Book Review: Shyam, by Devdutt Pattanaik

One might be a mythology fan, but still not know everything from mythology. I realize that after reading this retelling of the Bhagavata, written by one of my favorite authors, Devdutt Pattanaik.

I grew up listening to tales about Lord Krishna, right from his childhood to, of course, his role in the Mahabharata war. I even chose comics that told those stories. Over the years, I thought I read, or was aware of, all his lore. As I read the book, I remembered old tales that were very familiar, like Krishna’s mother seeing the universe inside his mouth when she was checking on stolen butter, the slaying of Kamsa and his feat of lifting the mountain to protect his villagers against the rain. Re-reading them made me happy. I also discovered tales that I hadn’t read before, like the taming of the crane, and some instances related to Radha. It was wonderful to discover them as well. The illustrations, as usual, add to the magic of the narration.

I am not overly fond of the cover. It’s not a flipside for the book, but more a personal preference. I also didn’t find some of the author’s commentary (which he gives after each smaller tale) interesting. Neither of these points would have prevented me from purchasing this book. When on vacation, one does look for engaging comfort reads, and I think this book falls into that category. Devdutt Pattanaik crafts yet another memorable mythological retelling.


A Score Of 9 Out Of 10
Book Details
Title: Shyam: An Illustrated Retelling of the Bhagavata
Author(s): Devdutt Pattnaik Genre: Mythology
ISBN/ASIN: 9780670084463 Publisher: Penguin

No payment was taken for this review. The views expressed here are mine, and they remain uninfluenced and unbiased.


(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
20th July 2018)

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