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Asura: Tale Of The Vanquished

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  9,605 ratings  ·  1,082 reviews
The epic tale of victory and defeat… The story of the Ramayana had been told innumerable times. The enthralling story of Rama, the incarnation of God, who slew Ravana, the evil demon of darkness, is known to every Indian. And in the pages of history, as always, it is the version told by the victors that lives on. The voice of the vanquished remains lost in silence.

But wha
Paperback, Indian, 504 pages
Published May 14th 2012 by lead start publication pvt ltd
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Chandreyee Well, you are right. Valimiki's Ramayana portrays Ravana as a highly educated and intellectual man with complete knowledge of the Vedas and other…moreWell, you are right. Valimiki's Ramayana portrays Ravana as a highly educated and intellectual man with complete knowledge of the Vedas and other sciences and arts, a capable ruler, a good commander, a magnificient man with imposing personality, and of course, strong and mighty. He was not just an asura with an insatiable bloodlust and all that...So, as mch as I can say from the limited part I have read in the book, he is not likely to have the perspective shown in the book. However, as much as I have been able to deduce, it is a good book and a nice take on the so-called "evil's" point of view. (less)

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3.64  · 
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Riku Sayuj
May 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
How to Define Dangerous Books

Sometimes the only force that can take you through tabductso the end of a book this bad is the sweet thought of revenge: of how you are so going to maul the author in your review once the book is done and dusted.

This is a book that is so painfully badly written (500+ pages of tripe!) that ordinarily it should not merit much thought, but the fact that it tells a story that so many would want to hear, and might believe too easily, makes it dangerous nevertheless, and w
Nov 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Before I start my review please allow me to tell you about the Ramayana. It will help you get the context.

Let me also clarify that I only have a superficial knowledge about Ramayana. Mostly gleaned from a children’s abridged edition they taught us in school, what my elders told me and popular culture.

The Ramayana meaning Journey of Ram is an ancient India epic about Lord Ram. He is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu (one of the principal Hindu Gods) and regarded as Maryada Purushottam – the perfect
Rituraj Verma
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Half way through, the book seems like a scientific explanation of a myth, with a strong anti North and anti Brahmin slant. But that maybe because I am reading the unmodified, raw version that is too hard hitting to be printed because it could get banned or at least get shouted at.

By the end of the book however, two things become clear. One, that all myths are machinations of ancient politicians and people came to believe what they found convenient. Two, that while there is no concept of a codif
Sep 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
Very disappointing book. The premise was very interesting - writing Ravana's version of events. But the writing was simply terrible.

To start with, the editor on this book did a pretty shoddy job. There were multiple errors of spelling and grammar. Also, this is supposedly a historical/ mythological piece so it should reflect the period. I found many of the phrases and analogies were quite anachronistic. For an example, terms like 'an efficient time manager' and 'useless jargon and mumbo jumbo'
Jan 04, 2013 rated it did not like it
The book didn't seem as author s debut. Truly astounding flow with powerful language.Author seems to be a very capable writer.

But it was very disappointing to see such a capable person twisting the original Ramayana and have compromised too much on the facts. This may be about Ravana's perspective, but it doesn't demand the twisting of Ramayana facts.
For instance Rama's life as per Ramayana is 11000 years. But the author has portrayed the incidents sprawling across a period of 70+ years.Now, if
Vibha Jain
Oct 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Rating of this book after testing on five backgrounds.
1. The Content.
Hats off to the research work.
Every minute detail is casted with utmost dedication.
I’ll rate this 4.5 out of 5 as for the reason nothing more could have been written.

2. The Narration.
It wasn’t that appealing as for the two reasons.
Lengthiness of the conversations. (that compelled me to complete the novel in three days which I could have done in a night if it wasn’t that dis
Rudra Kapalin
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
An amazing stories that shows Anand Neelakantan's genius. Its not just about the book but the way he looked at History, Religion, Mythology and then uses his own mind to write an awesome piece of Fiction.

The thing I admire about the author is that in this country infested by religions, he thinks rationally and pours out his heart which breaths life into his Novel.

This novel by Anand makes more sense to me than Ramayana.
SivaAnanth Muthuveeranan
Sep 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Hmmm.... Quite a book, enjoyed reading every line.

I was thrilled from the first page to the last one, although knew the storyline. Ravan and his servant Bhadra's version of the epic kicks our imagination to view from the loser's side. Till date we have heard only the victor's side. History is written by those who have hanged heroes.
The experience of reading Ravan's version is enthralling.

Loser and the victor has a story a tell and this is the loser's tale.
When Ravan gets betrayed by his own bro
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Never having been a "fan" of Ram, when a friend's hubby told me about Asura, I immediately downloaded it on my Kindle wanting to read it after the current one I was reading. I expected a fairly good novel – the Ramayana retold it in the words and from the perspective of Ravan. What I didn't expect was a story that completely took me over and in its entirety – with its rage and rawness and all emotions…

It starts with Ravan lying on the battle fields – his life slowly oozing away – his blood drenc
Socrates Chinniah
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it

I picked up the book because of my recent interest in Indian mythology; The Author makes a valiant effort of producing the mythology from the point of view of Ravana and a common man Bhadra who lived alongside Ravana. Right from the start the narration kept me engaged, I was pretty pessimistic about the enjoyability of the read due to its bulky size but the author’s narration skills triumphed over my pessimistic view. There are so many places where author reflects the human emotions
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
left totally speechless..fantastic book..given a totally new and fresh perspective to the whole story..loved it absolutely..compared to ashok bankar's ravana which is so grossly dark and grotesque, here i felt for ravana and felt bad for him in the end..would recommend to all..i liked the way each and every myth surrounding the ramayana has been explained using logic and reason..some of the events look so plausible, even the pushpak viman..he has explained well how the caste structure got ingrai ...more
Subramanyam K.V.
Dec 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
Before proceeding any further with review let me tell the reader that Ramayana has always been an inspiration for me and I indeed worship and look up to Lord Shri Ram and his ayana ( ayana means moving, we can say walking in one sense, so Ramasya ayana is Ramayana. ShrimadRamayana for all of us). Having read the blurb and my inclination towards ShrimadRamayana it is up to you to read further or leave it here.

After reading the blurb I honestly felt that this book is going to give us a different
Sumeetha Manikandan
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Anand Neelkantan’s Asura is an untold tale of Ravana. I don’t think it has been attempted so far. I have read many interpretations of Ramayana from Sita’s and Hanuman’s point of view. They were archaically following the same template laid down by Valmiki, Tulsidas and Kambar. Asura was a revelation. It makes you gasp and think. In this humanized version there are no gods, demons with magical powers. Devas and Asuras become clans as do Vanaras. Ravana is not an exalted personage with ten heads bu ...more
Ankit Mahato
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I just finished the final chapter and took a deep breath.
For past few weeks I had been spending some time reading Asura - Tale of the Vanquished.
It took me weeks because the whole concept of the book was so deep that after every chapter I used to wonder for hours questioning myself, what I have been told since my childhood, was it the truth ?

It is the story of a simple boy, who faced poverty, hunger and various other hardships.
It is the story of a man , who was brave and ambitious;
who loved his
Amit Tyagi
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another brilliantly written Alternate Mythology Book. Though there are bound to be instant comparisons to the Shiva trilogy, but that would be grossly unfair to the author. While, no doubt, the Shiva trilogy, has a gripping plot, but Asura shines in its approach towards the plot, the narrative and most importantly the central character - 'Ravana' . It is not just meant to be a scintillating read, but also one to reflect.

It is not just an alternate re-telling of the Ramayana, but an alternate (i
Sreejoni Nag
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Asura: The Tale of the Vanquished is the retelling of Ramayana from the perspective of the so-called-villain – Raavana.

The book starts from the End, where the defeated Raavana lays on the ground where the battle with Rama came to an end with Raavana’s fall. In the first chapter, we see through Raavana eyes’, how his body remains on the ground and is being feasted upon by rats and jackals. While counting his last moments, the protagonist expresses his fear of leaving Lanka in the hands of strange
Jahnavi Jha
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
True, we only here the tale that the heroes tell. Now, with education spreading like wildfire, we know that good and evil are but two sides of the same coin. We now know, that every human being has rights and deserves respect. But when it comes to our well-loved epics, we judge good and evil. Anand NeelakantanAsura- Tale of The Vanquished
Here is a book that does not judge. This book takes into account the situation in which Ram become a God and Ravana become a demon. This book takes you deep int
Arti Honrao
Jun 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I had just finished reading The Shiva Trilogy when I received Asura - Tale of The Vanquished by courier. The synopsis seemed intriguing and hence I started reading immediately, that's where I went wrong. Since I had just finished reading a book of somewhat similar genre, few names and places reminded me of the previously read book. In short, Asura was overshadowed by what I remembered from reading The Shiva Trilogy. I did not want to do any injustice to the book I was reading and hence I kept it ...more
Jaise Joseph
Jul 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
When I started reading this book I thought the story is around the Deshamukha, praising his Glory. But later I felt that the author have some personal vengeance with Ravana. Then I thought he would be more interested in Rama, but then again I was wrong. This book is a pure critic to Rama and Ravana, though Ravana was praised more than Rama. “Asura” is the voice of the common man. The nine emotions (anger; pride; jealousy; happiness; sadness; fear; selfishness; passion; ambition ) were pictured t ...more
Purba Chakraborty
Sep 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Finally I completed reading Asura. I am amazed at the amount of research the author had undertaken to pen down the book. The character of Ravana is very well-sketched with proper shades of his anger, fear, pride and love. Though Ravana is the most popular villain in our Indian mythology, the author has portrayed him as a character who seems more humane than a villain. We empathize with him in certain circumstances rather than hating him. The line in page no 15 uttered in Ravana's voice: "I didn' ...more
Geetanjali Tara Joshi
I just got it as a gift..! (happy dance)
Chandan Sharma
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it

He is an intellect, brave, strong and a great dancer. This story tells you the views of ‘Ravana’. And the author has twisted the original Ramayana to some extent, in order to present the perspective of ‘Asuras’. So, if you are a hardcore fan of Rama, then you may not like it very much. However, as a story, writer does justice with its characters.

Yet another story starts in flashback. It seems that today’s writers like starting stories in flashback. So, the first scene is that ‘Ravana’
Ramya Narayanan
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
I recently read the book, "Asura – The Tale of the Vanquished", which speaks of Ramayana from Ravana's point of view. Basically, it is Ravanayana. So the book talks about the life of Ravana, his birth, his journey to being the 'King of Lanka', his learning on the way, the decision of kidnapping Sita, the war that ensues, and finally his death. An interesting dimension is the narration of events from the eyes of a common man "Bhadra", although it does not add much value at all. It ends up complic ...more
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Anand Neelkantan’s Asura, published by Leadstart Publishing is Ravana’s untold story with regards to the Ramayana which hasn’t been attempted so far. This book tells the story from the minds of two major Protagonists, Ravana, the hot blooded ambitious ruler of Lanka and Bhadra, a commoner and servant to the Ten Headed King, as we know him.
The book start with the death of Ravana where his life is flashing in front of his eyes, before he is just a corpse to be wasted away to the Earth. Anand beau
Sneha Nair
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
A Total new twist to all our Indian tales & folk lores. Having read it around the time of Dussehra, I will truly feel strong, different emotions towards burning the Ravana statue during the fest.
It changed my entire perception towards lot of things, not my belief in god but the belief as to how stories can travel, be diluted, be twisted & broken to fit the mould certain people make to ensure their part is well said.
Even before reading the book I was never in favour of the idea that Ram
Sathya Jayapaul
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indian-fiction
Just completed 'Asura' by Anand Neelankantan. One of the best books I've read so far! Gives a completely new and refreshing perspective to the Ramayana. Its the same story told in Ravana's viewpoint. Tears apart everything a lot of people hold sacred... in this 'Ravanayana', Rama is a cruel and cowardly king who doesn't bat an eyelid in beheading kids, shoots people with arrows from behind and who does not stand up for his wife during a time of need. The book talks about how the dreadful caste s ...more
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ever since I read Asura (The Ravanayana, Tale of the Vanquished, The Story of Ravana and His People, and The Story of Bhadra, etc.; a strange coincidence, like the many names of the villain / hero / heroine of the world famous epic the Ramayan, such as Ravan, Dasanan, Lankapati etc. /Ram, Raghupati, Purushottam etc. / Sita, Janaki, Vaidehi etc., and how unlike the characters it portrays in comparison to those of the Ravanayana!), I was baffled at the uncharacteristic calm of the self-appointed g ...more
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mom-s-corner
Excellent! Amazing how thinking about the same story from a different point of view gives that twist. I liked the fact that there was no magic used and hence the story feels very genuine and real. A must-read for seekers.
Simran Khurana
Oct 29, 2014 rated it liked it
I confess that I took more than a month to pen down my views about this book. While Indian history/mythology has always piqued my interest this was the first time I was venturing into the turbulent waters of Hindu mythology where fanaticism throws a dark veil over facts. Given that I was a South Indian married to a North Indian, there was enough room for views and counter views, to help me approach this book with the indifference of an agnostic. (The Aryan dominance over Dravidian culture, that ...more
Akash Nair
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am a history buff and I tend to view religious mythology from a historical perspective. That's the reason I picked up this book and I wasn't disappointed.
The Ramayana has been narrated countless number of times but this story focuses on the anti hero of this epic i.e Ravana. The author writes the book from the point of view of Raavana and Bhadra. The writing style is that of a typical first timer of which we have a lot these days in India. The books drags on. It is almost 500 pages long. The a
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