Friday, November 21, 2014

The Mahabharata Quest- The Alexander Secret Book Review

The Mahabharata Quest- The Alexander Secret
Christopher C.Doyle
Westland books

I am always wary of fiction which combines history,mythology and science with the contemporary world. I am always a cat on the fence with mythology. Who can say whether they are just stories or factual. Who can say that even if the Mahabharata occurred,the stories are over exaggerated and sometimes fantasised beyond belief.

Same can be said for history. There is no argument that Alexander existed and all that he did is well scripted.but when writers takes Liberty to weave stories from each fact they read, the line between reality and fiction blurs. Now what is true and what isn't becomes a question.

Also famous is the attempt to scientifically explain religious scriptures. Given our cynical approach to everything, we refuse to believe in divinity and look for logic in everything. Every binary makes more sense in this day and age.

I know little of Alexander and my Mahabharata is limited to the B.R.Chopra's TV serials. So I won't even get into arguing whether the author has his facts straight or not.

I find the whole biological aspect of novel, hard to digest. Too much is written and too fast to make it believable for me.

The author shows enough knowledge  to take up history ,science and mythology with authority. No doubt loads of research went into the book.

The narrative of the novel is fast paced and kept me hooked throughout the 348 pages. As the novel easily flits from 316BC to current times , the writing style doesn't tire you or confuse you.
As is my issue with many novels these days, the author doesn't spend too much time in drawing a character graph for all and hence I do t connect or empathise with the characters.
The characters are just puppets and the dead Alexander seems more alive then them. Vijay's dilemma  to save his fiancĂ© and his ex seems to mechanical too. There was a great chance to explore the dynamics and tension between Vijay,Radha and Alice. But the author skims through that aspect awkwardly. I dont expect a soap opera amonst all the adventure but a human angle is always a good connect in a story. Isn't it? Even the killers shown to be brutal and violent, donot evoke the required emotions of fear. The emotional quotient of the book is the only drawback.

But the setup is the hero not the characters. And in that author succeeds to an extent. Mahabharata is always intriguing as it has so many characters and so many layers. Any layer taken is always interesting to delve in.
The secret of this story also is taken from one of the many interesting layers of the Epic.

I sometimes chuckle as Indian Intelligence is shown almost like the Hollywood's Indianised version of FBI. I dont know how IB operates in India but the officers dont look anything like stylish portrayal given to them in the book.

There is enough in the story to keep me thinking and also anticipate the next book in the series.

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1 comment:

  1. Many unknown and vital things get to know. Thanks for sharing.


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