In the small fictional Indian town of Malgudi an independent, very amateur journalist pauses over coffee to tell a story. His subject is the mysterious, fashionably attired, Mr. Rann who arrives one day at the train station. But doesn’t leave. His story unfolds rather matter-of-factly and preposterously as we, the readers, stumble behind the reporter through the streets. Together we soak up local culture, meet village elders and children, larger-than-life city women, and bureaucratic station masters as Mr. Rann’s mystery is patiently revealed. It’s a short novel: 116-pages. As the author says in his postscript, “I could have stretched the story, but that was I thought that this story needed.” There is more depth here, however, than many books thrice as long.