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Mr Iyer Goes To War

3.19  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Dispatched to a home in the sacred city of Varanasi, Lalgudi Iyer spends his days immersed in scripture. When an accident leaves him with concussion, he receives a vision of his past incarnation - he was the mythological warrior Bhima, sent from the heavens to destroy evil.

Convinced of his need to continue Bhima's mission and revive the noble principles of the Mahabharata
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 31st 2017 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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Madhulika Liddle
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
In the very early years of the 17th century, Miguel de Cervantes created one of fiction’s most enduring characters, the redoubtable hidalgo, Don Quixote de La Mancha. Accompanied by his faithful sidekick Sancho Panza, Don Quixote sets out on a mad quest to be the chivalrous cavalier, each deed dedicated to his lady love, a village girl on whom he has bestowed the grand-sounding name of Dulcinea.

Ryan Lobo’s ‘hero’, Lalgudi Iyer, is a Don Quixote with his own distinctly Indian quirks. Abandoned b
Anushree Rastogi
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was painful to finish. The plot is loosely tied up. The characters are unimaginative. Any message that the book is meaning to convey about spirituality, simplicity, etc is lost in the clutter. Needed editing discipline.
Vishal Talreja
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
How fascinating a story. Into the realms of imagination this book took me through the journey of the main character. You love him, you laugh at him, you worry about him and your become him. He was me in so many ways, in my imaginations and my journeys where I am the hero. I felt deeply connected to him until I am brutally brought back to my reality. Superbly written.
Renita D'Silva
Jul 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Funny and thought provoking
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
one crazy adventure
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mr Iyer is a kind of book which would make you set aside your plans and keep you gripped till the very end. It is a fast paced and moving adventure tale of an old and endearing idealist and his street smart but naive sidekick. The story is set in the context of modern India. The author does not romanticize the country or human nature, writing of "the good, the bad and the ugly", and does it with a great sense of humor and self-evident love of life.
Abhyudaya Shrivastava
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very quick read indeed. Mr. Lalgudi Iyer hits his head on the ghat steps in Benaras and starts thinking he is the reincarnation of Bhima- the Mahabharata warrior. Not as hilarious as you would think. It is a profound story by a proficient writer. I found two typos in the book. Bloomsbury really needs to up their game in India. The book is magical, well-written and witty. I wish there was more of it and also more to it.

A great promise, nonetheless.
Dr Hanif Hassan Barbhuiya
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Book Review: Mr Iyer Goes To War
Author: Ryan Lobo

Very few authors now a days try to narrate a story from heart. Ryan Lobo is one such. And I am glad I picked out his debut novel. He does not come with an extraordinary tale but a rather simple one yet it leaves you with an extraordinary sense of accomplishment as you turn over the final page.

Sent to a dying home in the sacred city of Varanasi, Lalgudi Iyer spends his days immersed in books. He meets an accident which leaves him with concussion.
Tejaswi Uthappa
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A logic-defying, maverick, rollercoaster of a thriller 3D read. Popcorn, anyone?

"When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin”.
Even in translation, even with the day’s twitter-size sensibilities, and even though very few find succour in the existentialist stronghold of Franz Kafka’s writing, his most unforgettable opening line of The Metamorphosis, haunts. This is not just because the writing is stark but because the i
Shreya Vaid
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Inspired by the story of Don Quixote and Sancho Panzathe, Mr. Iyer Goes to War by Ryan Lobo is a light heart read, a book that made my Sunday a little bit brighter. Set in the town of Varanasi, famous for its ghats and places where people come to die, this picturesque story is a classic example of how simple plots with strong characters makes up for a good read for everyone.

Mr. Lalgudi Iyer, a thin Brahmin who has been left to die by his family in a Varanasi house, is a compulsive reader who spe
Cherrie Nuez
Apr 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Many relates and compares this book to the master classic that is Don Quixote. And sure, it draws significant similarities and inspiration from the classical tale, which is not wrong or illegal to say the least. Nevertheless, I find that it is a good, well-written story in its own right, and deserves being recognised for its own brand of heart warming and satirical meandering. There is that refreshing take on India's culture and societal state, a healthy dose of philosophical thoughts thrown tog ...more
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shrinidhi by: Ritesh Kukrety
"A true Brahmachari swims in the sea of insanity where a normal person would drown" says the quirky seventy-year-old Lalgudi Iyer, who thinks of himself as the reincarnation of Bhima and the harbinger of truth and justice to this world. This is a wonderful character created by Mr.Lobo which is the strongest point of the book.

Mr Iyer, along with his crony Bencho-the dom at the ghat, Trishala- the donkey and US returned Dr.Krishna make up the different pieces of this tale of a delusional old man w
Lalgudi Iyer, whose family has placed him in a rest home by the Ganges, slips and hits his head, realising that he is the reincarnation of the hero Bhīma. He escapes from the home with the help of his friend Bencho, and the two of them go on the run down the river, fighting injustices. Eventually, they return home, only to make another escape and go on a second adventure involving a politician.

So yes, it's Don Quixote set in India. I found it wildly improbable that all the people they met separa
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is a light novel written about some comedically oddball characters, who, like all good oddballs, are not really that unbelievable at all. As it existed in the twilight zone between the real world and the characters' delusions, the story wasn't completely straightforward at all times. I feel that my lack of knowledge of Hindu culture limited my understanding, so maybe I didn't appreciate all the wit. On the other hand, maybe it was only minorly witty.

I can't say that I found it gripping and
Jan 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Tavishi by: Swati Daftuar
3.5 actually. Lobo's writing tickles your senses. Although the book lacks a plot (ironically, mentioned by Bencho towards the end of the book), the scenes are vivid and dynamic. I would not necessarily read this book for its story but for the style of writing. The adventures of Iyer 'sir' and Bencho are reminiscent of an older Bollywood era coupled with, undoubtedly, a Cervantes era. I look forward to more of Lobo's work.
Neelakantan K.K.
An interesting read. The novel is brilliant, and funny, in parts, but it also tends to drag in quite a few places. Overall, worth a read.
Ravi Chander
Dec 11, 2017 rated it liked it
The author has tried to write an Indian version of Don Quixote. The book is funny and an easy and quick read. Good for light reading.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
A non-stop adventure, this was like nothing I've ever read before!
Michael O'Donnell
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A good read. Don Quixote, set in modern India.
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-challenge
Very fun, very vividly imagined, very tangible book, that one reads and feels at the same time. Raced through it, even though there are some ponderous parts that try to drag it down. Luckily Ryan comes back quickly from them, and keeps the pace, and the narrative consistent.
Pras Murukesvan
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It takes you through an enjoyable winding road through Hindu mythology, love, friendship, etc through the lense of humour and satire.
Deepak Saxena
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting and witty read set in contemporary India but connecting to its past. At the same time, plot and events feel rather surreal. Good for a quick read during a journey or over a weekend.
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Upon my visit to the Bangalore Literature Festival in December 2016 I was stunned by some of the great books and writers I came across. Ranging from poets, to historians, to novelists,... the rich program and highly addictive bookstore were a total quench for my Indian literature thirst. Beyond some other great sessions I saw there I had the honour to see a live discussing between Ryan Lobo and Raghu Karnad. Both are amazing writers and Raghu Karnad could not have been a better host to interview ...more
Prashanth Bhat
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mr iyer goes to war by Ryan lobo is worth a read. you heard or read 'don't Quixote' right. here is the Indian version with more Witty ness.
lalgudi iyer is a aged Tamil brahmin. his brother sent him to khanolkars home to heal his mental affliction. but due to an accident leaves with concussion and he thinks he was bhima and he has to destroy bakasura the evil. here starts the adventures of bhima aka Mr iyer with his companion bencho. funny narration with some hard hitting truths. I loved this bo
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Equal part wit and fun!
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Touching, lovely unforgettable characters.
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Sep 11, 2017
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Mar 15, 2019
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Sep 30, 2018
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Mr Iyer Goes to War is Ryan Lobo’s first novel.

Ryan Lobo is a writer, photographer and filmmaker based in Bangalore. Ryan Lobo has co-produced the critically acclaimed 2011 Sundance film festival award winning film, “The Redemption of General Butt naked”, about a former African warlord who terrorized Liberia with his child soldiers. The film won for best cinematography at the Sundance film festiv

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