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The Great Indian Novel

Paperback
Language: English
Length: 424 Pages
Publisher: Penguin
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The Great Indian Novel By Shashi Tharoor
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The Great Indian Novel (Paperback) Price: Rs.261

Shashi Tharoor reinvents India with a dazzling marriage of Hindu myth and modern history.

Shashi Tharoor is the prize-winning author of ten books, both fiction and non-fiction, and a widely published critic, commentator and columnist (including for The Hindu, Times of India and Newsweek).

In 2007 he concluded a nearly twenty-nine-year career with the United Nations, including working for refugees in South-East Asia at the peak of the 'boat people' crisis, handling peace-keeping operations in the former Yugoslavia, and culminating as the Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.

In 2006 he was India's candidate to succeed Kofi Annan as UN Secretary-General, and emerged a strong second out of seven contenders. Dr Tharoor earned his PhD at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at the age of twenty-two, and was named by the World Economic Forum in Davos in 1998 as a 'Global Leader of Tomorrow'. He was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, India's highest honour for overseas Indians.

For more on Shashi Tharoor, please visit www.shashitharoor.com

Specifications of The Great Indian Novel (Paperback)

Contributors
Authored By Shashi Tharoor
Book Details
Publisher Penguin
Imprint PENGUIN
Publication Year 2000
ISBN-13 9780140120493
ISBN-10 0140120491
Language English
Edition 1stEdition
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 424 Pages
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Book Reviews of The Great Indian Novel

TOP REVIEWS View All Top Reviews (20)

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★★★★★
★★★★★
15 Mar 2013
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different and difficult

The first thing about this book is the fact the less you know about the history of India from 1920 onwards, the less sense it will make to you. So if you don't know much about post independent India or the struggle for independence, consider reading up on those first.
That said, this is a brilliant effort at drawing a parallel between the greatest Indian epic and our recent history, and at places it is amazing, how a scene from Mahabharata can be transposed into chapter from Indian history, and how it all fits in ...
there are lot of dull patches in the book. At lot of places the parallels...
()

The first thing about this book is the fact the less you know about the history of India from 1920 onwards, the less sense it will make to you. So if you don't know much about post independent India or the struggle for independence, consider reading up on those first.
That said, this is a brilliant effort at drawing a parallel between the greatest Indian epic and our recent history, and at places it is amazing, how a scene from Mahabharata can be transposed into chapter from Indian history, and how it all fits in ...
there are lot of dull patches in the book. At lot of places the parallels...
The first thing about this book is the fact the less you know about the history of India from 1920 onwards, the less sense it will make to you. So if you don't know much about post independent India or the struggle for independence, consider reading up on those first.
That said, this is a brilliant effort at drawing a parallel between the greatest Indian epic and our recent history, and at places it is amazing, how a scene from Mahabharata can be transposed into chapter from Indian history, and how it all fits in ...
there are lot of dull patches in the book. At lot of places the parallels seem forced and labored, lot of chapters are too long drawn and soporific and the fact that you're always looking for the major events from the epic being depicted in some form leads to some disappointments. The humor is good most of the times, but there are patches of what you can call - cheap comedy.
Overall it is a book with a very different taste. It takes for labored reading at places and there will be points when you'd want to quit, but at the end, most of it seems to make sense. There are subtle areas where Tharoor's views on certain historical events have crept in, if you know our history well, and you watch out for these, you can spot them.
Takes an effort to finish, but on the whole, worth that effort.
Recommended.

3 of 3 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
26 May 2012
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certified buyer
A book that redefines the adjective- Awesome

I bless the day I had picked up this book and casually leafed through its pages. The very first paragraph gets you hooked- "India is not a developing country but a country in the advanced stages of decay." I dont think any other line in the written history of English could define India in a better fashion.
The book has clubbed the plots of Indian Independence struggle and Mahabharata with such finesse that you would be transported into a magical realm where you would be viewing the Indian Independence struggle run by Mahabharata characters.
The plot is a masterpiece. But that is...
()

I bless the day I had picked up this book and casually leafed through its pages. The very first paragraph gets you hooked- "India is not a developing country but a country in the advanced stages of decay." I dont think any other line in the written history of English could define India in a better fashion.
The book has clubbed the plots of Indian Independence struggle and Mahabharata with such finesse that you would be transported into a magical realm where you would be viewing the Indian Independence struggle run by Mahabharata characters.
The plot is a masterpiece. But that is...
I bless the day I had picked up this book and casually leafed through its pages. The very first paragraph gets you hooked- "India is not a developing country but a country in the advanced stages of decay." I dont think any other line in the written history of English could define India in a better fashion.
The book has clubbed the plots of Indian Independence struggle and Mahabharata with such finesse that you would be transported into a magical realm where you would be viewing the Indian Independence struggle run by Mahabharata characters.
The plot is a masterpiece. But that is just the beginning. The lanuage is (for better words) awesome...the aptness of the adjectives, the quirk of the phrases makes for escatic read.
I wonder why this book has not grabbed the bestseller status. It is sad since I consider this book a must read for every Indian across all ages, regions and class. Anyhow, if you come across this book...do yourself and your friends a favour and read it- for its a rare insight into the Indian hinterland.

2 of 3 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
28 Jun 2014
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certified buyer
No Holy Cows

Shashi Tharoor, the inveterate outsider (now turned staunch Trivandrum MP) has very neatly transposed the Indian independence movement back to the epic time of the Mahabharat, with famous historical figures occupying quite easily the place of the epic's characters.
The book focuses more on the build-up to the metaphorical Kurukshetra (the Emergency) than the battle itself.
It's full of irreverent and sometimes cringeworthy puns and allusions - but most of all, this is a book written by a very knowledgeable person for other very knowledgeable persons. Some references are quite opaque if you...
()

Shashi Tharoor, the inveterate outsider (now turned staunch Trivandrum MP) has very neatly transposed the Indian independence movement back to the epic time of the Mahabharat, with famous historical figures occupying quite easily the place of the epic's characters.
The book focuses more on the build-up to the metaphorical Kurukshetra (the Emergency) than the battle itself.
It's full of irreverent and sometimes cringeworthy puns and allusions - but most of all, this is a book written by a very knowledgeable person for other very knowledgeable persons. Some references are quite opaque if you...
Shashi Tharoor, the inveterate outsider (now turned staunch Trivandrum MP) has very neatly transposed the Indian independence movement back to the epic time of the Mahabharat, with famous historical figures occupying quite easily the place of the epic's characters.
The book focuses more on the build-up to the metaphorical Kurukshetra (the Emergency) than the battle itself.
It's full of irreverent and sometimes cringeworthy puns and allusions - but most of all, this is a book written by a very knowledgeable person for other very knowledgeable persons. Some references are quite opaque if you haven't heard of them before.
Very entertaining, and towards the end, almost a plea for a more tolerant, more modern and definitely more Western form of democracy in India.
Not for those who are likely to be easily offended by jokes about their favourite leaders, but also a book unlikely to be read by that category of people.

0 of 0 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
10 Feb 2014
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certified buyer
Just Great!

Such a well written work...Ingenious!...it has got history and epic with the combination of story-telling. With all the combination of humour, drama, history, spice, insights, story-telling, usage of words, twist,....its was a pleasant read.
Since it is a piece base on history and epic, understanding the depth is also base on how much history do we know about from our pre independence struggle especially the Gandhian era.
Though a fiction its contain incidents that took place and thereby might be little misleading since it may be called a book based on true past events. But nonetheless i gu...
()

Such a well written work...Ingenious!...it has got history and epic with the combination of story-telling. With all the combination of humour, drama, history, spice, insights, story-telling, usage of words, twist,....its was a pleasant read.
Since it is a piece base on history and epic, understanding the depth is also base on how much history do we know about from our pre independence struggle especially the Gandhian era.
Though a fiction its contain incidents that took place and thereby might be little misleading since it may be called a book based on true past events. But nonetheless i gu...
Such a well written work...Ingenious!...it has got history and epic with the combination of story-telling. With all the combination of humour, drama, history, spice, insights, story-telling, usage of words, twist,....its was a pleasant read.
Since it is a piece base on history and epic, understanding the depth is also base on how much history do we know about from our pre independence struggle especially the Gandhian era.
Though a fiction its contain incidents that took place and thereby might be little misleading since it may be called a book based on true past events. But nonetheless i guess it's to be taken as a fictional book.

On personal account i had to sit and read with a dictionary by my side to capture the essence of the book. But it has been of real help.

Happy reading!

0 of 0 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
30 Jan 2012
A different experience

All the controversies surrounding the author apart,one has to appreciate the book for its intelligence and the creativity.Blending India's arguably the greatest mythology with India's greatest achievement of the past century is a difficult task in itself but to do it by using many of the freedom fighters and matching them up with one historical character from Mahabharatha is to put it in a simple way 'ingenious'.Shashi Tharoor proves that he is an intellectual of the highest order with this book.You might love the book,or hate the book but putting it aside as just another average work is im... ()

All the controversies surrounding the author apart,one has to appreciate the book for its intelligence and the creativity.Blending India's arguably the greatest mythology with India's greatest achievement of the past century is a difficult task in itself but to do it by using many of the freedom fighters and matching them up with one historical character from Mahabharatha is to put it in a simple way 'ingenious'.Shashi Tharoor proves that he is an intellectual of the highest order with this book.You might love the book,or hate the book but putting it aside as just another average work is im...
All the controversies surrounding the author apart,one has to appreciate the book for its intelligence and the creativity.Blending India's arguably the greatest mythology with India's greatest achievement of the past century is a difficult task in itself but to do it by using many of the freedom fighters and matching them up with one historical character from Mahabharatha is to put it in a simple way 'ingenious'.Shashi Tharoor proves that he is an intellectual of the highest order with this book.You might love the book,or hate the book but putting it aside as just another average work is impossible.

2 of 3 users found this review helpful.

Recent Top Reviews

View all
★★★★★
★★★★★
28 Jun 2014
The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer
No Holy Cows

Shashi Tharoor, the inveterate outsider (now turned staunch Trivandrum MP) has very neatly transposed the Indian independence movement back to the epic time of the Mahabharat, with famous historical figures occupying quite easily the place of the epic's characters.
The book focuses more on the bu...
(View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
25 Jun 2014
The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer
Good service

Delivery on time and a well packed book. It was good one. Liked the service and would like to recommend to all to read this book and service from flipkart (View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
Vivek Warrier
14 Apr 2014
The 'certified buyer' badge indicates that this user has purchased this product on flipkart.com.
certified buyer
An interesting read!

The book has a crisp and gripping narrative style and Shashi Tharoor, as always, is a delight to read. The beautiful marriage of the Hindu epic Mahabharata (From which the title of the book is derived, as mentioned in a disclaimer at the beginning of the book , as in Maha=Great, Bharata=India) an... (View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
27 Mar 2014
Good casual read

Nice for building vocabulary..at least 3 hot words on each book...pleasant read overall; I wouldn't say superlative though. (View complete review)

    Book: The Great Indian Novel by
    ISBN Number: 0140120491, 9780140120493, 978-0140120493

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