Most helpful critical review
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Go beyond the coffee table versions
on 9 November 2002
This book is a modern translation of the original text, and is a highly academic treatment. Unfortunately it is rather confusingly laid out, there are three strands of text running concurrently the literal translation, period commentary and authors commentary. Despite this it is readable though bordering on the tome in dimensions you can zip through the translation which is actually not very long.
On a more practical level I have found some of the advice to be very good - but you have to read this in context. If you are unfamiliar with the original text then you should be aware that this is not a 'positions' book, the majority of the Kama Sutra is devoted to relationships between men and women, courting, marrige etc. It is a facinating insight into an ancient civilisation, and underlying it is a fundamental understanding of what makes people tick.
This is an obvious choice for the those who wish to read the whole book, because the earlier Burton translation was edited by Victorian sensibilties. However if you just want to get a sense of this work you might consider the earlier version on grounds of cost.
Whichever version you get you will find this a facinating read, especially if you like the perfumed garden, now all I need is a translation of the chinese taos...