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The Great Indian Novel by Shashi Tharoor

the great indian novelamazon-review

A modern day Mahabharata , The Great Indian Novel is a satire on modern Indian politics. Bhishma becomes Gandhi, the blind king Dhritrashtra is Nehru and his daughter Indira becomes Priya Duryodhani, who declared Emergency in the 1970s in India. The Five Pandavas become the judiciary, media, the army, civil and foreign services. And democracy is Draupadi – who is shamed by Duryodhani’s actions. Like the original Mahabharata, The Great Indian Novel has eighteen chapters.

The tone of the book is irreverent, and the cantankerous narrator spares none of the Indian idols. Shashi Tharoor’s debut novel, first published nearly 25 years ago, is a delight to read.  In this award-winning novel, Tharoor has masterfully and very courageously reinterpreted Indian political history in a witty, yet soul searching  manner. It is no small feat, considering that Tharoor is a prominent Congress politician now.

The Indian Express advised “every sane Indian” to buy a copy of the book and noted author and social commentator Khushwant Singh called it “perhaps the best work of fiction written by an Indian in recent years”.

It really is a must read.

Rating- 4/5


About artikabakshi

Artika Aurora Bakshi Artika co-manages She comes from a family of lawyers and has a master's degree in International Banking & Finance. Currently based in Sri Lanka, she teaches Commerce and History on a part-time basis at an international school and enjoys being part of the literary scene in Sri Lanka. A regular at the Galle Literary Festival and other literary events in Sri Lanka, Artika's articles and book reviews have featured in the Daily Mirror and Daily News and various blogs, such as,,, She is actively involved with SAARC Women's Association of Sri Lanka. An avid reader, Artika runs an online book club with a membership base of over 600 members. Her passion for reading has led her to helping other writers with their manuscripts. Her short stories have been published online and she is also working on her own novel. Artika has published My Little Sikh Handbook and is currently working on her second children's book, with Sikhism as its central theme. You can reach Artika at .

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This entry was posted on October 16, 2014 by in Book Reviews, Contemporary, Fiction and tagged , .
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