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The Serpent's Revenge: Unusual Tales from the Mahabharata

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  421 ratings  ·  55 reviews
How many names does Arjuna have? Why was Yama cursed? What lesson did a little mongoose teach Yudhisthira? The Kurukshetra war, fought between the Kauravas and the Pandavas and which forced even the gods to take sides, may be well known, but there are innumerable stories set before, after and during the war that lend the Mahabharata its many varied shades and are largely u ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published October 1st 2016 by Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  421 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Raksha Bhat
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
There is always something enigmatic about Indian mythology. The different versions of the stories that we read and hear make them more fascinating. This collection from Mahabharata by Sudha Murthy stands out because of the narration. In the current times of ostensible Indian best sellers, she is one author that I look up to. I happened to attend one of her sessions at the Times Lit Fest in Bangalore this month, what struck me was the effectiveness of her simplicity, it percolates into one’s thou ...more
Ritu Mantri
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For a well versed person like me with the tales of Mahabharata there is nothing new to read in this book. But then this book is not written for the readers like me as well.

The Serpent's Revenge is the collection of few unique stories of Mahabharata written in the simple easy to understand language and it will be a great book to introduce your children to Mahabharata. Indeed the book is written with young budding readers in mind.

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Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun read, recommended to read once you read/know the original(ish)
Nitin Vadher
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Every time when I read about Indian mythology it gives me new message and it changes my thinking to positive way, I am getting energized by reading about Mahabharata and Ramayana.
I am a big fan of the author and reading her from her first book dollar bahu, I know her writing style which is very simple and crispy, easy to understand. So when I came to know about this book I placed the order without any second thought, a book from Sudha Murty on mythology is a good collection for next generation.
Nishant Gupta
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has little tales from the grand epic Mahabharata. Most of the stories should be known to people familiar with Mahabharata, but that's the thing about Mahabharata, it never gets boring even if you've heard the stories several times.
This book is written in a very simple language, and hence so, both children and grownups can enjoy it. It's a nice light read especially if you want to take a break.
Aruna Kumar Gadepalli
As usual Sudha Murt's latest book this time on mythology is easy and a quick read. Simple language and the stories that are retold in a manner that one will enjoy reading, despite knowing the story.
Sonu Mulchandani
Interesting read. I didn't know quite a few stories from here. It's a concise and un-animated story telling from a great epic. Simple enough narrative.
Prathima Deepak
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having a thought of buying this book for my friend's kid, I gave it some time to read and review first.

The book is full of short stories from our Epic Mahabharata and it just reminded me of all the bedtime stories that my grand-parents used to tell me during my childhood.

Kids interested in mythology will definitely love this.

PS: What I liked the most is that the names of the characters in the Epic are spelled same as in sanskrit unlike cutting short. For instance, in many books Bhima is often
Ajith Reddy
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are a myth fan ...Just go for it ..... Every sentence have some great information ..... Although there are some stories which we definitely knew already .... Being a sudha murthy fan ....... Respect and love for her increased after flipping d last page
Veena Sridhar
Oct 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Makes good read if you want to connect dots for main Mahabharata epic which most of us know but wonder for no reasons. Makes it good consolidation of short stories for kids also. Most of the stories are known but few of them makes lot of difference in answering why’s of Mahabharata!
Sanya Vij
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting stories, but reads like a very oversimplified version. Perhaps that was the intention.
Apr 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-bookaneer
Simple instruments of simple story telling. The way of writing is reminiscent of the way folk tales were written and told, which is precisly, the book's aim. Some stories are already known by people though some were total revelations and prove to be good trivia for the mythology aficionado. it is a small book and can be considered to be a part of the Indian myth collection if you have one. ;)
May 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This book contains some of the rare stories from Mahabharata.Though the stories are not in very detail, but she was able to depict the essence of the story through her words.
Ranganathan Kothandaraman
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thought I knew Mahabharata to a larger extent. Thanks to my dad who had 5-6 parts of Mahabharata (in his book collections) written by A. Le. Natarajan in simple Thamizh.

Aasan aka Jeyamohan's article in Jannal (Thamizh magazine) on one of the stories of Mahabharata, Sudha Murthy's new book 'The Serpent's Revenge' (Unusual Tales from the Mahabharata) questioned this thought :-D

Sudha Murthy's book is simple in all aspects. The narration, the way of storytelling, relating the locations where the s
Arya V Reghu
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Sudha Murthy with her beautiful easy writing skills has yet again presented these mythical short stories.With no exaggerations and such simplicity she has explained the famous and obscure stories born in and out of Mahabarata. From the stories of ancestors to the decedents the book includes the story starting from Shakuntala's birth and the Somavansha's descendants including Bharatha , Hastin , Kuru clan - Pandavas and Kauravas , Parikshit and Janmajeya . It brings you story of other connecting ...more
Deep M.
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This one was my first Sudha Murty book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Serpent's revenge is a collection of short stories from the Epic Mahabharata.I have read the original Ved-vyasa version,but this one is also captivating from the top to end.
This book's target audience is children to make them aware of Mahabharata and its popular characters.The related graphics pictures make interest in the stories.And I'm pretty sure that apart from the children,there will be majority Indian people who wouldn
Harshith Bangera
Nov 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Well, the language is very simple and sweet. It is definitely written for kids. But I did enjoy the stories and there were very few of the stories that I hadn't read before. It felt like granny telling you stories. Post every story, the places mentioned in that story during those times are mentioned in the current parts of India which is good enhancing of one's knowledge. There is also a lunar dynasty (Chandravanshis) family tree given at the end.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. Such a unique collection of the lesser known tales from The Mahabharata. The stories were short and sweet and were in the best of chronological order. As usual, Sudha ji's simple storytelling style was a pleasure. I just wish that this book never ended.

Fun fact: Looks like my wish might come true, because Sudha Ji has promised that this is only the first book in a series. More to come ! Yayyy!
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I would say it's a very simple book written in a story-telling mode and I really enjoyed it. Although the stories were not that unusual yet the writing style was captivating. I would not hesitate to say - this book is a perfect writing for the mythology genre.
Muralidhar Patnam
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mythology
Loved the book. Sudha Murthy has just the right amount of detail in the stories to engross the reader. Hence the stories are short and much more enjoyable to read. Great refresher on Mahabharata and the dots that connect many incidents that unfold in the epic.
Yumna Hari
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A lovely reference book and introduction to tales of the Mahabharata for the novice. It is contemporary while retaining the complexity of relationships, stories and morals that encompass the epic.
Keerthana Prabhu
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I remember my mother telling me stories about Ramayana and Mahabharatha when I was young after that I was not so keen to know more about it.
Since I have read most of Murthy's book i am a very big fan of her books, I ordered two of her other books with which I ordered this too so that I can give this book to my niece(since it's a children's book). Since it is a children's book I knew the stories of Mahabharata how she narrated will be in a easy manner so I started reading this. Although I was no
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Name of the book – The Serpent’s Revenge – Unusual Tales from the Mahabharata

Author – Sudha Murthy

No. of Pages – 186

Publisher – Penguin India

Genre – Mythological


The book penned by one of my favourite author Sudha Murthy is an analogy of short stories from the epic Mahabharata.

My Take:

The book is a collection of various tales from the epic Mahabharata which are unusual in nature. Unusual is referred to tales of boons, curses and things which we don’t usually see in our everyday lives.

Khyati Gulati Tewari
I have always been a fan of Sudha Murty's works - her writing is so simple, yet it touches upon the deepest fibres of your soul...
And it is with this notion, that I picked up the book - to read unusual tales of the times gone by, albeit with a touch of Sudha Murty's Magic of Writing.
But, this book felt as if I read the most concise version of Mahabharata which was narrated with the help of short stories to appeal to the readers reading only fiction and lacked her touch.

The book is perfect for pe
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
"No matter what the situation is in the real world, it is reflected in the Mahabharata. If the circumstance is not reflected in the epic, then it will never occur in real life."
The serpent's revenge is collection of short mystical stories from the Epic Mahabharat. Stories are not that unusual though. Most of us, late 80s and early 90s 'kids' are already familiar with these because of the TV serial Mahabharata , the suppelmentry books in CBSE and our dadi Nani stories. 😊
You will still enjoy t
Madhura Gurav
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I simply loved this book! Sudha Murty has beautifully rendered some of the unusual tales (as the title suggests) from the Saga. I was amazed by the family tree of the whole clan at the end of the book. So thorough!

What I liked most about this book is that there are many lesser known characters and their barely known tales. It's like a re-introduction to all these characters!
And every character teaches you something. That is the beauty of this epic tale. It covers so many different situations, pr
Mihika Sawant
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Even though this Book is collection of short stories from Mahabharata, it will put the reader into a unexplained urge to go and explore the Epic further.

Sudha Murthy has narrated these stories in such simple yet profounding words that even a novice reader would want to go and devour this classic in more depths.

It is a perfect read or Bed time story to be read to younger readers so as to put them a little closer to our Mythology

I am now craving to read Jaya and The Palace of Illusions which have
Nitya Sivasubramanian
Jan 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1star
Utterly pedestrian retelling of familiar stories from the Mahabharath with MAYBE one or two exceptions. Even the story-telling is nothing new. A reconsidering of motives, possible historical context, explanation of cultural changes, nothing is even mentioned to warrant a retelling of these tales.

The only thing of interest was the effort made as a postscript to each story to ground it in geographic reality. The only problem with positing that these stories have a real location is the risk of allo
Amruta Gandhi
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book 👍
It teaches lessons of life to you.
How to tackle problems in your life , how to choose correct path , how to become good humane being by following dharma, What is dharma? It clears all concepts of dharma.
Every character in this book and mahabharta is well described with all its strengths and weaknesses.
Each character teaches you something which you can relate to your real life situations.
Vikas Goel
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
The stories are written brilliantly and explained clearly. The narrative used keeps you interested and binds you to the book. However, I had read about Mahabharata from various sources as it is my all time favorite epic, so I knew 90% of the stories mentioned in the book so in terms of stories it was not something new to me but I loved the fact that such unknown stories being written by such an amazing writer.
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Sudha Murty was born in 1950 in Shiggaon in north Karnataka. She did her MTech in computer science, and is now the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation. A prolific writer in English and Kannada, she has written nine novels, four technical books, three travelogues, one collection of short stories, three collections of non-fiction pieces and two books for children.

Her books have been translated int
“Suddenly Yudhisthira saw a yaksha approaching him. The being sat in front of him and began firing questions rapidly at him.

What is bigger than the Earth? the yaksha asked.

"A mother" replied Yudhisthira.

What is taller than the sky?

"A father"

What is faster than the wind?

"The mind , of course". Yudhisthira smiled.

What grows faster than hay?


What is the greatest dharma in the world? queried the yaksha

"Compassion and conscience"

With who is friendship never-ending?

"With good people" responded Yudhisthira patiently.

What is the secret to never feeling unhappy?

"If one can control his or her mind, then that person will never feel sad"

The yaksha increase his pace now.
What is the greatest kind of wealth.


What is the greatest kind of profit?


What is the greatest kind of happiness?

"Contentment" said Yudhisthira, ever prompt with his replies.

What is man's worst enemy?


What disease will never have a cure?

"Greed is incurable"

The yaksha smiled again. A last question my friend. What is life's biggest irony?

"It is the desire to live eternally. Every day, we encounter people dying but we always think that death will never come to us.”
“The day the Pandavas received the Akshaya Patra from the sun god is still celebrated in India as Akshaya Tritiya, which comes every year during the spring harvest in April or May. It is an extremely auspicious day and people believe that whatever they buy that day will grow in value. Most people prefer to purchase gold on this day” 0 likes
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