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ASURA TALES OF THE VANQUISHED : THE STORY OF RAVANA AND HIS PEOPLE

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Language: English
Length: 500 Pages
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd
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ASURA TALES OF THE VANQUISHED : THE STORY OF RAVANA AND HIS PEOPLE By ANAND NEELAKANTAN
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ASURA TALES OF THE VANQUISHED : THE STORY OF RAVANA AND HIS PEOPLE (Paperback) Price: Rs.204

Asura: Tale Of The Vanquished is a retelling of the famous Indian epic, Ramayana, from the villain's point of view.

Summary Of The Book

In this bestseller, Neelakantan tries to break the age old tradition where history is always narrated by the victors. Asura: Tale Of The Vanquished dares to narrate the tale of the Asura people. Blending mythology, religion and history, the book narrates the tale from Ravana and Bhadra's perspective.

The book talks about how the Asura community is more liberal than the orthodox Deva clan, which was highly biased. It also attacks the evil practices of the Brahmin caste. From the tale of Mahabali, Vamana, and Sita’s Agni-Pareeksha, to Jatayu’s meeting with Ravana, the author reveals the many human emotions behind these stories and logically presents a new perspective for the readers.

How wrong was Ravana to challenge the mighty gods for his daughter's sake? Was he evil for deciding to lead life in his own terms? Was he wrong for freeing the people from the caste-cased Deva reign? The author takes the readers on an enthralling journey and poses many such complex questions.

Bhadra is a creative character who gives voice to the common man, who is lost amidst the villains and heroes. The author has been appreciated for his eye for detail, which gives life to his work. The right blend of good language and interesting twists keeps the book engaging.

Published in 2012, the book has topped many bestseller lists including the 2012 Crossword and the bestseller list of CNN IBN.

About Anand Neelakantan

Anand Neelakantan is a talented narrator from India. Asura: The Tale of the Vanquished is Neelakantan’s debut novel. He is currently working on another mythological tale that details the Kaurava’s version of the Mahabharata. He has a few satirical short stories to his credit.

Born in Kerala, Anand has been fascinated with mythology since his childhood. He is married to Aparna, and has two children, Abhinav and Ananya. Besides writing, Anand enjoys oil painting, reading, and drawing cartoons.

Specifications of ASURA TALES OF THE VANQUISHED : THE STORY OF RAVANA AND HIS PEOPLE (Paperback)

Contributors
Author ANAND NEELAKANTAN
Book Details
Publisher Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd
Publication Year 2012
ISBN-13 9789381576052
ISBN-10 9381576052
Language English
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 500 Pages
Dimensions
Height 21 CM inch
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Book Reviews of ASURA TALES OF THE VANQUISHED : THE STORY OF RAVANA AND HIS PEOPLE

3.9
Average Rating
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Most Helpful Reviews (5 of 189)

★★★★★
★★★★★
30 June 12
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Look at the other side of the moon.

The author simply forgot about the symbolic values of Mythology and Epics. Mythologies and Epics don't express the truth directly.
But this book is still a good read, the author's narrative skill is excellent, one should see all sides in order to find truth.
What Ramayana says?
A man lost his peace of mind in the forest of confusion, realizes that its the multi headed mind that is the cause of all his miseries, by controlling his mind, using physical strength and by reaching its very source, he re-gains his peace and thereafter the kingdom of joy.
That is all Ramayana about. But one can keep expounding this ordinary fact and make it even more complex and end up with more stories and confusions. This is what time does to anything.
Its up to one's wisdom to understand that life is ordinary, but its also left to one's freedom to make it complex and complicated.

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81% of 31 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
03 June 12
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Asura - A different perspective on Ramayana

I started reading this heavy book with little hesitancy as it was written by a debut writer. However, once I started the book, it didn't look like a book written by a new author. It is very fascinating book with good narration and correct usage of words. Mythology might not interest the current generation; however, the way this story was presented would definitely attract people of all generations.

In the past a lot of people have attempted to write stories on Ravana, the villain of Ramayana, the great epic of Hindus. However, all of them have attempted to portray Ravana as a real hero with a lot of good characters and a brave person. In this story, although Ravana is the protagonist he was not depicted entirely as a good person. Similar to everyone, he has good as well as evil within himself. In fact, some of the characters in the book are depicted better or braver than Ravana.

The story starts with the end and we all know the story of Ramayana. Still, the book is interesting and keeps the reader to wonder about the twist in the next pages/chapters. Another highlight of the story is Bhadra, a common man, who plays the role of another protagonist. We get to know Ramayana from Ravana's perspective as well as from a common man's perspective (both are different) in the same book, which makes the story more captivating.

The author tries to connect Asuras and Devas with Aryans and Dravidians indirectly. I could also sense the British theory of more civilized Indus valley civilization people who were chased by the foreign Aryans to South India. Also, a lot of political and social messages in the story appear to be relevant for the current period rather than the period of Ramayana.

When I first heard the title "Asura", I wondered why the author calls Ravana as an Asura; he was supposed to be a rakshasa. However, the reply to my question lies in the story. The author directly and indirectly explains how few characters have become Gods in the due course, who are rakshasas, etc. The best thing about the novel is that the author tries to connect all the divine incidents with some logic or scientific method - be it the appearance of Sita to Janak, the end of Sita, Agnipravesh of Sita, Rama winning Sita in Swayamvar, Pushpakavimana, etc.

Although the story is an imagination of author on why the things wouldn't have happened the other way, he twists the characters of Ram and associates to a great extent. The first half of the story appears to be based on some versions of Ramayana, although not based on the original Valmiki Ramayana. However, the other part of the story where the author explains how Rama and his associates won the battle, do not appear to be from any version of Ramayana. It seems to be me that the author is carried away by the illusion that unless he portrays Rama and his people as evil, he could not do justice to his protagonist Ravana. I feel it could have been written differently without twisting some incidents from the original Ramayana.

Overall it is a good read. My best wishes to the author to come with many such interesting books and this book to become one of the best selling books in India.

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89% of 18 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
06 December 12
Its not easy to take loser side. Loving Leadstart picks nowdays.

It is good to have view based on written epic but to have an alternate view and depict in form where people can relate is amazing. Great job Anand.

Everybody likes to listen to winner but who like to listen to losing side? Penning other side view is tough, but it has been done beautifully. All plots are not based on what we have read in Ramayana already. Many of them are writers own creation but they are all interesting and fun to read!

Another great surprise from Leadstart
A Maverick Heart: Between Love and Life - by debut author Ravindra Shukla

I bought it after a friend of mine shared some excerpts... exceptional piece... still reading it. My November vacation was kind of fun...with books.

I am loving Leadstart picks!!!

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80% of 15 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
31 December 12
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This is not mythological...it's more that that!!!

this book is not about some tales jotted from singing bards,...
this is a true perspective, of how a battle is fought between 2 and only the conqueror seems to tell the stories...
Asura is definitely something you must read just to find out what the other side seems to offer.
But surely its again no Whining of the loser...neither a repentance call...
but a pure Journey of the greatest Villains of all time ... his reputation precedes him upto dat magnitude dat mankind wishes to eliminate him every year... "Raavan" ...
no doubt we were told he was so many things we ought not be...but afterall he was one of the greatest and surely needs to be heard !!!
.....I suggest aftr learning so many times d tale of the conqueror - The Ramayana...
it's time to learn .... "Dasmukhayana"....
remember....it's all in perception :)
Bravo Anand Neelkantan....looking forward eagerly for many more of your jewels !

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5 of 5 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
05 August 12
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A story of different hue


Author’s effort to bring the twists and turns of the widely known epic, Ramayana, through the eyes of the “defeated” is wonderful. This book cajoles one to do a comparison of the version which is well known with the trajectory brought out in this book. A parallel witnessing character created by the author, brings in a much needed human face to the super human story of the “Devas” and “Asuras”.

The narration is simple and has succeeded in bringing down the characters of the epic from their lofty pedestals of disproportion, to logically acceptable levels of ordinary mortals. It is Ravana who charms you with all his human emotions, desires and drives. The author has, no doubt, put his satirical view of the heroes, demons and the era. This aspect enables the reader to connect a time gone by to the current affairs.

Overall, a lingering feeling continues for many days after reading the book for its radically different rendition of a story which has been told, heard, read and debated many times by most of us.

Compliments to the author for taking us to yet another plane

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4 of 4 users found this review helpful.

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★★★★★
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Ravanayana a refreshing retelling

It makes you ponder if this is the original account. I read Dan brown's The Da Vinci Code and felt so much ease with this book...

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19 April 14
★★★★★
★★★★★
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I gifted this to vivacious reader!!

I think my friend really liked the book. it for those who love reading history and mythology. Talks a lot on ancient asuras and...

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16 April 14
★★★★★
★★★★★
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Amazingly Written Emotions

I have only seen Ramayan on television. Like Ramayan this was also a story for me.

This is an amazing work of emot...

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12 April 14
★★★★★
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Awesome book... Brahmans please dont buy this book...... u will hate urself

Ugly truth of Brahmans... Awesome book... Brahmans please dont buy this book...... u will hate urself

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11 April 14
★★★★★
★★★★★
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except for the 1st chapter every thing else was horrible.

i wish the narration was better than what is there in the book. a good attempt though and the pen and ink rendering looks reall...

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11 April 14
    Book: ASURA TALES OF THE VANQUISHED : THE STORY OF RAVANA AND HIS PEOPLE by ANAND NEELAKANTAN
    ISBN Number: 9381576052, 9789381576052, 978-9381576052

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