Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Book Review: Kamadeva: The God of Desire by Anuja Chandramouli

Book: Kamadeva: The God of Desire

Author: Anuja Chandramouli

No. of Pages: 326

Genre: Mythological treatise

Publisher: Rupa Publications India


Important and Interesting Note: This review is in 2 parts (first of its kind on my blog). I did not like the book initially and gave up half-way. Wrote a review and sent it to the author. While she did not ask me to 'not post' the review, she did mention that I gave up too early. Well … I decided to give it another shot and then wrote the second part of the review. Did my views about the book change … well … read on)


Review – Part 1 – after abandoning the book half-way

I am kinda confused about this book.

It was an excellent opportunity to read and learn about a less-talked-about character from mythology. And he is no less than our Hindu Mythological Cupid ... of Godly status.

So it started out fine but then things started to derail

Other stories ... which had nothing to do with Kamadeva started appearing in the narration. (These stories were being narrated to Kamadeva by Narada Muni and Indra and others ...). BUT I did not pick up this book to read about Sagar Manthan and the story behing Amrut extraction or the story of Ahilya ... I wanted to read about Kamadeva .. And that is where Anuja ... the author ... lost me. I read the book to a great extent but was disappointed and kind of abandoned it mid-way. Just could not go on. Felt like a waste of time.

Another aspect was the writing style. Anuja tried making it contemporary but the impression on me was not a good one. We are talking about GODS here and their language, the words they use, the idioms they use ... need some dignity, respect and stature. I surely don't expect them to utter American slang or even Indian slang. That's another place where the author lost me

Review – Part 2 – after restarting and not completing the book again

Well … I could not complete the book. Even after picking it up a second time. And how much of my review has changed … not much actually. Just about enough to increase one/half a star.

The language aspect of the book kept pinching me and that was THE MAJOR reason I could not complete the book. I simply could not come to grips with the colloquial, informal and almost modern or street language used in the book.

Kamadeva (who is a God himself) simply cannot be calling Brahma STUPID. Especially, since he is a God who definitely has a higher stature than the rest and he is HIS FATHER. You do not talk about Vishnu or Shiva in a lighter tone or show them joking. But, then that is entirely me. As an author you can do anything and I am sure you would have a section of the readers who would appreciate this fresh approach to writing.

Unfortunately, I am not one of them and I could not digest this style and hence could not read the book.

If you are OK with this fresh and different approach to writing about the celestial beings, by all means go ahead and pick this book up.
You will learn about Kamadeva about whom we know very little. He is our very own 'Cupid' and we seem to know hardly anything about him … except for maybe some people knowing that he was destroyed by Shiva opening his third eye when Kamadeva tried to 'wake' him up with love-arrows. What most of us don't really know is what happened before and after that.

This book will tell you all of that so by all means pick it up … and you are welcome to ignore the criticism levied on the book by me. It is more about me and my way of thinking rather than the book itself …

Irrespective of the low rating that I have given, I am keenly interested in Anuja's writing and will most probably pick up her next book too :)

Ratings on Book Review Parameters:

Cover Design: 3.0 / 5

Writing Style: 1.0 / 5

Characters:     NA / 5

Story / Plot:     2.0 / 5

Climax:            NA / 5

Overall:           2.5 / 5   

1 comment:

  1. Try reading some Canongate myth series novel Weight,Penelopoid,Lion's honey or the Helmet of Horror and write a review on it.It will really be interesting to know what you think of it.