In this masterpiece, India's preeminent novelist introduces a character not unlike himself, a compulsively engaging raconteur-" They call me Talkative Man. Some affectionately shorten it to TM: I have earned this title, I suppose, because I cannot contain myself. My impulse to share an experience with others is irresistible." As a young journalist struggling to establish a reputation, TM is always on the lookout for a good story. The one he shares with the reader this time is about the mysterious Dr. Rann and his effect on the people of Malgudi-a world of "small men, small schemes, big talk, and limited means," as V.S. Naipaul aptly described Narayan's enchanting city. Dr. Rann arrives in Malgudi wearing a fancy blue suit and claiming to be researching a project for the United Nations. He inveigles TM into taking him to his home on Kabir Street, where he begins an extended visit as a house-guest. TM learns through local gossip that the secrete scholar is seducing one of Malgudi's young girls, and then a large woman from Delhi arrives and relates the amazing tale of her futile attempts to reclaim the same man, her erratic, wandering husband. In the novel's hilarious and touching denouement, TM realizes that not only he but also Dr. Rann and his implacable wife are all engaged in creating fictions about themselves and their lives.