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3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,378 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Saratchandra Chattopadhyay's tragic tale of Devdas has become synonymous with a passionate, intense love that does not find consummation.

It is the story of Devdas and Paro, childhood sweethearts who are torn apart when Devdas is sent away to Calcutta by his father, the local zamindar. When Devdas returns to his village, now a handsome lad of nineteen, Paro asks him to marr
Paperback, 128 pages
Published August 12th 2002 by Penguin Books India (first published June 30th 1917)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  2,378 ratings  ·  100 reviews

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Devdas, Paro, Chandramukhi.. the characters which have been immortalised through spoofs, tragedies, bollywood.. but they are so real.. we see them around us.. love turned sour because of egos, social barriers, differences. I was a little curious as to how the characters really are and whether the interpretations on TV or movies is actually real. But they were so different, so real than the magnanimous images on screen. Devdas unlike in movies has not been justified by the author. Infact he liter ...more
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Alex by: Samadrita
Shelves: fiction, indian
In the hands of Chattopadhyay the grandiosity of the love-triangle becomes an achingly beautiful piece of minimalist fiction. On turning the last page of Devdas, a short novella that I could hardly bear to put down, whilst one is forced to confront feelings of sadness and loss at the tragedy that has just unfolded one is further provoked, not to weep, but to try and understand and explain them. The true reason for the success of Devdas as fiction is less in the melodramatic emotions of love and ...more
This is the first time I am reading a book after watching the movie and unfortunately it has heavily influenced my view of this book. I kept expecting Devdas to be likeable, chandramukhi the goddess of sacrifice, and paro to be her dignified self. I was disappointed of course. Devdas is portrayed as a coward and nothing else. And the book is more tragic than romantic. Makes me want to clap rather than cry when Devdas finally dies. Blame the movie, not me.
Aug 04, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to visit the 'real' story of Devdas
I especially like the childhood depiction of Devdas and Paru's life. Also, I feel this book is especially useful in understanding why Devdas didn't marry Paru, when he could.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film conveniently blames it on Devdas' parents, which is actually not the case, as the book explains.
It's Devdas' own character flaw that brings about his downfall. Sarat Chandra's novel is certainly more nuanced and has a fair amount of depth.
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is truly an all time classic.

All my life I have heard of this character Devdas who turns into an alcoholic because of his failed love. Mostly referenced as "True lover" in many movies. But I haven't watched any of the movie adaptations of the book till now. Going into the book, I had no clue about the characters or the actual story. [I did not even read the goodreads summary, it explains the whole story]

Devdas and Parvati are childhood friends. I loved their childhood interactions as
Rohit Sharma
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Me the miser on cheap book hunt that too in Hindi, found this gem selling on Amazon under 100/- :) and I had picked it for that rainy day which came too early in the form of a classic making me go through a reader's block. My tryst with the legend of Devdas started (Unfortunately) with the Sanjay Leela Bhansali's movie Devdas. Ironically I end up loving the movie for its Dialogues, those lines were literally to die for. Since that day I actually not only wanted to read the classic Bengali Litera ...more
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this specifically because I love the Bollywood film with Shahrukh Khan in the starring role. In the book Devdas is even more cold, heartless and unlikeable than in the movie. Weirdly, this makes his death more moving and tragic. Easy to read and quite short, I'd really recommend this book to anyone.
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
First things first, DEVDAS is a name we've all grown up hearing or talking about! The symbolic meaning of the name is not unknown to us. Therefore it is not surprising and rather poetic that that the ones we call (or term) 'Devdas' today are mostly bound by love or a romance of the most fantastic sort, who thus cease to breach the barriers that lead to reality.

DEVDAS, the novel, is not only a tragic tale of romance but also a deep commentary on socio-cultural issues in our country like class, ca
Book Ninja
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love Saratchandra's writing style. It's so simple and sweet. Reading his books makes you want to live in that time, where everything is so simple and the only problem and tension in life was to get your child married In a good household. Devdas is a typical man who falls for the beauty rather than the personality. And when he doesn't get what he wants he throws his life away. He is like a child. He wants to have whatever he wants whenever he wants it which isn't possible. And then rather than ...more
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Devdas is one of my favorite movies. I'm talking about the remake and not the original Bengali movie.

I was very surprised by how good this book was. There are layers to this story. Saratchandra is considered one of the great Indian writers, and he's right to be considered such. This book was written in 1917 and the concerns and lessons that it's author tried to teach are still very much relevant in this day and age.

Devdas' downfall is rooted in his pride and in his arrogant belief that he is b
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a depressing book. Even if you are the happiest person on Earth, this book will depress you. I rated it 5, not because it is 'so damn amazing', but because it lived up to the expectation I had. Kind of tough to explain really. The character development is spectacular. I mean, why am I even reviewing this book? Each of the characters in this book defines the very notion of a 'character' in a plot. Read it. In the original language Bangla if you can. In Hindi if not (I read it in Hindi). I ...more
Sharmishtha Basu
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It is a classic written by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay- telling us the things a lover should not do! If he does, no matter how deep and true his love is it is doomed. It is the story of a high caste boy who refuses a girl because of her caste, and then pines away for her, for the rest of his life. He completely destroys his life and even if you feel angry at him for rejecting the girl (which I did not, because being an Indian I know how deeply rooted caste system was back then) you will grieve f ...more
Oct 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: banglai
A classic which we all should read in America. This book has me hooked to Bengali literature; now all I am looking for are translated classic Bengali novels so I don't miss out. I wish I can read Bangla! Many try to compare this novel to Romoe and Juliet however, this comparison is misleading.
Souvik Roy
A decent young man and a caring, but self respecting, young woman - and a feudal society where he has no means of supporting her if his family would not have it and so lacks courage to elope with the woman he loves, so he does the decent thing and instead tells her he never saw her as a lover, a mistake he repents forever while throwing away his life. Wealth comes but is too late, and is of little use when love is lost.

Paro, the love of his life, sees her loss when she sees him throwing himself
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
How wonderfully terrible. Certainly identifiable for anyone who has missed out on love out of cowardice, or who has been separated from a love due to external circumstances like familial or social expectations. Its unclear to me why I sympathize with Devdas, but that seems to be the common thing. He is too cowardly to pursue love properly in the face of social expectations. He retreats into drug abuse instead. The ball was in his court repeatedly to turn the situation around, but he never mans u ...more
Fred Kohn
This is a rewrite of a review posted 3/28/2016, after finishing the translation by Srejatta Guha. I am upgrading my rating from 3 stars to 5. This translation is far superior to the one I previously read by Amitava Bhattacharya. The introduction also helped a great deal. I think that when I first read the book, I was too much in the thrall of the movie to recognize that although the broad outlines of the movie and the book are similar, the movie differs from the movie so much that they really ha ...more
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An epic about love, pride, honor, phony society and its dogma.

The book is pretty much nothing g like the movie which was released few years back,
because in the books devdas himself deny s parvati as a bride and then later regret when it was already too late to patch up again.
this story is about devdas and his own immorality and its consequences through his own eyes!

epic! must read!
Love redefined!
Shāfiya Mū
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: south-asian-lit
The translation is a bit awkward, especially if you are unfamiliar with classical Hindi and Bengali prose. However, setting that aside, it was an elegantly beautiful story filled with lots of emotional motifs to fit the era. While it's a tragedy, it was still very, very good. Please note that if you're hoping for a novelization of the film, you'll be disappointed as it's the original story from 1917 that the film is derived from.
Mar 01, 2009 added it
I read this book while preparing to critique the movie. It's a beautiful story that gives a lot of insight into Indian culture.
Walter Rabon
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Short novella can be read in an hour or two. Best short novel I've ever read. Just read it!
Sohini Majumdar
Jul 20, 2020 marked it as to-read
'Devdas' is a fiction novel originally written in Bengali by Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay, and translated into English by Sreejata Guha. It was published in 1917, and is set in the same time frame. Over the years, the novel has gained the reputation of a classic.

The main protagonist, Devdas, is a boy born into a very rich Brahmin family from Bengal. His childhood is spent playing with Paro, the neighbours' daughter. Paro's family belongs to the caste of traders, and a marriage between her and De
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
A decent young man and a caring, but self respecting, young woman - and a feudal society where he has no means of supporting her if his family would not have it and so lacks courage to elope with the woman he loves, so he does the decent thing and instead tells her he never saw her as a lover, a mistake he repents forever while throwing away his life. Wealth comes but is too late, and is of little use when love is lost.
(Wednesday, August 27, 2008.)
(Friday, September 18, 2010.)

Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quick and easy read. Of course, like most others, I've seen the movie before reading the book. I'm actually surprised by how strong the author portrays the women in the book. I often feel like women in India are the victim of so many cliches- one just has to look at the jokes, in which the wife is portrayed as a silly, managing woman and the husband a victim of marriage- and so am surprised that this author was so different. Devdas is portrayed as an unlikeable hero- indeed, it is not so sad to ...more
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Well, where to begin?

I have probably watched the 2002 Bollywood movie anywhere between 3 and 10 times. So, when I finally came round to reading the book, I was slightly disappointed in the fact that both Parvati and Chandramukhi hardly feature in the original story. I understand that the focus is on Devdas, but from watching the movie, I generally leaned on the women. Parvati, who is such an important figure in Devdas’ world, barely crops up. She is very much pushed aside after she is married of
Prasanth Chevendra
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Watched Sanjay Leela Bhansali's DEVDAS and Anurag kashyap's DEV D and loved a lot and decided to Read the novel.
Finally, I got a chance to read it, (Though sharukh khan and Aishwarya are glued in mind) I tried my level best to remove them from my mind and read it(Its difficult because book cover also filled with Sharukh and Aishwarya images).

While reading I really enjoyed Paro and Chandramukhi characters a lot than Devdas character. I loved the Author simplicity of story telling without complica
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beautiful-books
This is such a beautiful, deceptively simple novella. The bloated melodrama of the 2002 film adaptation is beautiful to look at, but bears little resemblance to the book's minimalist character study. I don't think this story could have been written in the West--the fact that people call it "the Romeo and Juliet of India" indicates that. This isn't a grand, tragic love story, it's the tale of a man who is torn apart by his inability to have the relationships he wants to have because he has been c ...more
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Such a quick read (128 pages) and impossible to put down. I'm a big fan of the 2002 film version, but I heard it was very different than the book. Now I'm excited to watch the 1950s version directed by Bimal Roy. Parvati was very different than I remembered from the 2002 movie. She was very strong in the book and was able to get on with her life and be a support for her family and the destitute. She was not a lovelorn victim, although Devdas is terribly abusive to her, considering his feelings f ...more
Jaishree Singh
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved how real the author made Devdas; he is flawed, raw, and child-like. Then again, does Devdas represent something? To me, he is an extreme state of living in the face of not getting what his heart desires. Similar to Hamlet, Devdas is prone to inaction. However, unlike Hamlet, Devdas rarely introspects or contemplates his future actions. Devdas fails to act because it's his nature. Like that of Shiva (as the prelude aptly discusses), Devdas' nature is to remain a witness to the destruction ...more
Kaustubh Gaurh
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well. I have to say some stories stay with us. Devdas, an ingenious of Sarat Chandra definitely did. It's a book that doesn't revolve around infidelity, but it helps us understand how one can be in love with more than two persons at the same time. A utopian ideal in a dystopian world. But more than everything I liked the characters in the book, they are extremely strong. They have a sense of clarity. I did not like how the characters have been translated in the movies, so weakly. Sarat Chandra w ...more
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Complete works of Sarat Chandra (শরৎ রচনাবলী) is now available in this third party website:

Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay (also spelt Saratchandra) (Bengali: শরৎচন্দ্র চট্টোপাধ্যায়) was a legendary Bengali novelist from India. He was one of the most popular Bengali novelists of the early 20th century.

His childhood and youth were spent in dire poverty as his fa

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