Fast paced, gripping and wonderfully written, this novel makes a great read. This is not to negate the fact that it probably does not do justice to thFast paced, gripping and wonderfully written, this novel makes a great read. This is not to negate the fact that it probably does not do justice to the Hindu mythology. The portrayal of Shiva as a love struck tribal trying to impress Princess Sati completely contradicts the well-known legend of Shiva-Sati according to which, it was Sati who had prayed for years, before Lord Shiva agreed to marry her. The author has also been heavily criticized for portrayal of Sati as a widow.
However, if one can manage to look beyond the aforementioned flaws (which by no means can be easy for ardent Shiva devotees and historians), one would realize that it is a wonderful story with a very positive message and that itself is good enough. The author successfully convinces that greatness is not a quality one is born with but a trait which is consciously inculcated by making informed choices. It is a story of a man, as ordinary and fallible as all of us, who genuinely tried to question and understand what is 'right' and was not afraid to realize that 'right' and 'wrong' may actually be two sides of the same coin.
Shiva's argument that everyone who fights for 'good' is a 'Mahadev' and therefore every man can be a Mahadev ('Har Har ho sakta hai Mahadev' i.e. 'Har Har Mahadev') is not only extremely inspiring but also believable.
Amish’s writing is honest and powerful and the underlying philosophy is secular. One can clearly see that the author himself has tried to understand 'righteousness' without being prejudiced by any religious or philosophical outlook, which is an admirable feat. And this is what makes it a great work, despite the alleged mythological inaccuracies.
The book is not about Hinduism but about humanism. It is not about what is 'right' or 'good' but what should be right AND good...in any time and in any world. Therefore, I recommend it for everyone. If you genuinely want to become a good person, this is your book. Happy reading. ...more
Summary of my review: A must read for anyone who wants an insight into the rural China of the early 20th century.
The first book of her 'House of EartSummary of my review: A must read for anyone who wants an insight into the rural China of the early 20th century.
The first book of her 'House of Earth' trilogy, 'The Good Earth' was not only selected for the coveted Pulitzer Prize in 1932; it is known to have played an instrumental role in earning Buck her Nobel Prize for Literature. Most ardent readers know better than to judge an author or a work by the number of awards they receive but that this time the accolades were well deserved. The author's portrayal of lives of ordinary illiterate Chinese peasants is almost heartbreaking. Since her characters are as naive, innocent, repressed and god-fearing as one would expect most good-natured peasants to be; it is difficult to stay emotionally detached when they go through immense pain and suffering despite being essentially 'good'. It is a stirring story of an ordinary rural woman (O-Lan) conditioned to feel miserable for being a woman and her marriage. It is a wonderful story of hope and the eventual loss of it at the hands of relentless misfortune and harsh poverty. I recommend it for everyone who wants to understand poverty, and the extent to which illiteracy can impair even a good man's reason; causing his eventual downfall. ...more