Devdutt Pattanaik does not need an introduction. He is one of those authors whom the modern readers of mythology absolutely adore. And his latest work Ramayana versus Mahabharata will definitely find a place in most of his fan’s TBR list.
Ramayana versus Mahabharata is clearly divided into sections and each section has a few chapters. Pattanaik makes the reading very easy and as is usual with his books, there are his trademark doodles interspersed amidst the text. What is missing are the footnotes that the author includes in most of his books. Also included in Ramayana versus Mahabharata is a further reading section which is always interesting for a fan of Indian mythology.
Coming to the book itself, it is a well-done book that highlights the myriad similarities between the two great epics that we have known. Between sons and property disputes, of vanavasa and the presence of Vishnu in one of his avatars. Many of these would have been already inferred by the average reader of mythology. A few were quite insightful and this made the book interesting.
Personally, though, I would have to say Ramayana versus Mahabharata cannot be compared to any of his books. Anyone who has read Jaya or Mithya cannot be as charmed by Ramayana versus Mahabharata as they were of those books. Readers who enjoy Pattanaik‘s books would have an interest in Indian mythology and given that Ramayana versus Mahabharata are tales that we have heard since we were babies, they are all too familiar. The book cover does say it is a playful comparison. Though to call it a comparison is to take it too far. What Ramayana versus Mahabharata does is, in fact, point out similarities between the two epics. I would have liked for the author to actually make a comparison, point out the similarities and the differences. And though the blurb says so, Ramayana versus Mahabharata fails on that account. I can say I did not love this book as I have his other works.
On the whole, give it a read if you are a fan of Devdutt Pattanaik.
You can find a copy of Ramayana versus Mahabharata here – Amazon, Flipkart
Ramayana Versus Mahabharata: My Playful Comparison by Devdutt Pattanaik
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
2 thoughts on “Book Review – Ramayana Versus Mahabharata by Devvutt Pattanaik”
I got my copy today in the mail. This will be my first book by him. I hope I enjoy it more than you did on account of this being my first book by Devdutt.
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I hope you enjoy it. But you should definitely try Jaya as well. That book is one I’d recommend.
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