23 NOVEMBER 1991, Page 34

Eric Christiansen

I'm probably the last man alive not to have read the books of R.K. Narayan, who seems to have been at it since 1935. This year I made up for lost time, with The Financial Expert (Mandarin, £3.99). I'm hooked. He uses the seductive tricks of the European novelist to bring you into Hinduism, which you would not otherwise wish to enter, presumably. It is a disconcerting experience, but pleasurable.