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  1. 16 of 19 people found this review helpful
     Ground breaking 14 July, 2010 On
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone with Indian roots.
    This book is an exciting fictional take on Shiva and related mythological events and characters. Some parts of this book make you appreciate the richness and depth of the mythology one grows up with in India, but rarely ponders overs. Other parts challenge the conventional understanding of the myths and elements of ancient Indian culture.

    Right of the bat, I will caution that the quality of writing is not great. The author makes Dan Brown look like a literary genius. The writing style is shallow and lacks expression and illustrative power. The characters feel a bit synthetic and contrived. The dialogue seems awkward, cliched and sometimes cheesy. Use of 'everyday Indian English' for the dialogue, allegedly to make ancient characters easy to identify with, is in fact distracting and annoying

    However, what the author lacks in writing skills, he more than makes up with the breadth and ambition of the plot built around Shiva and his path to becoming a Mahadev. The author deftly mixes pure speculation with well known mythological events, documented cultural practices and historical facts. Underlying the plot are significant personal, cultural and political philosophical musings that this first book just begins to layout and explore. The plot also indirectly touches on controversial historical issues like the Aaryan invasion theory and origins of civilization. And even though Hindu mythology is inextricably intertwined with Hindu religious beliefs, this books steers clear of dogma and worship. It focuses more on Hindu philosophy than Hindu religious beliefs. All in all, a very satisfying and entertaining read regardless of one's religious inclinations.

    Kudos to the author for what I hope will be a ground breaking book. A book that shows that Indian mythology is a woefully underutilized source of wit, wisdom, inspiration and philosophy. Of amazing characters and great drama. There isn't another culture, save perhaps, Greek, that has been blessed with such riches. It is high time we took this heritage off the shelf; stopped blindly worshipping it and started exploring and understanding it.

    PS: You will have to get this book from India. It is not available in the US yet.
  2. 17 of 22 people found this review helpful
     Waiting for parts 2 and 3 27 April, 2010 On
    Part 1 of the Shiva Trilogy from Amish Tripathi. One of the first books by an Indian author to be introduced by a viral video on youtube.

    The story of The Immortals of Meluha is set in 1900BC and operates on the premise that Shiva was a mortal, a simple man whom legend turned into God.
    Amish summarises his fundamental premises as:
    "I believe that the Hindu gods were not mythical beings or a figment of a rich imagination.
    I believe that they were creatures of flesh and blood, like you and me.
    I believe that they achieved godhood through their karma, their deeds.
    With these premises, an interesting read is assured."

    While parts of the story are rooted in mythology and some parts are corraborated by history - like the description of town planning by the Meluhans - most parts are pure speculative fiction.

    The story is very interesting and keeps you gripped. I don't want to reveal too much of the plot here, so let me try to avoid that while sketching out the basics.

    The Suryavanshis are the descendants of Lord Ram who have created an extremely stable society based on strict rules and regulations. An ideal state except for a few rules that Shiva finds unfair. Shiva is a Tibetan immigrant, invited to Meluha (the land now known as the Indus Valley Civilisation) and slowly recognised as a saviour and deliverer from evil.

    The evil being the Chandravanshis - who live on the opposite side of India in Swadweep between the Ganga and the Brahmaputra, that also holds Ayodhya - the birth place of Lord Ram.

    At times the philosophy in the book sounds like it comes from the Matrix - "You don't earn a title after you have done your deeds... It doesn't matter what others think. It's about what you believe. Believe you are the Mahadev and you will be one"

    But there are some statements that make you think and reflect and question previously held assumptions. Amish belives that the cry of Har Har Mahadev actually stems from the thought Har ek Mahadev - Each one of us, has it in us to be a Mahadev.

    A lot has been said about the language in the book. While the setting is 1900BC, the language is 21st century AD, with Weapons of Mass Destruction and Departments of Immigration. At times it is difficult to reconcile the two. Amish in an interview said that he had a huge struggle with his editor/publisher about this issue. He wanted the dialogue to be more authentic and his publisher wanted it more modern.

    I can empathise with the editor/publisher. The language makes this an easy book to read and will defintely increase sales. But purists searching for authenticity will be disappointed.

    Personally I enjoyed the book. I can't wait for books 2 and 3. I have my suspicions, but will try and be patient. :)

    He says Book 2 will only be out next year as his day job keeps him busy. Amish, chuck the day job, don't keep us in suspense for that long!

    Should you read this book? Definitely. But if you hate cliff hangers (which is how this part ends) then you may be better off waiting for all the books to be released before starting on this.

    As a teaser, the first Chapter is freely downloadable from [...].

    Take a quick glance. If you are in the least bit interested in Mythology, I guarantee that you will be intrigued.
  3. 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
     Could have been better !!! 7 July, 2013 On
    I have to confess; I developed an interest in this book after Bollywood decided to do a movie on this book.

    Here is what I know about the author. He is a bored financial consultant who decided to write a book. To the author's credit, he has got a storyline. He has attempted to portray Lord Shiva as a human who is remembered by generations due to his pivotal role in ancient India's history. Considering the author's background, he tries his best to hypothesize and thus recreate connections between various ancient Indian cities and tribes.

    What was perhaps irritating to me was finding current conversational English in a mythical setting, though I felt that this lessened towards the ending of the book, or may be I just got used to it. However, the story was gripping enough for me to finish reading this off in a week.

    All in all, this is a great story; it could have been better if someone had guided the author better or if he had spent some more time perfecting this gem of a book.
  4. 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
     Zenithbof mythological fiction! 30 June, 2013 On
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Extremely readable,exciting and attention grabbing while reading. I wasn't having a kindle while reading it yet unread it on a small screen of which is less than 4 inches sometimes non stop. Such is the ability of this book to hold U self. Amish has shown once again that people.from.iim cam write such a good fiction nd case of chetan wasn't an exception . Kudos to Amnish
  5. 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
     Gripping Story 19 June, 2013 On
    Format:Kindle Edition
    A good alternate history with gripping story line. This is a must read for everyone.
    Can't wait to read the next 2 books.
  6. 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
     Interesting 14 June, 2013 On
    Format:Kindle Edition
    It's interesting how he actually took characters from the Hindu mythology and intertwined them together in a beautiful story. I personally am a huge fan of Lord Shiva and this book kept me going all the way to the third in the series !
  7. 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
     Mythical and mysterious 1 June, 2013 On
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Gripping, keeps you wondering what next, an interesting take on a revered religious figure. A good read and easy flow of the story.
  8. 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
     Easy read and beautiful!!! 10 February, 2012 On
    This book is a very easy read which can be a disappointment for many. However I liked it's simplicity. Lord shiva and parvatis love is so beautifully described and felt. I like the real ness of the characters. How human they are. The story is gripping keeps you going. I'm looking forward to the next sequel. The secret of the nagas.
  9. 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
     Brings a sense of reality to mythology 10 January, 2012 On
    Amish Tripathi has brought reality to the aura around the famous and revered deity in India, Shiva. The writing is simple and the concluding philosophy is rather abrupt, but definitely an interesting read. The author has used well-known and spoken about tales of Shiva and spun it into a bit of history. It is the story of Shiva who morphs from a tribal chieftain to Neelkanth, a divine incarnation.
  10. 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
     The Immortals of Meluha - unexpectedly amazing,,!! 11 August, 2013 On
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Being a devotee of Lord Shiva I was delighted beyond imagination after discovering this amazing book, the first in the Shiva Trilogy, and was immensely rewarded by the well-crafted story blending mythology and fiction. Just two words came to my mind after reading it - Shiva rocks..!!! Shiva is wonderfully depicted as a fearless leader, a passionate lover, a ferocious warrior, a graceful dancer and a faithful friend.

    Shiva, along with his tribe, travels from Mount Kailash to India to find a better life for himself and his people. Little does he know that his destiny awaits him in the city of Meluha. The absolute faith of the Meluhans in the legend of the Neelkanth, destroyer of evil, along with an agonizing childhood event motivates Shiva and turns him from an ordinary tribal leader to their Mahadev. The foreigner accepts his destiny and the war between good and evil begins.

    This book took me by surprise and it was sheer joy to read it. It has a great story along with strong characters. Amish gradually and skilfully develops the various facets of Shiva's character which allows the reader to marvel at him and believe in the legend of the Neelkanth accepting Shiva as the Mahadev. The language is unexpectedly unconventional and may not be acceptable to all. I think it was deliberate to attract young adult readers.

    However, lack of proofreading was a let-down. There were typo errors for some words throughout the ebook version. I am not aware about the printed one. But the story makes up for that. Hence I am looking forward to read the next two books and strongly recommend this trilogy to one and all.
    Om Namah Shivaiya.

    - Roshani Hingorani
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