something, climb a tree, break something and harass somebody (unlike kids today!!!). This in fact was (and in most parts of India, still is) the life of a typical boy growing up. Technology isn't big in a kid's life. All they want is to play havoc!!!

In this regard Narayan gets deeply into the workings of Swami's ten year old mind, explaining exquisitely how he thinks and what his perspective of the world is. The reader does feel like Swami and gets very attached with the character as the story progresses. That's the magic of Narayan.

Significance of the book...

Swami and Friends by R. K. Narayan is not merely an interesting read that could be enjoyed from top to bottom. R. K. Narayan's work attributes a lot of literary value, be it a teen book like Swami and Friends.

Swami and Friends is good read for the kids and teens alike. Also the book is widely used in the Asian continent as a study text for the students who study literature as a subject at schools. This does not mean that book is filled with heavy grammar and technical jargon. Actually the truth is in contrary to this.

Swami and Friends is written in such simple English it is hard to imagine that it is a work of such a literary genius like R. K. Narayan. The English used in the book is both plain simple, without any troubling words for the kids. Also the use of simple and short sentences adds to the simplicity of the book.

It is mentioned in the description that the book is about a mischievous ten year old Indian boy, and some parents may be concerned about the influence this will have on the already mischievous children. But the book is as such that it encompasses the mischief of the kids in a view of the kid which harmless and pure in his perspective. Also amidst all the mischief and naught, we actually find that Swami is a loving and a tender kid who's actually very sensitive. It is also a know fact that mischievous kids are the most sensitive and loving people of all. And R. K. Narayan does a great job conveying that to all of us.

So in conclusion it can be said that this book is good read for kids of all ages, who may just enjoy a good read or who may want to improve their English skills.

Author of the book...

R. K. Narayan
R. K. Narayan

About the author...

The author of 'Swami and Friends' is India's one of the greatest authors of all time, R. K. Narayan.

R. K. Narayan is responsible for many of the outstanding literary works India has ever produced. And this book in particular captures the essence of India under British ruling and the mind and life of a typical teenage kid.

Other great works by Narayan includes the infamous

  • Malgudi Days
  • The Guide
  • The Painter of Signs

and many more literary works such as

  • The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic
  • The Mahabharata: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic

Go take a look at them if you are interested...

A part of a video from the Swami and Friends TV production...

Buy the book from Amazon.

How did you enjoy reading 'Swami and Friends'?

See results

Our Hub Recommendation:

A must read for all teenagers!!!

For literary enthusiasts and for English improvement...

4 stars for Swami and Friends by R. K. Narayan

Other relevant...

A scene from Swami and Friends stage drama. Swami and Friends also featured in a tv series.
A scene from Swami and Friends stage drama. Swami and Friends also featured in a tv series.


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    • profile image

      Eshan 3 weeks ago


    • profile image

      prajwal k 8 months ago


    • profile image

      siddharth 2 years ago

      really amazing book

    • profile image

      sreejith 2 years ago


    • profile image

      NISHA VERMA 2 years ago

      very nice and very interesting book by R.K. Narayan

    • profile image

      Harshita Trilok 2 years ago


    • profile image

      yashaswini 2 years ago


    • profile image

      neha 2 years ago

      nice one

    • profile image

      Akhila 2 years ago

      Thanks bro.....I could complete my bro's h.w....tnx a lot

    • profile image

      Swati kumar 2 years ago

      This story very good and he says about a child behaviour it is good atlast i love r.k.narayan stories

    • profile image

      srisjti sen 2 years ago

      the book was very interesting and was perfect for my holiday homework

    • profile image

      siboham 3 years ago

      its a very good book with a exceptional moral

    • profile image

      harsh 3 years ago

      it's a great novel.

      its my 2nd favourite after charlie and the chocolate factory

    • profile image

      Adhy 3 years ago

      TANX BRo... I Completed my whole project frm dis site!!! TAMX A LOT

    • Nimesh De Silva profile image

      Nimesh De Silva 3 years ago

      Thanks for all the lovely comments :)

    • profile image 3 years ago

      I like this story so much. R.k.narayan is

      one of the great author .

    • profile image

      Purnima 3 years ago

      This is very helpful for my project work.

    • profile image

      chinnu 3 years ago

      l predi much enjoyed this story

    • profile image

      Srinivas 3 years ago

      Actually the people who read this enjoy a lot

      I m glad that i have got an beautiful project

    • Nimesh De Silva profile image

      Nimesh De Silva 3 years ago

      @varsha That is so great. I'm glad I could help. What was the project?

    • profile image

      varsha 3 years ago

      its very help full for my project thnk u so much??

    • Nimesh De Silva profile image

      Nimesh De Silva 3 years ago

      @N U Vishnu Prakash Yeah mine too friend.

      @anjana thanks man

    • profile image

      anjana 3 years ago

      i likedf it and very interesting

    • profile image

      N U Vishnu Prakash 3 years ago


    • Nimesh De Silva profile image

      Nimesh De Silva 4 years ago


      Yea, he's a very good author

    • profile image

      Devanshi 4 years ago


    • Nimesh De Silva profile image

      Nimesh De Silva 4 years ago


      Glad I could help

    • profile image

      subhiksha 4 years ago

      Really useful

    • Nimesh De Silva profile image

      Nimesh De Silva 4 years ago


      Yes, I loved the story of Swami.

    • profile image

      shreeya 4 years ago

      nice story

    • Nimesh De Silva profile image

      Nimesh De Silva 4 years ago

      So do I. Through Swami, R. K. Narayan addresses to the child inside everybody.

    • profile image

      chinnu 4 years ago

      I like the story of swaminathan


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