The Ramayana is one of my favourite stories, and R.K. Narayan is one of my favourite authors. With such a combination, you can’t really go wrong :)
I especially enjoyed Narayan’s candid grappling with the more problematic scenes of the Ramayana- such as Rama’s dubious actions during the Vali-Sugreeva battle, and his disowning of Sita until she proves her “purity” and loyalty to him. Narayan gives voice to his dilemmas during this retelling, but he proves true to Kamban’s version and absolves Rama in the end.
Narayan also effortlessly weaves in the various side stories without getting sidetracked by minor characters and incidents, which is commendable considering the size and scope of this Hindi epic.
Enjoyable, detailed, and a highly engaging read, this particular version of the Ramayana is one I’ll be recommending to other readers.
Rating- 4/5 stars