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Mahabharata Paperback – 1 Dec 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 483 pages
  • Publisher: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan; 57th edition (1 Dec 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8172763689
  • ISBN-13: 978-8172763688
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 11.9 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 290,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MOT on 13 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
I looked for rajagopalachari's translation after I read The ramayana which he translated. Having bought the ramayana in delhi very cheap i then found it very hard to find this book. If there is a copy - grab it!

The book is easy to read and occasional commentary makes it easier to understand the meaning throughout the book. Things that non indians might miss, having not been brought up in a hindu culture. These indian hindu epics are amazing reads even for those not interetsed in religion. Beautiful vivid imagery, characters and adventures.

One slight dissapointment is that this version does not contain the baghavad gita... but this is understandable. To condense a story the monstrous size of the mahabharata in to one manageable book is quite a feat. This is done very well.

I will now be buying his translation of the gita (even though I have already read it. I know he will do it justice) and the upanishads.

Worth reading the ramayana too (which incidentally I prefer slightly).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A.Customer on 17 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this as a gift for a friend who is interested in Indian mythology. Rajagopalachari's style is simple, direct and very clear. She is really enjoying this book, which makes Indian literature so accessible to a Western mind
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A on 4 Dec 2013
Format: Paperback
This is an awful version of what is supposed to be an epic story. I couldn't even get to the end. It's so badly written, I am unsure as to why this book has any acclaim - probably people who read it do not read much literature. His English is really sloppy and I had to read most of the paragraphs again and again to actually understand what he is trying to say. I had to even ring my friend to ask clarification about several paragraphs which are nonsensical. He misses out lots of important detail and this is obvious as the paragraphs do not make sense. The chapter at the beginning about the storytellers, which is a significant thing to explain, and which other versions explain properly, was totally messy, confusing and erratic, as is the whole book. It is clear the author is not a writer. The story itself is written in a very bland and confusing style - very factual and rushed - as if it is a newspaper. A better version to read is Kamala Subramaniam's which in contrast, is really beautiful and clear.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Mahabharata work for keeps 25 Jan 2012
By Vidooshak - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
C. Rajagopalachari's version of Mahabharata is the earliest that we in South India embraced fully. This was the first English version of the mighty epic that we could read while fulfilling all our regular school obligations. The good news is also the bad news. The book has not evolved from when it was first published and the binding, publishing and quality issues that existed with early versions persist.

However, from a purely story telling stand-point Rajagopalachari keeps the story straight and deals with the morality and ethical issues extremely well. Rajagopalachari provides some commentary occasionally to clarify the inherent message. In his day, Rajagopalachari was a very respected scholar and the book reflects this personality. Modern day readers who do not relate to Rajaji's stature from his times may find his commentary invasive.

For an Indian parent looking to get their teenagers to learn about Mahabharata, there is no better book to start with. In short, this book is a must own. Especially, for those with south indian sensibilities and heritage.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Best and Most Readable Concise Edition of the Mahabharata 2 May 2009
By VIN - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've owned Rajagopalachari's version of the Mahabharata now for more than 10 years. Whenever I am compelled to absorb the teachings in Hinduism or revisit the story, this book comes to mind. It's easy to understand and straightforward. It lacks the recycled feel that often comes across by other authors, and instead brings its own style in telling the story while staying true to the events. Not too lengthy but at the same time, not overly simple. I would, however, recommend purchasing the hardcover version which may be more rare and can't be obtained from Amazon. I have seen the version Amazon sells and it is fairly poor quality. Amazon's version is also more expensive than it really should be.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
just ok 7 Feb 2009
By S. KUMAR - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a concise and ok (not-bad) translation. however if you are a looking for a comprehensive & faithful translation, following book is recommended:

~ Mahabharata: The Greatest Spiritual Epic of All Time - Krishna Dharma
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Really poorly bound 5 Dec 2012
By Perimpro - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is so poorly bound that the binding broke the first time I opened the book. Since it's presumably a book you would want to keep, think about getting another version.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Good abridged version, significant bias 25 Aug 2011
By ill critic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pros
-short
-captures main elements
-well-written

Cons
-significant personal bias
-poorly put together book, mechanically speaking
-overpriced

I would say this is a good book for those who would like to know the story of the Mahabharata without reading an extensive translation. While all of us having read an abridged version one way or another, this version is the shortest I've found that is at an adult reading level. Despite grammar/spelling errors, the author's method of story telling is good enough for anyone interested in the story.

The main downside to this translation is that the author includes his own opinion repeatedly on the lessons and philosophy that are inherent in the story.

Two minor irritations with this particular translation were
-the publisher did a very poor job of organizing the pages- I found a 40-pg section of literature trans-located a 1/4 of the way further into the book.
-this translation retails in India for only 1USD or perhaps as low as several cents. While the cost of freight from that location may be taken into account with the pricetag on amazon and other retailers, my purchasing experience in India leads me to believe this is a significantly overpriced product.
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