Ramayana: Divine Loophole
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Ramayana: Divine Loophole

4.49 of 5 stars 4.49  ·  rating details  ·  278 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Artist and veteran Pixar animator Sanjay Patel lends a lush, whimsical illustration style and lighthearted voice to one of Hindu mythology's best-loved and most enduring tales. Teeming with powerful deities, love-struck monsters, flying monkey gods, magic weapons, demon armies, and divine love, Ramayana tells the story of Rama, a god-turned-prince, and his quest to rescue...more
Hardcover, 186 pages
Published February 10th 2010 by Chronicle Books (first published 2010)
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Vincent Desjardins
The only familiarity I had with the Ramayana prior to reading this book was the names of some of the gods -Vishnu and Brahma and a few of the other characters, Sita and Hanuman, but I had no idea what their story was or how they related to one another. This is an epic tale and from what I gather from the introduction, the author of this version, Sanjay Patel, has streamlined the story. I have no idea what he's left out, but what he's left in makes a fun and exciting read. The author's great achi...more
Wendy
This is spectacular. Engaging summary of some epic Hindu mythology, with really great illustrations. The author didn't pretend to anything more, and his hope that this book would be a good entry point to a more intensive study of Hindu myths is spot on -- I definitely want to read more now.
Mely
The art is amazing. The text is okay, and also badly proofread.
Jami Sweeney
One of the most amazing children's books I have ever read.
Matthew
Really impressed with this book! Taking the whole of the Ramayana and condensing it into graphic telling (probably closer to picture book than graphic novel)is great and making it accessible to people who don't have a strong background is fantastic.

A bit reluctant to label it mythology as it is a key story of Hinduism but this book is not truly about religion.

A bit reluctant to label it a children's book; all-ages would be more accurate.

Here's hoping that Patel will make other stories from Hind...more
Neil
the cover art on this book caught me at the oakland museum gift store.
apparently the artist works for pixar, thus it is being featured during that
exhibit. the art inside is the same: awesome, reminiscent of samurai jack.

figured i should buy from the museum to support them instead of helping
amazon transform into a 10-headed demon, then found out at the register
that the copy is signed. bonus! karma!

the text is very sparse, like a children's book, but since the introduction
explains that the com...more
Parka

(More pictures at parkablogs.com)

Sanjay Patel's take on the classic Sanskrit epic is refreshing and engaging. Adapted and written in a lighter prose, the book is inviting to any readers who want learn more about the tale. The story is fascinating and gets increasingly so towards the end, with lots of nice surprises. For someone like me who knows nothing about any Hindu stories, I felt like I know a lot more after reading this book.

The story is well paced and laden with beautiful illustrations....more
Troy


I have had several encounters with the Ramayana over the years, first in a Hindu mythology course in college, later through its Thai incarnation--The Ramakhien. And then, through visits with its various characters at several museums with Asian collections. It has, for a long time, been one of my favorite adventure stories.

I think it's fair to say that Sanjay Patel's rendition of the Ramayana is my absolute favorite. Admittedly, Patel has produced an abridged version (3,000 pages down to 120+),...more
Simon Blair
In the Hindu tradition there periodically come times in history when the balance of harmony is greatly disturbed and the forces of greed, fear and selfishness reign to the misfortune of many. Rama, the prince of Ayodya, is born to one such time. The great tyrant of his age, Ravana, the demon King of Lanka pillages as he pleases in his pursuit of every title, treasure and prize. Rama, blissfully married to the beautiful Sita is bravely enduring exile from his home city when she is abducted by Rav...more
Rachel
The great epic of the Ramayana is presented in this slimmed down version. This makes it more accessible to children, or those that do not have the time to read a 3000 page book. The word count may be reduced, but the author has provided something in exchange for this. Each entry is accompanied by stunningly beautiful art comprised of a geometric style which utilizes a wide range of vibrant colours. The author is an animator for Pixar, and although the style is unique to this work, the quality is...more
Marsha
OK...I haven't paid this much for a book in a long, long time. Especially one that I'm going to use for school But $30 seemed like a good deal when I looked at this book.
I have to teach ancient India and I really want to do a good job. It seems to me that understanding the culture's myths is key to understanding the whole culture. This book does that in a way that I think I'll understand and that is visually appealing to my 6th graders.
This book is illustrated by a Pixar animator and I plan on r...more
Laura
One of our branch libraries hosted a weeks-long workshop on the Ramayana, which I had never heard of. The coordinating librarian suggested this title to me as a version more accessible to a younger audience. Just flipping through, the illustrations are so lovely, I'm anxious to dive in.

I definitely got the feeling that there's more to the story. Maybe I'll read the real thing someday. The back of the book includes a glossary (and more yummy illustrations) of gods, demons, animals and warriors fr...more
Jennifer
This is the most beautifully illustrated book I have ever read. I have shared it with adults and older children, and without fail they are drawn in to the story. Regardless of your religious leanings, don't miss this book!
Denis
Patel’s vision of the fascinating Ramayana mythology is so exuberant, gorgeous, detailed, and beautiful, it deserves as much praise as it can get. The stylish illustrations are spectacular - you can almost see the characters come alive, as they would in one of those Pixar movies that Patel has worked on. The narration is brisk, funny, ironic – it’s also certainly simplistic, in the sense that a child can read it, and understand it, but it never betrays the soul of the incredibly complex myths at...more
Gabriel
Wonderful art, a good primer on Indian myth- should be required reading. Really fun. Couldn't put it down. When's the movie coming out?
Sonia
Five stars for the illustrations, three for the story. This is a watered-down version of the great Hindu epic, and while Patel—who was raised Hindu but rejected the faith— is mostly factually correct in his retelling, it reads as a summary and not as a story. Creating both the Ramayana and his other adorably illustrated (but slightly irreverent) book helped Patel understand his faith, and while they may provide curious readers with a general overview of their subjects, they just scratch the surf...more
Becky
I still need to read the text, but the pictures (done by an animator and storyboard artist for Pixar) are a-maz-ing. Incredible composition, symmetry, and color palettes. I also liked the sketchbook section in the back.

"From start to finish, this book took approximately four years to make, or roughly seven days per page. There are no shortcuts. The truth is, if you love scratching away on paper and organizing marks to make symbols that tell stories, you wouldn't want it any other way. Keep drawi...more
Sheehan
This book is just all that and a bag of chips...

The illustrations are phenomenal, and the author shares his sketches and methodology in an appendix following the book which was enjoyable and fun as well. Clearly, Pixar is getting over having this dude on staff...

The story of the Ramayana has been highly distilled down for narrative purposes, but it is a great introduction to the story and the major players. The art is so pretty, and the story so timeless, I'm sure any child could easily enjoy th...more
Melanie Richards
All of the illustrations in this book are stunning, down to the end sheets (the cover w/o the dust jacket is great, too). It took me a long time to finish this book, though, because of the writing. It's typeset in Archer on top of bright colors, so it's hard to read. But more importantly, it seems unsure of whether the audience is kids or adults, and the length is kind of caught between simplicity and detail. I would probably rate this book 5 stars were each spread simply illustration with a tit...more
Jamie Gaughran-Perez
This is a fun read -- and you certainly can't go wrong with Patel's illustrations which are gorgeous and classic and fresh all at once -- but I felt it was caught in between things... that it should have had more words and fewer pictures Ike a story with a few illustrations) or had more pictures per plot point (more like a comic). That said, I'm glad I picked it up and gave it a read. Patel's "Little Book of Hindu Gods" is such a must see that he gets a free pass a couple more books while he fin...more
Sunnyvale Librarian
Let us embark upon a beautiful saga of gods and demons with the retelling of the ancient script the Ramayana. In this age-old tale, you will take a journey into the old world of India with the god Vishnu who is reborn as Rama the Blue Prince. During his travels, he will encounter monsters, evil deities, and then will eventually battle the ever powerful ten-headed demon. Simply written and alluringly illustrated, this is an adventurous tale of good and evil for young minds to devour.
Glorious.Clio
Visually, this book is beautiful. The art is stunning, I really enjoyed it. And the updated approach to the first parts of the story are great.

But like the actual, its focus is on Rama. Which is the point of the story, I guess, since it is the Ramayana. But the last bit of the story, where Sita becomes pregnant, gets kicked out, and proves herself more than worth of Rama's love, though he doubts her.

I guess I'll just have to watch Sita Sings the Blues again.
Indira
A beautiful comic style book that is an excellent introduction to the Ramayana. Sure, it is simplified version of the text but nonetheless provides a basis for reading the full length epic. I love all of Patel's comments about these mythological characters and how there is a glossary of the gods, goddesses, demons and animals. His style is unique, modern, stylish and just so adorable. I couldn't stop reading and looking at the drawings. Hopefully, he'll do the Mahabharata next!
Deb
This is one of the most beautifully illustrated books I have ever seen! Definitely read it if you like Hindu epics and amazing art.
Jenna
This is essentially a picture book, but that doesn't mean adults can't enjoy it, too. Of course, the illustrations are totally amazing and this gives a very useful overview of the Ramayana. I've found this useful for my time in India, as images from this story are common in artwork and day-to-day life here. It also seems like there's a movie version of it playing on TV almost every day! In any case, a very cool intro to a classic religious text.
Jerry
A most excellent illustrated edition. Patel's artwork really gives his condensed narrative a lot of energy, amplifying the text's visual capabilities. The story itself is simplified, but Patel warns of this in advance. This is his interpretation, and how he envisions the world and characters of the Ramayana. I'd like to sample the full translation to get a better understanding of the story, but this was a marvelous beginning.
Erin
Illustrations are wonderful, interesting and something I could look at over and over again finding some new detail. I also learned new characters in the Ramayana that I didn't know about. I enjoyed the sections at the end of the book that explain briefly various gods, origins of gods, demons and animals that are in the story. I think it is another version of the Ramayana that brings such an ancient story to the present.
Rachel
A great introduction to the Ramayana. Patel's graphic illustrations help make sense of this complex tale and are visually stunning. His breakdown of the Hindu gods, demons and other characters is a useful primer for newbies and helps keep everyone straight.

I read this for Diwali prep but it's great for anyone interested in global myths & folklore.
Trin
Fun and deeply vibrant illustrated adaptation of the Hindu epic. I will save analysis of the source text for folks better educated than I, and simply say that Patel’s art is immensely enjoyable, and that as the X-Men will also support, blue people are hot when James Cameron isn’t making them part of something politically and racially skeevy.
Sean
Read this with my 6 year old and he loved it. Heroes and demons, battles and magic. And a blizzard of Hindu gods and goddesses. It works as a children's book, but adults will love it also. Patel is an Oakland-based graphic artist who works with Pixar. He brings the magic to life with cool contemporary images.
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Sanjay Patel is an animator and storyboard artist for Pixar Animation Studios, where he has worked on many features including A Bug's Life, Ratatouille, and the Cars series. Sanjay is also the creator of Ramayana: Divine Loophole, The Big Poster Book of Hindu Deities, and The Little Book of Hindu Deities. His modern interpretations of Hindu epics have been exhibited at the San Francisco Asian Art...more
More about Sanjay Patel...
The Little Book of Hindu Deities: From the Goddess of Wealth to the Sacred Cow Ganesha's Sweet Tooth The Big Poster Book of Hindu Deities: 12 Removable Prints The Future of Oil God & Spirituality - The Undeniable Evidence for God's Existence

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