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The Great Indian Novel

“An entertaining tour de force.”—Sunday Times [London]

In this award-winning novel, Shashi Tharoor has masterfully recast the two-thousand-year-old epic, The Mahabharata, with fictional but highly recognizable events and characters from twentieth-century Indian politics. Nothing is sacred in this deliciously irreverent, witty, and deeply intelligent retelling of modern Indian history and The Mahabharata.

Tharoor reimagines the great epic by comparing it with a modern politics through a his cantankerous narrator VedaVyasa (VV) who assumes himself to be a part of the drama which unfolds as he narrates the tale in a first person narrative to an obliging Ganapathi.

While other writers have focused on Kauravas and Pandavas, Tharoor turns his attention to the previous generation of Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidur. The names he uses for the characters and places in the novel are a delight. Readers will be amused when they recognize his references, which are sometimes obvious and sometimes not so.

Alternately outrageous and instructive, hilarious and moving, it is a dazzling tapestry of prose and verse that satirically, but also poignantly, chronicles the struggle for Indian freedom and independence.

  • Publisher: Arcade (September 1, 2011)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781611453188

More books from this author: Shashi Tharoor