About the Book
THE APPRENTICE is a novel totally different in tone from all other novels and writings of Arun Joshi. The protagonist, Ratan Rathor, represents the quintessence Everyman - a contrast to other protagonists in so far as his intellectual level is much lower. An unsophisticated youth, jobless, he comes to the city in search of a career; unscrupulous and ready to prostitute himself for professional advancement Seduced by materialistic values, he takes a bribe to clear a large lot of defective weapons. As a consequence, a brigadier, who is also his friend, has to desert his post and, to escape ignomy, commit suicide. A penitent Rathor, avoids confessing his guilt, but, tries to achieve redemption by cleaning the shoes of devotees, every morning, at a temple. THE APPRENTICE attacks materialistic values but with a different strategy. Ratan Rathor wades through corruption to arrive at an understanding of life and its affirmations. According to World Literature Today, "the novel is cast in a series of Browning-like monologues, to a boy to whom the protagonist, burdened with sorrow of 'a wasted life', lays bare the motives, aspirations, dilemmas and frustrations of his past." ARUN JOSHI (1939-1993) was educated in India and USA. He got his Masters Degree in Management from the M.LT. His five novels and a collection of short stories won him critical acclaim and a recognition as an author of rare sensitivity and exceptional talent. The Last Labyrinth was selected for a prestigious Sahitya Academy Award, India's highest literary honour.
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