Read The Financial Expert by R.K. Narayan Online


In The Financial Expert, R. K. Narayan once again transports readers to the southern Indian town of Malgudi. This story centers around the life and pursuits of Margayya, a man of many hopes but few resources, who spends his time under the banyan tree offering expert financial advice to those willing to pay for his knowledge. Margayya's rags-to-riches story brings forth theIn The Financial Expert, R. K. Narayan once again transports readers to the southern Indian town of Malgudi. This story centers around the life and pursuits of Margayya, a man of many hopes but few resources, who spends his time under the banyan tree offering expert financial advice to those willing to pay for his knowledge. Margayya's rags-to-riches story brings forth the rich imagery of Indian life with the absorbing details and vivid storytelling that are Narayan's trademarks."The novels of R. K. Narayan are the best I have read in any language for a long time."—Amit Roy, Daily Telegraph"The experience of reading one of his novels is . . . comparable to one's first reaction to the great Russian novels: the fresh realization of the common humanity of all peoples."—Margaret Parton, New York Herald Tribune Book Review"The hardest of all things for a novelist to communicate is the extraordinary ordinariness of most human happiness. . . . Jane Austen, Soseki, Chekhov: a few bring it off. Narayan is one of them."—Francis King, Spectator...

Title : The Financial Expert
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780226568416
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Financial Expert Reviews

  • Hirdesh
    2019-04-01 15:20

    Lovely book.Review tomorrow.

  • Diane Lynn
    2019-04-01 15:01

    A very good story set during the late 1930's and into the 1940's. Another of R.K. Narayan's tales set in his fictional town of Malgudi, India. Through Narayan's wonderful witty prose, we get to know Margayya, the "financial expert", his family and all of their many problems. Malgudi is a very ordinary town filled with ordinary people. Margayya is really just looking to make a quick buck lakh rupee with as little work as possible. He really is very devious and shady. He enjoys advising people in all matters because to him, everything boils down to a money problem. Margayya always has his own interests frontmost in his mind. This is a story about his search for wealth and the effect it has on him, his family and his friends. Good story telling. In the end, (view spoiler)[Margayya perfected the Ponzi scheme, for a while anyway, but didn't trust any banks! (hide spoiler)]

  • Rishi Prakash
    2019-04-14 13:07

    The Master story teller comes out with yet another classic book here. Infact it is one of the best that I have read so far. I am surprised that it has not been made into a movie yet because it has all ingradients to entertain us. Coming to the story, it tells us about the time in British India when they established community banks to encourage a habit of thrift and to create a system of orderly loans. They did this specially to empower the poor people(which was majority of the population that time)who were constantly in debt to loan sharks. However, this banking system was bureaucratically cumbersome and ordinary working folks weren’t really much interested in thrift. The traditional loan-shark system was outrageously unfair to the poor, but it did give them some way to go beyond the hopelessness of their lives, if only for those special occasions of a family wedding or funeral. Thus, with the seemingly well-intentioned community banks in place, but with the killing bureaucracy making them nearly useless, there sprang up a new group – the financial advisors. These were individuals who just set up an “office” on the street under any big tree! They were at least basically literate and knew a bit about how the banks worked. They also had stacks of the various forms people had to fill out for loans or other bank dealings. They would fill out the forms and guide the people along the path to get them through the bank’s systems. They often preferred to encourage their clients to just forget about the banks and all their forms and bureaucracy and to deal with the them, the financial advisors, who would lend money without much paper work. The novel was inspired by one of these street smart “financial advisors.” The book has all shades right from funny to completely tragic and keeps us glued till the end. There is one particular incident which literally made me fall of my chair! There is this land lord who is being requested by all his tenants from a long time to put "wires and bulbs" as the electricity has come to Malgudi by now and this guy is a big miser so he keeps it hanging for quite long and then finally when he realises that stories won't work any more then he comes up with a killing line "I have ordered it directly with General Electricals so that we get the best quality so it will come through sea and hence will take some time" which that time used to be months as the only mode was water ways! A must read for all Narayan fans :-)

  • Katerina
    2019-04-03 14:52

    First thought - this book is made to be read in English. I had a French copy and I believe that I have missed the spirit of it. Nevertheless I consider it as an incredible portrait of a man in the Indian society, or even, I will go further, any traditional eastern society. All the battle between the internal hesitations, very human feelings and the need of being accepted by the people around who have literaly nothing to do with you. All the hypocrisy of the socity and many many other problems which come with the money... Makes me think of the Dreiser's fictions... but instead of NY and London we are in a small city in India. People are the same everywhere.One thing which made me really laugh is the passage of the "philosopher"-personage who speaks about English language problem in India. He was very mad about the fact that you need to write/speak in English to be read/heard in all reagions. Well the paradox is that this book itself is written in English. So does anybody see the link with the author? I really hope that this philosopher was not his autoportrait ...

  • Moshtagh ghurdarvazi
    2019-04-11 11:55

    بین کاسب کارها هم مثل سیاست مداران بیشترین ترس آن است که به چیزی متعهد شوند

  • Soulmuser
    2019-04-19 13:03

    I am not quite sure why I am rating this book 3 because I enjoyed the book immensely. Narayan's wit and humor is evident here in his story about the travails of a 'financial expert.' It is typical of Narayan to comment on the Indian societal mores where anyone can become an 'expert' on anything. His social acumen and insight remains outstanding. Maybe, having just read a few of Narayan's novels by now, I yearn perhaps for a bolder stroke. I know that is wishful thinking - Narayan wrote very well on what was most familiar to him. The book made me chuckle in a few places, and as always, if you are keen enough, you can observe the darker, philosophical overtones that mark his writing. This is a little gem. Just that I don't know where to place it among all his other works.

  • Purvi Petal
    2019-04-24 16:00

    This was my first introduction to the nitti-gritties of financial manipulations. It is an accurate account of the money-swindling whirlpool created by the protagonist to keep sucking money in, but as is Karma's calling, his own son proves to be his undoing. Try whatever he might, he is unable to pass on his brains to his son and all his 'hard-earned' black money drowns him in in his self created quagmire instead, the comeuppance to his deeds.The novel paints a subtle picture of South India, like a backdrop painting , as the novel's setting in the background and you will have to agree, just as each actor has his or her acting style, so does a writer. You cannot have them write the way that would please you. That is manipulative writing. Instead, the classic or, lets say, the true writers are those who leave their own remarkable tastes in your mouth, their style is unique and you will find the flavour returning to you in one way or the other.Some might find the book a little slow or boring, it is not a fast paced page turner, but if you want a peep into the society, you have to grow with it, like the silent fungi, you shouldn't expect a racy thriller here. No doubt, this is more a comment on society than a document on economics or crime. It is, in fact, a real unwinding of how scams work in rural settings, how gullible the masses are, how money tempts each person in its own way, how efficient are scammers and money bunglers with their financial management. Are they as good managing their own life? This is a question that is to be realized after reading this novel.

  • James
    2019-04-14 10:21

    This is a witty and luminous novel set in the backward town of Malgudi in southern India. It is a world created by R. K. Narayan and like Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County it is memorable and filled with characters that come alive on the page. The Financial Expert of the title is a man named Margayya who sits in a public park dispensing advice on economic matters to people who revere him. Throughout the novel the reader is introduced to several characters that may seem to play only a minor role, but in fact, are highly developed—almost without the reader being aware of it. Certainly, the main character, Margayya, is highly developed and the reader is given many insights into his motivations and thoughts. The reader is treated to his travails with the residents of Malgudi and his difficulties within his own family. Other characters in the novel are not so explicitly developed, yet their force cannot be underestimated, nor can their implicit development be ignored. The story-telling ability of R. K. Narayan is grand and with it he enthralled this reader.

  • Kaustuv Baral
    2019-04-16 16:00

    If one has to know about typical Indian sensibilities one should simply read RK Narayan books. For an Indian, reading through the pages is like himself enacting the story- as at the some point either we have seen this happening or have been a part of it. RK Narayan delves into the Indian common man psyche and presents his story. Financial expert was quirky, funny, engaging and never ever boring. The plot which shows the entire life of the Financial expert- his ups and downs leaves you with a kindof pleasant feeling- a feeling of a story well said. Another best part of Narayan writing is like his protagonists, the books are for the common man. You seldom need a dictionary for his books and yet the way he writes never falls short of expression and vividness. This is a quality I admire cause whats the point of writing high-flowing words when the reader cannot identify with it.

  • Jasveer Singh
    2019-04-21 14:11

    After watching a TV series based on Malgudi Days, I decided to give this book a try. But It beat crap out of my course books at being dull.The story drags without much happening and then suddenly it ends with as much logic as it started. When Narayan had been scribbling the boring story for around six months, it got to the nerves of his wife and one morning she said, "Hey you old man! Finish this crap or else no breakfast for you". So obeyed R.K. A village financial adviser(the protagonist) enterprises to earn big buck but finds himself in deep water. So at the end, he gives up and realizes that happiness has nothing to do with wealth.The only character I liked in the book is his son and he very rightly stays away from the vapid story line for most of the time. Something more about him could have given the book much needed taste.

  • Daniel
    2019-04-11 09:11

    Narayan belongs withDostoevsky andChekhov as writers who at once capture both the intimate peculiarities of their fellow countrymen and the common ordinariness of all human lives. Here he returns again to fictional Malgudi, with a tale of a money lender and his son that might be called ‘The Prodigal Father’. Narayan’s sly yet gentle irony and his elliptical dialogue are both put to superb use.

  • Anil
    2019-04-06 15:09

    Another masterpiece from R.K.Narayan. As always, the author creates a fantastic movie in the reader's mind and keeps the reader lively and blissful. Many who have given bad rating to this book have to understand the Indian society and living around 50 years back. Margayya is a wonderful character creation. The book will not let you stop reading it until you complete it. Simple and very detail book!

  • ej cullen
    2019-03-26 11:13

    Charming little book, more like a 245 page short story in its minimalist compactness. Larry Flynt meets Bernie Madoff in India. Only problem is in the last few pages, where Narayan can't seem to get the plane of denouement off the long runway and into the air.

  • Nisar Masoom
    2019-04-21 15:20


  • Ajitabh Pandey
    2019-04-09 08:15

    The author R.K. Narayan has created a funny character in this book. Overall a decent read.

  • Swateek
    2019-04-02 14:07

    A typical RK Narayan story, of the struggle in the life of a common man almost a hundred years ago. The story buildup and ending always has been the catchy part of his books. Good read.

  • Abhishek
    2019-04-15 13:10

    Another tale from hinterlands of Malgudi (Indian Gotham sans superhero) - the tale is the simplistic trademark of R.K.Narayanan. It feels strange that even after a century - banking and relations have not grown much - just the means have. A self-made man, his idle life-partner, a friend turns foe and a wasted child. (Jist) But, The story is not in the plot but the expression. The truth about relationships settles like dew drops in the crisp, heated sentences of reality. Magayya ends up another villainous - hero.

  • Vijayshree Menon
    2019-04-19 11:58

    RK Narayan has a knack for subtlely blending humor even in the gravest situations. Margaya is a remarkable character who seems predictable but surprises us now and then. The fine detailing of the characters and the scenes paint a vivid picture of the Venkata Mudali street. Each character has a distinct voice. The language is lucid and so is the storyline structure. It was worth reading.

  • Heramb
    2019-04-12 15:00

    It happens in the case of very few stories, that you don't feel miserable or neglected as the story concludes and we clearly start seeing even the micro connections in the work. And this adds a new dimension to our perception. R.K.Narayan's The Finanial Expert is a perfect example.

  • KP Chandrasekharan
    2019-04-20 16:05

    Simple story; simple language. But great fiction.

  • Skjam!
    2019-04-05 15:06

    In the South Indian town of Malgudi, across from the Central Cooperative Land Mortgage Bank, there is a banyan tree under which sits Margayya, the financial expert. Margayya (“the one who shows the way”) is an unofficial middleman who helps the unlettered villagers apply for small loans from the bank (for a small fee), arranges for people who still have good credit to take loans to help out those with bad credit (for a small fee) and gives financial advice, among other services (for a small fee.) He works hard at his dubiously legal profession, from early in the morning to when the sun is setting.The problem with nickel and diming poor people for a living is that at the end of the day what you have is a small pile of nickels and dimes. Margayya is on the “needs reading glasses” side of forty, lives in half a house with his wife and preschooler son Balu, and hasn’t bought a second set of clothing in years. When the Bank officially takes unfavorable notice of his business, and Balu playfully tosses the only copy of his financial ledger in the sewer, Margayya realizes that he needs a lot more money if he is to be treated with the respect he thinks he deserves. But where to get it?R.K. Narayan (full name Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami, 1906-2001) is considered one of the most important writers of literature from India, at least partially because he wrote in English which made it easier to spread to the rest of the Commonwealth and eventually America. His novels and stories were set in the fictional community of Malgudi, a “typical” large town somewhere in southern India, which allowed him to invent geography as needed and avoid lawsuits when he used real-life incidents as the basis for the story.In this case, Margayya is a composite of two real-life people, one an actual middleman who performed the services Margayya does at the beginning of the novel, and a high-flying financial wizard who was incredibly rich for a short time before crashing and landing in jail for his shady practices.In the story, Margayya makes a fervent appeal to Lakshmi, goddess of Fortune, and in the process happens to run into a writer named Dr. Pal. Dr. Pal is interested in psychology, sociology and improving the life of his fellow humans. He’s written a manuscript that will eventually be titled Domestic Tranquility, an important sociological work to improve married life. To be blunt, it’s a sex manual. He gives the manuscript to Margayya to do with as he will, and the businessman gets it printed; the book is apparently phenomenally successful.Mostly what Margayya does with his new-found cash flow is try to get a good education for his son Balu. Unfortunately, Balu is not the kind of kid that the formal education system of the time served well, and since no one ever bothers finding a better way to engage him, Balu becomes a wastrel instead. Part of the problem is that Balu has inherited his father’s habit of being sullen and silent when he has issues, and thus the two never have honest conversations instead of blowups.Eventually, Margayya gets tired of the publishing business, where he never directly gets to see the money, and cashes out. With a substantial capital, he can now open a formal money-lending and investment business, becoming a “financial expert” who is respected by even the wealthiest men in town. But he again has left a single-point weakness in his business, which leads to ruin.Margayya is not a very likable protagonist; he’s small-minded, sneaky and arrogant. He’s good at making money in the short term but poor at long-range planning. His relationship with his wife is more “she can’t bring herself to leave this jerk because there isn’t anything better for her in her society” than any form of mutual loyalty. Margayya’s constantly worried that other people are taking advantage of him, while taking advantage of others whenever possible. Margayya’s dignity is easily wounded, and he is quick to injure others’ dignity when he can. He loves his son, but completely fails to understand him, so the rottenness in the young man’s character grows.The Time-Life edition, which is what I read, has two introductions, by the editor (you may want to save this one for after you read the book) and by the author. Mr. Narayan explains the background of the novel, including the economic conditions that lead to a cycle of debt, and how things had changed in India since the book was written.There are several references to teachers striking students, and classism is often a subtext to what’s going on.Recommended for those looking for a mostly realistic novel about life in India before independence with a not particularly sympathetic protagonist.

  • Victoria
    2019-04-26 15:00

    A friend brought me this book from a trip to India, where the acclaimed author is well appreciated for his classic tales. They combine a deceptively simple narrative style and acute perceptions of human nature in all its absurdity and poignancy. Graham Greene was an early Narayan admirer and helped bring his work to attention in the West.In this novella, the hero, Margayya, although indubitably Indian, also is “a type which should have taken its place long ago in world literature because he exists everywhere.” Margayya, whose name means “the one who showed the way,” indeed does show the way, although his ultimate destination is not what he hopes or has planned. His story begins in his early career, sitting daily underneath a banyan tree at the center of his dusty village with his small box of forms and pens, helping peasants sort their finances, brokering loans, and earning barely enough to keep his wife and adored son, Balu, in food.Over the course of the book, his financial prospects greatly improve, Balu grows up, and Margayya rises to great heights on the back of his miraculous financial innovation that the reader recognizes as, essentially, a Ponzi scheme. But ungrateful Balu proves Margayya's undoing, and the lesson stretches beyond the financial calamity it produces: “The only element that kept people from being terrified of each other was trust—the moment it was lost, people became nightmares to each other.”As the plot winds toward the inevitable, Margayya’s vanities, his obliviousness disguised as business acumen, and the jockeying for advantage of everyone around him—in an economic environment where so little advantage is to be had—provides ample fodder for the kind of laugh-at-ourselves “humour that knows no national boundaries,” says Der Kurier, Berlin, also the source of the earlier quote.The story takes place in the mid-1920s to 1940s, when colonial rule in India was drawing to a close and the country’s legendary legacy of bureaucracy was increasingly entrenched. This exchange between two of Margayya’s acquaintances sums up the incessant frustrations:The first man is commenting on his difficulties getting a nuisance business moved somewhere else: “. . . you know what our municipalities are!”Second man in an aside to Margayya: “He is himself a municipal councillor for this ward . . . and yet he finds so much difficulty in getting anything done. He had such trouble to get that vacant plot for himself—”First man: “I applied for it like any other citizen. Being a municipal councillor doesn’t mean that I should forgo the ordinary rights and privileges of a citizen.”Well said. I laughed out loud.In the introduction to another of his books, Narayan says that in India “the writer has only to look out of the window to pick up a character and thereby a story,” and in Margayya he has selected an unforgettable protagonist and packed his tale with humanity.

  • Allison
    2019-04-06 13:10

    This book is part of my Masters Degree syllabus under "Indian Literature in English". Before I started the book, I was not very keen on reading it and only did so for my studies' sake. Although I have read many books in Indian languages, I had never read an English book by an Indian. I was sure the it would be slow paced and about everyday life of ordinary people. (As opposed to the fantasy and thriller genres that I so enjoy). But once I started reading the book, it just pulled me in. The language is so simple that twelve year olds can read and understand it. But in lies so many complexities that many don't get even at fifty. Considering the time when this book was written, it was a time when very few Indians read English and probably the simplicity of language suited those readers. Yet, there is something mesmerizing about this fictional Malgudi (Loved watching Malgudi Days on TV as a kid). The simple life, the innocent villagers, the few smart men that take advantage of innocence, the docile women of the era and so on... Here's a man who wants wealth and has become obsessive to the extent that even at the news of his only son's death too, he is reluctant to close shop for a day to bring his son home and perform the last rites. He achieves so much and at much more faster pace loses it all and back where he began.The simplicity of the story telling is contradicted by the immense greed of the protagonist. His relationship with the money is that of a devotee with his God. No matter how much he earns he just wants more. I don't want to go into more details as I have to hop to the next book in the syllabus.All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the book and am actually looking forward to next one in the Indian literature in English genre.

  • Ensiform
    2019-04-07 11:08

    Set in the mythical village of Malgudi, this subtle book tells the story of Margayya, a self-appointed financial wizard who helps peasants with their money matters. One day, after being shamed by a peon at the big Co-Operative Bank, he decides to become very wealthy. He goes to a priest, performs the rituals, and gets into a variety of money making schemes, offering high interest rates for the villagers’ savings. But when Dr. Pal, the learned journalist, gets too friendly with Margayya’s spoiled son, things fall apart.The story is told from Margayya’s point of view, so sometimes the reader loses track of what a self-occupied, greedy miser he must be, although he sincerely wishes a better life for his rather dim son. The dialogue is quite sharp, and apt; having been to India, I think I understand the characters more than if I hadn’t. The whole book, in fact, takes a rather detached, Indian approach, with little in the lines of plot and a rather desultory climax and denouement; and when Margayya loses all his wealth at the end, he merely stoically declares that he will begin again, without moralizing to his son or blaming himself. The book is an appealing slice of Indian life, told in a light, comical way which I enjoyed.

  • Sankrutyayan
    2019-04-08 14:55

    To start off lightly, this book like any other R.K.Narayan's works will have all the usual characters of Malgudi and those beautiful roads,river,temple etc. But unlike all his works this book was indifferent, as if it had been written out of no purpose at all or with very less inventiveness. As the background is always the same i.e Malgudi, I am happy till there but there is something lacking. And this is only my opinion, I'm in no position to talk of his great work but for me it seemed similar to "The World of Nagaraj". The plot is mostly the same - an impertinent, unstable son who has the tendency to run away form home and need to be attended for his own good and to be dragged back into his senses, married off etc. I do not want to say that I was disappointed reading this but I am definitely not impressed. Even though this was written before "The world of Nagaraj", I enjoyed Nagaraj more than Margayya. Having said that, Narayan would never miss to incorporate some humor of the naive characters.

  • Debosmita Paul
    2019-04-21 12:07

    Margayya of Malgudi. Well his name was the distorted version of what actually means 'marga'-road and 'ayya'-superior, in short one who shows the road. And that is what he was in terms of finances. Deducing loans from the claws of corporate banks in favour of villagers and extorting interest in a fatherly way was his forte. Its a tale of rags to riches. But moreso a tale of faith and talent, that are the actual assets of human life. A talented man walks with his fortune safely shining inside his skull, just like Margayya for whom tough times were always a passé as he knew he had both of the assets finely fixed up his sleeve. Well, its also a rendition of how ego can twist your fortune and how evils of anger, pride and laziness creep in when fortune is done favouring. But what shines is the writer's sense of humour which makes mundane illustrations come alive with a twisted smile. Being a devoted fann of Narayan all I can say is, never say die, but with a smile! :)

  • Sneh Pradhan
    2019-04-23 09:03

    Reading this book was a return to my teenage idol-worship of R.K. Narayan's books , each and every one of ém ........Even now , when I am more used to reading pacy , and those twist-and-turn rich tales .......... I savour this detour from those busy, trafficked roads to the irresistible charm of a lazy bullock-cart ride on a quaint Indian village road . Narayan has never failed or , even slipped in his at once , incise and gripping portrayal of Indian village life , As always , letting you live in Malgudi , breezily skimming over the issues of caste and poverty inherent to India , but never quite getting swept by it !!! Can't stop marvelling over the ability of a writer like Narayan to have an unflinching grip over the heart and soul of a land and its people , and to so subtly and profoundly , at once , let us breathe their breath , live their lives and die their deaths !!!!

  • Ajay
    2019-04-01 10:09

    Another marvellous penmanship by RK Narayan. At every review of his books, I at least mention his name once to show my gratitude to his works. This particular pick,is no where less to the royal writing set up by the author. The book as it goes by its name is the story about Margayya. His life started with a small set up under the banyan tree in front of the corporation bank as a financier. He ran hither and thither to taste money. But that never stopped him from making it plenty and finally ending up in the tyranny of insolvency.The story with its elegance , has been set up in the imaginary town Malgudi , as done with plenty of his books. I can swear this instant that if there is a so called place live today, I won't mind to bother myself the next second to start my journey on the course to see the life abouts in that town.

  • Vaibhav Kabdwal
    2019-04-08 13:19

    Margaya ,the man around him whole of the story rotates.His excellent financial skills,as the tittle says Financial Expert .He started his career as a man who helps villagers to obtain loan from the cooperative bank & charged them some money if they obtained loan.His consummate skills & glib speaking skills made sure that no one returned without loan.After being insulted by a bank official & his worker he became extremely sad and blamed his financial conditions for his insult & decided to become rich.In this process after advice of Pandit he did a Puja of Goddess Lakshmi,The God of Wealth.Soon in turn of events he met Dr Pal ,who worked for a newspaper.In later story Margaya became very rich & soon very poor in a quick turn of events & story suddenly reached where it has started.Good book by Sir RK & it tells what greed and money can do to a man .

  • Tenzin Gyaltsen
    2019-04-17 16:05

    India and her people struggling to earn their living through various means, even discarding some bold and socially intended beneficial ideas, like many around around the world. Margaya, the main character in the novel even goes to the extend of following strict religious rituals to gain wealth, though he doesn't believes in so when he was well off. This one of the many acts of man, shows he desperate a man can be to fulfill his desires. The author, R. K. Narayan also explores the nature and zeal of man to raise his only heir, unknowing spoiling the heir and obstructing the progeny to explore the heir's own capabilities.