Monday, September 25, 2017

Book Review of "Jaya - by Devdutt Pattanaik"


I have seen roughly two types of Mahabharata books - the ones aimed at telling the story and the ones which don't focus on just the storytelling aspect of it but also on analyzing, theorizing and interpreting the Mahabharata text. Obviously the books which fall into the second category are way more interesting than the first ones.

Having said that, I felt that "Jaya" by Devdutt Pattanaik was neither here nor there. This isn't necessarily a bad thing mind you. Its just that, one gets the feeling that the author "holds back" or rather "dials down" on the interpretive aspects and chooses to go down the "tell it as it is" path. Still a damn fine book though, but can't help but wonder if it could have been a great one...

More specifically though, "Jaya" is definitely crisp, to-the-point, fast-paced and yet sufficiently detailed. Some of the footnotes and illustrations are astutely done. My favorite parts of the book are the regional variations & folk retellings of the well-known stories - many of them I had never heard of before. Very interesting.

To sum it up, "Jaya" gets a well deserved 4/5 in my view. 
Reading any book about Mahabharata never gets boring. Reading a good book about Mahabharata, a reader can't ask for much more.

1 comment:

Rijal Mulyadi said...
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