Ramayana: 1 Paperback – 1 Dec 2007
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About the Author
Arshia Sattar has a PhD from the department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations in the University of Chicago. Her areas of interest are Indian epics, mythology and the story traditions of the subcontinent. Her translation of Tales from the Kathasaritasagara was published as a Penguin Classic. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
It just arrived and I found my answer inside. It is abridged. In the back cover it says that is has 'bridged time and space to make it accessible to the present-day English reader. Now I don't know about you but I do not like the assumption that I am too thick to understand or too lazy to read an unabridged version.
I have nothing against the other editions that mention clearly on the description or the cover page that they are abridged but I am infuriated with Penguin's decision that readers wouldn't really care whether the book they buy is abridged or not so there is no need to clearly mention it on the cover. It is a dishonest marketing practice and it should be stopped. Particularly if you consider that the book I received was inside a plastic wrap so I could not read the introduction without opening it and that there is no preview available.
Penguin continuously exploits the fame of the classics it publishes by manipulating and misleading its public. Look at its 'great journeys' series where the works are so abridged you might as well read the review. People hardly ever read classics because they search for an easy quick read, there are enough tabloid and free newspapers in this country to cover that need. I read a classic expecting an insight to a different culture and a different narrating technique, I expect it to be a process and not a quick fix, classics that as culturally important as the Ramayana ought to be treated with greater respect.Read more ›
as most of you, when we are to buy an old classic, we generally tend to search for the best and most complete translation. Well, this versions is not the most complete, since it is abridged, so if you want to use it for investigation purposes and academic works, it wont be the best one. Anyway, this version, beeing translated directly from Sanscrit is very very accurate and most terms are in fact reporting to an old and wise language system. In this version, you will be able to understand the full Ramayana, without wasting much time with the common repetitions and most boring part of old scriptures. This is a clear book, easy to read.
I am enjoying every moment that i read it. I rather have this versions, since im not graduating in literature history and therefore dont need to hold the full versions with aprox. 1,5k pages.
Hope you can devide on what you want and make a wise choice. For me, this versions of The Ramayana is very suitable. Its not imcomplete, history wise, and its full of terms that you recognize belonging to another culture and language.
Prof Sattar has taken great trouble to abridge and re-tell the story in an easy, flowing and simple language such that even a child can read and understand it without assistance. She has incorporated the first (Childhood) and the seventh (Epilogue) Books, considered by many as later additions, to provide the traditional "full story". However, the English although modern is not how it is spoken in the West, and children particularly in the West may find the expressions jarring. (By using modern English, the quaintness of old Sanskrit expressions is also lost.) The narrative style is very flat - almost devoid of any excitement, passion or human emotions. (You only have to see plays and films on the Ramayana or hear a Sanskrit [or other Indian language] recital to appreciate what a loss that is!) The story has been retold in such a (boring) way that even a committed Hindu adult will have difficulty maintaining interest, let alone a young reader. Had she written in an "unputdownable" style, given her easy story telling abilities, the book might have been a real hit, as a story book.
This book is not a scholarly "true to Sanskrit" translation, as acknowledged by the author. Nor does it bring out Hindu values or highlight their culture.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lovely clothbound cover on this book. Pages very thin which is disappointing and no ribbon page marker. Not usual quality.Published 17 months ago by mrs. j
I have been interested in Indian Spirituality and Philosophy for a few years now, and after having studied Buddhism, have branched out to include Hinduism and Yoga philosophy only... Read morePublished on 3 Feb. 2014 by M. A. Ratcliffe
Such a wonderful story filled with values. The book is really exciting which I never actually expected. Thought it would be boring, but still wanted to read as it is our history. Read morePublished on 7 Aug. 2013 by Sajith Soman
I like the appearance of the book from a production point of view. The introduction is very good but that is all I've read so far so can't judge the translation but it does look... Read morePublished on 7 July 2013 by Jane
This version is only a small part of the whole story. It is an excellent translation that is a gripping read, but just as the story gets exciting the book finishes as Hanuman goes... Read morePublished on 31 Mar. 2013 by Matt
Ramayana- one of the two epics from acient India - is truly a world heritage. The central issue that the epic explores can be summed up as the challenge of how to lead a good life... Read morePublished on 3 Oct. 2011 by APB
This is an excellent, modern and easy-to-read translation of one of the great classics of Indian literature, still a corner stone of the culture. Read morePublished on 18 April 2011 by michael
This is a very well written version of the beautiful Ramayana. It is easy to read and well divided into chapters. Read morePublished on 23 April 2010 by discipleofhanuman