The Mahabharata

A showcase for the oldest and longest epic in the world. A resource for the better understanding of all aspects ofSanatana Dharma, Vedanta and Yoga.A place for West to meet and embrace East beyond cliché, presumption and prejudice.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Celebrating the Very First Review!

A great review is now up on the literary site AuthorScoop, written by up-and-coming Simon and Schuster author Jamie Mason.

Sons of Gods: The Mahabharata Retold, by Aruna Sharan
Strictly speaking, AuthorScoop is not a book review site, but occasionally we’ll come across something in our private reading that really calls for a crowing. As such, here I go. -Jamie Mason

I’ve always loved mythologies. Like most of my American contemporaries, Greek and Roman myths were part of our school curriculum. On my own, I sought out Native American and Norse tales. As I let them, they spilled the secrets of the forces and spirits that put color and flourish over the grey cogs of physics and rationalism. I’ve loved these stories for the freedom from the strictly literal that they offer; the chance to swim in what it says of humanity in the stories we invent to explain the universe.

I had certainly heard of India’s rich fables and parables, particularly, the Bhagavad Gita. But I didn’t know of its larger contextual epic, The Mahabharata. And I also didn’t know that I was poorer for it.

I had read Sharon Maas (writing here as Aruna Sharan) several years ago. Her gorgeous and riveting, OF MARRIAGEABLE AGE, is a treasure to me, as it is currently (but perhaps not for long) out of print. I was delighted for the opportunity to read a new work of hers.

SONS OF GODS: THE MAHABHARATA RETOLD is kaleidoscopic in its beauty and intricacy. The hurdle of the tale’s massive scope has always daunted translators, and the difficulty of prising the right tone from an ancient grand epic to suit a modern and Western audience has relegated it to largely academic obscurity.

What’s saved it for us is that Aruna Sharan knows full well that love, betrayal, lust, envy, pride, devotion, and heroism never go out of style. SONS OF GODS is a literary soap opera with a soul that spans the full horizon.

Love for the panoramic story itself and the patience of more than three decades of careful crafting has solved the literary puzzle of how to present it for an audience in the digital age. Aruna Sharan is well-suited in both talent and passion to deliver a new classic for lovers of mythology.

The unique category of mythology also makes SONS OF GODS a clever fit for Amazon’s Kindle publishing as a proving ground for its appeal. The price is incredible for a work of such excellence. Still, I hope for the day to hold it hardbound in my hands, as well. This isn’t just a book, it’s the Universe explained.

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