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Ramayana Hardcover – 3 Oct 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (3 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571294871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571294879
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 3.1 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 233,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

[A] rollicking, often rude and riveting version of an epic that is as much an instruction manual on how to live as a graphic adventure narrative of war. (Arifa Akbar Independent)

'Here, with a long story, a large canvas and many different scenes, [Nagra] can draw on a great range of forms and styles in a virtuoso display ... For some the Ramayana is a sacred text. Nagra's version is a new blessing.' (Margaret Reynolds The Times)

Recounted with energy, wit and bold imagination, this version is a joy. (Philip Maughan New Statesman)

'In Nagra's adaptation of the ancient religious text, which has its origins in Indian oral storytelling, he aimed to capture the same passion as the version he heard as a child. He borrowed several countries' Ramayanas and the freedom and energy of his approach leaps from the page.' (Angel Gurria-Quintana Financial Times, Books of the Year)

Book Description

Ramayana by Daljit Nagra is a lively, vibrant translation of one of the great epics of the ancient world, by the award-winning author of Look We Have Coming to Dover!

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Islay on 12 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover
I like Dajit Nagra, I like his enthusiasm and exuberance and this work follows very much in his known style of crazy over-the-top descriptions and weird word-forms, by which he tells a multicoloured tale in a hypercoloured manner, with a proliferation of exclamation marks and passages of Punglish in amongst sometimes very loosely versed, sometimes very tightly versed (in one place: one-letter-per-line), poetry.

On the whole I enjoyed reading this story, and I did enjoy (to some degree) the chaotic manner of its telling. But, notwithstanding, it is a sprawling mess of a poem. Perhaps that is fitting for a story that similarly leaps all over the place, where the most dire of circumstances is resolved by a hastily summoned mantra, or yet another arrow, even more powerful than the previous mighty arrow, which in turn was preceded by a volley of very deadly arrows; and so on.

There are places where, just at the height of excitement, the narration skips forward and past the moment, and so misses it. Similarly there are long passages where not a great deal happens. In short, there were too many places where I wanted the narration to slow down, and, of course, others where I wished it would get a move on.

Does this matter? Possibly. Possibly not. It may indeed be a good way of telling a fairly simple story that yet involves mythological creatures and other magical phenomena, many-headed/many-limbed assailants, monkey armies, disinterested or otherwise powerless Gods [in that they are forced to grant 'boons' (magical powers or invulnerabilities) to anyone, good or bad, who may ask for them], and the most beautiful woman any mortal or immortal has ever laid eyes on; naturally.

And, as I say, I did generally enjoy reading this book.
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Format: Hardcover
It's proof that Nagra has become a huge name when a book as bad as this one still gets shortlisted for an award like the TS Eliot. There is ambition here, and the name of a rising star on the cover, but behind those two things is a purely executed and ultimately juvenile piece of work.
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By William Tell on 16 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lively and distinctive
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ransen Owen on 10 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got the same feeling from this book as I do from greek myths. There is no tension because super-powers of the various characters/monsters/gods come and go in an arbitrary way. Though the writing is light and enjoyable I did not finish the book.
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