I managed to get hold of an original copy and it was in excellent condition, being over 40 years old. I read this book when it first came out and I am even more impressed with it since rereading. Perhaps being older and knowing more about this period of history, I can relate to it more. This is a great way to experience history - not just cold hard facts, but a feeling of the atmosphere, attitudes, almost colours and smells of India, the way people felt and reacted to the events, the way we all experience history in a personal way. I felt I understood this period much more deeply, experiencing the way it played out for different sections of society. The humour, the horror, the prejudices all shown. The main characters were real people, so well portrayed and easy to identify with. My only quibble was that sometimes we were given too much tiny detail during the events, almost second by second, but there are many readers that find this fascinating. I was delighted that I found this book as easy and entertaining to read as any contemporary 2013 book. I shall be reading more books by this masterful (!) author.