Book Review : The Great Indian Novel by Shashi Tharoor

In this widely acclaimed novel, Shashi Tharoor has masterfully recast the 2000 year old epic; “The Mahabharata” with fictionalized but highly recognizable events and characters from twentieth-century Indian politics. Blending history and myth to chronicle the Indian struggle for freedom and independence, Mr. Tharoor directs his hilarious and often outrageous satire as much against Indian foibles and failings as against the bumblings of the British rulers. Despite its regional setting, this work can be enjoyed by readers unfamiliar with Indian history.

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This book “The Great Indian Novel”, is by my one of the favourite author in Indian English Literature i.e., Shashi Tharoor. It is his debut work of fiction. This book is essentially a retelling of the Indian epic Mahabharata, but it falls in the realm of political satire by drawing parallels with major events in India’s political history during the freedom movement as well as in the post-independence era.

The whole Mahabharta with its ups and downs , plotting and conspiracy is an epic. And the said book is so aptly written in accordance with pre-independence & post-independence era. Each character and incident is narrated in new context and I did not find it even a bit odd. Because each and every character have justified the role and fit in aptly. Mr. Tharoor’s style is engaging, extremely irreverent and incredibly funny. Taking shots at everyone from Gandhi to Nehru to the Indian media with a few self-referential jokes about NRI’s and diplomats thrown in for good measure.

An Excellent, Witty and charming sweep over the political landscape! The language is flourishing and perfect. The narration is quite elaborate and doesn’t leave any loopholes . I must say I learnt a great deal about history from this book. The Author has done a tremendous job while attempting to rewrite the history with his own prism of thoughts. A must read for the connoisseurs of the wordcraft!

Sneha Prakash

Indian Reviewer

Book Review by Sneha Prakash

Book : The Great Indian Novel

Author : Shashi Tharoor

Publisher : Penguin

Price : ₹449

Pages : 648

Rating : ☆☆☆☆4/5