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The Forest Of Stories (Book 1) is the first in the series of books written by Ashok Banker on the great Indian epic, The Mahabharata.
Summary Of The Book
The story starts in forest of Naimisha, which is the setting for the narration of a part of the great epic, The Mahabharata, in this book. This book is the first in a series of around 18 books planned by the author in his bid to retell the Indian legend, and the story is carried forward by its subsequent sequels, The Seeds of War and The Children of Midnight.
The book begins when members of Kulapati Shaunaka’s ashram are startled with the arrival of a weary traveller. He turns out to be Ugrasrava Lomarsana, a Suta Pauranika, a reciter of histories and epics. He is also called Sauti, and is a disciple of Sage Vyasa himself. He brings the sad news of the death of the great Vyasa.
The sages at the ashram greet him with affection and respect, offer some food to eat, and give him time to recover from his long journey. Eventually, they ask him to recite to them the great epic composed by Vyasa. Sauti obliges and begins the story. Just like in the great epic, the beginning of the story is entirely disconnected from the crux of the great epic and its central characters.
The main characters are summed up in a small introduction by Sauti. Then the story branches out. It starts with the story of creation and then goes on to trace the lineages and stories of the various races that have been created - Nagas, Yakshas, Asuras, Devas, and humans.
The story of Parashurama is told in detail in this book. It begins with the stealing of the holy cow, Kamadhenu, from Sage Jamadhagni’s Ashram. It then goes on to narrate how the great Sage Jamadhagni is then killed by the king Arjuna Kartavirya’s sons. Parashurama vows his terrible vengeance, and sets out to wipe the entire generation of Kshatriyas off the face of the earth.
This book also describes the great Sarpa Yaga conducted by Parikshit’s son Janamejaya to avenge his father’s death and destroy all the snakes in the world. As foretold, this Yagna does not really succeed in what it sets out to do. The other story shared in this book is the well-known one of Shakuntala and Dushyanta, the couple that started the Bharata clan.
Through its varied stories that cover a range of different races and times, The Forest Of Stories (Book 1) sets the tone for the vastness and splendour of The Mahabharata.
About Ashok K. Banker
Ashok Banker is an author, and he is best known for his Ramayana Series, a fantastic retelling of the ancient epic that combines the traditional story with sci-fi and fantasy elements. The series was a bestseller and even spawned a TV series.
He has also written other traditional Hindu stories in the same style, and some of his books include Bridge of Rama, Siege of Mithila, King of Ayodhya, Demons of Chitrakut, Prince of Ayodhya, The Valmiki Syndrome: Finding the Work-Life Balance, Gods of War, and Bollywood.
In his retelling of The Mahabharata, Ashok Banker has refrained from modifying the story to cover other genres. The Forest of Stories (Book 1) is just a straightforward retelling of the original story. The story is narrated in his dynamic style, and this book serves as an excellent introduction to the series for the younger generations.
Ashok Banker lives with his family in Mumbai.
|Number of Pages||376 Pages|
|Author||Ashok K. Banker|
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Mar 1, 2015
Jan 30, 2015
Good to read book
Jan 28, 2015
It is a forest of stories!
Mar 23, 2014
Feb 25, 2014
A Good Read for History lovers
Feb 27, 2012
a very mature read.....I still remember the first time i read the "Prince of Ayodhya". I just couldnt put the book down!!! I finished it in a day and a half and the next day i went back to the library and borrowed "siege of mithila" I was not disappointed. In the same voracious manner i devoured the whole Ramayan series and instead of being satiated i craved for more and more (gluttony, in this case, is not a sin!!!). I bought three of the Krishna Series and I'm nearly done with them....
Jul 17, 2012
Aryavarta brought alive!!I first discovered Ashok Banker's Prince of Ayodhya in my school's library and since then I have eagerly read all of his works. His Ramayana, Krishna Coriolis and now the Mahabharata. The Mahabharata is his magnum opus as he deftly strings together one story after the other. I loved it. In fact, some of the stories mentioned here are completely new to me which enthralled me. Go and pick this up now!!
Mar 12, 2012
Wonderfully writtenPre-ordered this book from Flipkart, received it on the first day of it's release! wonderfully crafted stories taken from Mahabharata..flawless style of writing keeps the readers spellbound till the last page. This book is definitely worth reading. I am eagerly waiting for the part 2 of the MBA series...
Jun 20, 2012
A re-telling of some classic stories. Very enjoyable read.This book is not the Ramayana. And it is not written in the same style in which Mr. Banker wrote the Ramayana. Whereas the Ramayana flows from one book to the other in seamless perfection, this epic endeavor is written like a collection (indeed, a forest) of stories. Do not be too disheartened by that though. There is enough in this book to make for an absorbing reading experience.
Jun 4, 2012
Interesting Read!I was introduced to the Mahabharatha epic through the evergreen Amar Chitra Katha vignettes and C Rajagopalachari's Mahabharatha. As a kid, the stories were sugar coated for my tastes and I was happy to gobble what ever was served
Mar 1, 2015
Wonderful narrationThis is my first book of Ashok Banker and was pleasantly surprised at all the attention to details and retelling of even the most insignificant fables. Reading once wasnt enough. started second read to get into the soul of the book before continuing on the second part. Waiting for the other parts to be released soon enough
Dec 28, 2012
Certainly Not "Yet Another Book"Even if you have watched, heard or read the Mahabharata many times in different forms, you will still have much more to learn and experience through this book by Ashok K. Banker.
Apr 23, 2012
A Boring JungleI was totally unimpressed by Banker's earlier books on "Ramayan" and "Bhagawath". In fact I was unable to read beyond the first 100 pages on his first episode o the Ramayan. In fact the only good thing about the books were the cover artwork.
May 4, 2012
Just recieved the bookI just recieved the book.I don't know what kind of reputation this book have.I want Ashok K Banker to take me in a delightful and gripping story.No one should judge a book by it's cover but I do so I give it five stars only for it's attractive cover.
Jan 30, 2015
Good to read bookWell a good to read . But if somebody wants to go and understand mahabharat he should choose narendra Kohli Mahasamar. But this book is also good. It is written as it is and sometimes its boring. Author should have tried or put some efforts. !!