Mr. Stone and the Knights Companion Summary

V. S. Naipaul


(Critical Guide to British Fiction)

The action of Mr. Stone and the Knights Companion covers a two-year period shortly before Richard Stone’s retirement from the Excal Corporation, where he has a minor position as librarian. During this period, Stone blooms. A confirmed bachelor and a creature of habit, he takes a wife, the fiftyish widow Margaret Springer, whom he meets at the home of his friends Tony and Grace Tomlinson and who attracts him with her bold, joking manner. Later, Stone has the single original idea of his life. Troubled by the idea of the long, woman-dominated days he foresees in his own retirement, he conceives an Excal project which will send retired employees to visit other retired employees, to the general benefit of morale.

When his proposal is enthusiastically accepted by the Excal Corporation head, Stone for the first time becomes an important person in his company. He gets a large raise, a new department, an ever-increasing staff, and even his picture in the company paper. Brainstorming, Stone and the public relations officer who is assigned to the project, Bill Whymper, arrive at the title for the retired volunteers, the “Knights Companion.” Even though Whymper terminates his brief friendship with Stone, and even though he patronizes and insults Stone while burdening him with the administrative details of the project, Stone is happy in his meaningful activity. After his picture, taken at the Christmas Round Table dinner, appears in the newspapers,...

(The entire section is 495 words.)


(Critical Guide to British Fiction)

Allen, Walter. Review in The New York Review of Books. II (March 19, 1964), p. 21.

Hamner, Robert D., ed. Critical Perspectives on V. S. Naipaul, 1977.

McSweeney, Kerry. Four Contemporary Novelists: Angus Wilson, Brian Moore, John Fowles, V. S. Naipaul, 1983.

The New Yorker. Review. XL (March 7, 1964), p. 181.

Theroux, Paul. V. S. Naipaul: An Introduction to His Work, 1972.

White, Landeg. V. S. Naipaul: A Critical Introduction, 1975.