Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Book Review: "The Immortals of Meluha" by Amish Tripathi

Verdict: Decent read for a reader with patience. Be prepared to buy the next 2 titles of the trilogy, as even after finishing the book, you may feel that this book is just a sub-plot (a critical one, nonetheless) to a bigger story, which is yet to be told.

In its own way, Amish brings forth a intriguing concept of "duality" with an apt story build around it and challenges the way we look at good or evil. I feel all Indian scriptures tell us the same basic things by personifying the forces at play in our mind & heart weaved in grand larger-than-life stories. It is ironic that we have become too rigid in our reading, to look beyond words and consider all our scriptures as a read for spiritual flight only to be pursued after we have lived our real life. The concept could have been elaborated more in the book, though. I hope the same is taken care of in the sequel/s.

Look n feel: The feel of the pages is just fine (not great) unlike the cover which is crisp & inviting but it's not a deal breaker. Expected the book to relate (in between the story) the story in the book with our present day understanding of history or mythology about God Shiva and thus, to provide the real context and reasons thereof, but to my disappointment, it doesn't happen.

Writing Style:
- the language is simple; writing style is straight forward with hardly any suspense plots. Story flows on a linear plane at a constant pace.

- Amish goes into absolute details (No, Shobha Day is still beyond his reach which I feel is good !) and successfully creates a visual of every person, place or event across the entire story. In the hindsight, it is necessary for the plot of this specific book.

- request you to practice patience and read till the last page before forming an opinion about the book :) . after sometime, i had started giving up the hope for the story to unfold beyond pure fiction, which doesn't happen until last few pages.

Time: Finished it in 4 days as I had some spare time early last week.

Other observations:
- A map of India in 1900 BC is provided inside front cover of the book. This is a welcome (very concise & crisp) piece of information which helped me to 'see' the book through!

- While, I was tempted to know several times, Amish has put no attempts whatsoever (no mention in the preface; absence of any disclaimer/s) to relate the plots, events, locations and names mentioned in the book to today's knowledge of the same in history or mythology. It remains a mystery whether Amish is telling a pure fiction (I really don't hope and feel so) or explaining a historical / mythological understanding based on research using fiction. I really hope Amish captures this in the sequels (Yes... I've already ordered the next title !!!).

My Rating: Shiva Trilogy - 7/10; The Immortals of Mehula - 6/10


  1. First I would like to thank Anshul for a short & crisp snapshot of the book. I am happy that such books have become best sellers and thereofore readers like me could lay hands on them. This kind of novel/book can be read as a pure fiction (and not like reading an epic/veda) but the good part about them is they make us think about our own history and ways of today life (the so called modern lifestyle). It tells us how superior our ancestors were in their thoughts & way of living a healthy life. It stimulates the thought process and tells you that the routines of life (of earning money & spending it, being happy & sad) are very small part of one’s existence. The small issues/situations one faces in day to day life can be resolved instantly and much time/energy/mood/relationships are not required to be spent on them. Instead one should focus on the objective of one’s life and concentrate all his energies in fulfilling that goal/objective in the best possible way one can and be better human. I feel what we can learn from such books is discipline and determination is what makes any common man uncommon and grand. A life worth living. :) :D

  2. Nice review. Liked the "duality" concept . Amish is an exceptional story-teller.

  3. Thanks Salty.

    I continue to be amazed how myopic we are when it comes to understanding our scriptures and miss the opportunity to learn from their life experiences.

    In the west their history in celebrated in books and movies. I really hope there are more authors and film makers who focus on this subject.