Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Last War

Presenting The Last War by Sandipan Deb.

Here is the summary of the book:

Watch Mumbai turn into Kurukshetra in The Last War. The Greatest Story Ever Told . . . Again. A modern-day version of The Mahabharata, The Last War is a page-turning account of brothers in arms and families at war. In the gritty expanse of India’s most dynamic city, Mumbai, from its ritzy high-rises to its mean streets and slums, loyalties are tested, blood is drawn and only ‘dharma’ can justify the means to a devastating end.

Authors are re-imagining the popular myths and classic literature into something new and modern everyday and they have been all successful in their attempts (with a few misses here and there) leading to some popular books and series'. Now our Indian authors also shouldn't stand back in this and its commendable of them to do so too. But when it comes to classic Indian literature like the Puranas, the Ramayana, the Upanishads or the one in question here the Mahabharata; well long standing and popular Indian authors have failed in that prospect.

Decidedly there had been many re-imaging of Mahabharata before. So, Sandipan Deb's The Last War is  definitely not the first one out there. But he did this little trick, he simplified the hefty classic, clipping away some major important characters, reconstructing the story in his own way to try to tell a story that had spanned over the ages into a 500 paged book. Mumbai is the Kurukshetra. Mumbai underground rather. And whomsoever wins, gets the rule of the city under their thumb.

Now let's be clear, it is rather IMPOSSIBLE, to squeeze in all those characters together and all the myriad elements and story arcs from the original into a small book. Clever of the author to reconstruct it accordingly, add in match fixing and the 9/11 attack to provide a more contemporary and a simplistic tale.

The characters and their  background were well thought off but the biggest problem of such a rendition, it missed the strong points, the layered stories....frankly every other thing that made Mahabharata an epic. The pace of the story was good though as a matter of fact. But what the Mahabharata represents... "dharma" doesn't ring true rather it goes stale after repeatedly hearing about throughout.

"An OK attempt. Doesn't have the epic feel the original held"

Genre :      Contemporary, Re-imaging, Thriller

Publisher: Pan Macmillan India

My Copy Publisher

Rate:              2/5 (It was Ok)


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