This is the best introduction to Hinduism that I have ever come across. The author is knowledgeable about his subject and the text is easy to read yet thorough. There is no attempt to "explain away" or convince anyone of anything, but simply tries to explain everthing to the best of his ability. The inconsistencies are not ignored but addressed directly and after a reading of this book, the religion seems a great deal more valid than I had understood it to be. The authors personal opinions do come out in several places, but as Hinduism is not an organised religion and because of the vastness of its scope, this is unavoidable. An excellent read and well worth the price.