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The Ramayana Paperback – 1 Jan 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 175 pages
  • Publisher: South Asia Books; Reprint edition (1 Jan. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8170943035
  • ISBN-13: 978-8170943037
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,025,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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A comfortable introduction to Indian literature for those of us unfamiliar with it 14 Sept. 2014
By Andrew Kuligowski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I confess – I was not familiar with Ramaya before receiving this book. “Back in the day” in my Eurocentric curriculum, very little time was spent during elementary and secondary school on Asian literature.

So, a basic, illustrated adaptation of Valmiki's “Ramaya” was a blessing. I could expose myself to this work during a plane flight – a SHORT plane flight, at that. Of course, that strength is also the book's biggest weakness; so much material, depth, hidden meanings, subplots, etc. must be omitted in order to squeeze hundreds of pages into 64, including illustrations and follow-up! The adaptor, Prema Jayakumar, recognizes this, and added a section documenting the major elements that were left out or tremendously shortened for this adaptation.

Given that the target age for this book is listed as 9 to 13, I wonder if some of the vocabulary might be a bit overwhelming for our younger readers. On the other hand, perhaps I underestimate their abilities, and the word selection is spot-on for them. (NOTE: Given that this book is at least in part about a newly-married couple, I would imagine that some of the trimming done by our adapter may have been in keeping with age restrictions for the targeted reader. Not having read the original, I cannot say.)

I certainly would recommend this book as an introduction to Indian literature, as long as the potential reader acknowledges that this is NOT meant to be a strict translation of the original work.

RATING: 5 stars

DISCLOSURE: I won this book in a random draw from the publisher. There was an expressed hope for a review (and implied hope for a good one), but neither was a condition set or agreed to as a condition of receipt.
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