Antara's Reviews > The Immortals of Meluha

The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi
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Aug 17, 2011

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Read from August 17 to 19, 2011

Most books that I read, I either like or dislike, love or hate - but every now and then, there comes along a book that just plain exasperates me because I cannot decide which side of the fence I'm on. This first part of the best selling Shiva Trilogy is exactly that kind of book.

On one hand, the idea of a fictionalized biography of Shiva the God as a man, is nothing short of genius. The author is brilliant in the way he blends mythology and history to tell the epic story of Shiva, a tribal warrior from Tibet whose destiny leads him to become the promised saviour of Meluha (the land of the Indus Valley civilization). Names that you would remember (vaguely) from mythology, Amar Chitra Katha and your grandmother's stories are fleshed out into real and mostly believable characters. Added to this, is the epic staging of this story in the age of the Indus Valley civilization when India was the torchbearer of knowledge, wealth and progress. Combined with the author's keen eye for detail and obvious passion for philosophy, we should have had an epic set of novels that would have turned India's rich mythology into a cracker of a trilogy. Some fans even liken this to the Harry Potter/LOTR series and much as I would like to believe that Indian writing in English has finally produced something of the sort, the amateurish writing of the author lets the book down badly.

First up, the language is atrocious - apart from the fact that the author and the editor seem to have messed up frequently on the basics of English grammar, I'm just not ready to buy Shiva-the-Epic-Warrior using "bullshit" and "ditto" amongst a host of anachronistic (and unintentionally funny) words. Even more importantly, the character development is insanely shoddy. Epic characters like Sati, Daksha and Nandi are given so little time and attention that you hardly understand them, leave alone connect with them. Shiva's character is unsurprisingly the best written - he is strong, responsible and kind as well as immature, mischievous and impulsive. The biggest disappointment in the book is the Shiva - Sati love story that had immense tragic and romantic potential but was completely wasted.

Overall, definitely worth a read but I'm unsure if this is worth a buy. I will definitely be reading the next book ('The Secret of the Nagas') the hope that the writing gets better because I really do love the story and the setting.
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06/24/2017 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Prashant well written review

message 2: by Kadbury (new)

Kadbury giving away a SIGNED copy if interested

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