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The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose…
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The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic (1972)

by R. K. Narayan

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This particular rendition of the Ramayana is really friendly. It's written in prose, as a narrative, so that it reads really quickly and easily and get the story (which is a phenomenal story all by itself) across in the most painless way imaginable. The story itself is a pleasure to read; this ancient epic is enthralling, even if you really have to suspend reality to get into it. Taking place in a completely different time, place, and culture, it really gives one an insight into Hindu legends and tales, an integral part of any religion or culture. ( )
  J9Plourde | Jun 13, 2017 |
I like this mythology better than our Greek and Roman stuff. Narayan is a great writer, too. ( )
  xine2009 | Sep 27, 2009 |
A much better translation than the one by Lakshmi Lal. It seems to humanize Rama much more than Lal's more literal rendering. Rama (and Lakshmana, and Ravana), seem to have actual motivations, rather than simply roles in a pre-scripted drama.

Narayan clearly has some of the same questions about Rama that I do. His interjections into the narrative don't resolve my confusion about Rama's character, but I think they help. For example, when Rama kills Vali from hiding without any direct provocation, Narayan expresses doubt about whether it's actually right, and why Rama tries so hard to justify it after the fact. ( )
  aneel | May 10, 2007 |
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Epigraph
Valmiki the poet explained to Rama himself: "Owing to the potency of your name, I became a sage, able to view the past, present, and future as one. I did not know your story yet. One day Sage Narada visited me. I asked him, 'Who is a perfect man -- possessing strength, aware of obligations, truthful in an absolute way, firm in the execution of vows, compassionate, learned, attractive, self-possessed, powerful, free from anger and envy but terror-striking when roused?' Narada answered, 'Such a combination of qualities in a single man is generally rare, but one such is the very person whose name you have mastered, that is, Rama. He was born in the rase of Ikshvahus, son of King Dasaratha ..." And Narada narrated the story of Rama.
Dedication
To the memory of my uncle T. N. Seshachalam who had steeped himself in Kamban's Ramayana, and who expressed a last wish that I should continue the study.
First words
(Introduction by the author): The Indian epic, the Ramayana, dates back to 1500 B.C. according to certain early scholars.
(Chap. 1. Rama's initiation): The new assembly hall, Dasaratha's latest pride, was crowded all day with visiting dignitaries, royal emissaries, and citizens coming in with representations or appeals for justice.
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Book description
Our humble introduction to a bow and arrow. Countless stories on Nani's lap. Our first stirrings of sacrifice. The inspiration for all our who-can-jump-across-this-ocean-like-a-puddle games.

We are Paper Boat. We make drinks, but we serve memories. And today, we bring you R.K. Narayan's retelling of the timeless Ramayana. A story of love and valour. An epic whose wealth is vast and wise. A tale that is a gift handed down from generation to generation, whose light shines bright in each of us.

This is our celebration of the story we are all eager to hear one more time. To once again fold our legs underneath us and listen, with rapt attention, to a quiet voice narrate that unforgotten journey.

So please have a sip, turn a page. And float away on a Paper Boat.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140187006, Mass Market Paperback)

"The Ramayana" is, quite simply, the greatest of Indian epics - and one of the world's supreme masterpieces of storytelling. Here, drawing his inspiration from the work of an eleventh-century Tamil poet called Kamban, Narayan has used the talents of a master novelist to recreate the excitement and joy he has found in the original. It can be enjoyed and appreciated, he suggests, for its psychological insight, its spiritual depth and its practical wisdom - or just as a thrilling tale of abduction, battle and courtship played out in a universe thronged with heroes, deities and demons.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:55 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A retelling of the Tamil epic poem which records Prince Rama's search for his abducted sweetheart, Sita.

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