I\'d actually give this book 4.5 stars or 9 out of 10. I only give 5\'s to books I\'m certain I will want to read again. While this is an excellent read, it does require an investment of time so I probably won\'t be able to revisit it. Anyway, it sat on my TBR shelf for nearly 20 years and I am so glad I held on to it!
This story is based on the Mahabaratha, a classic epic of Indian mythology , and is quite a journey: Intense, heartbreaking, beautiful, hilarious. Just like India herself. It encompasses the entire history of modern India, since the struggle for independence. In the midst of all the tragedy and violence, the author has a knack for silly puns and a bit of parody. (One of my gigglers: the capital of what is obviously Bangladesh is changed to Laslut. Google it if you don\'t get the joke. Oh and there\'s the bit where our picaresque narrator intones, "Rule Brittania, Brittania waive the rules!")
This book is listed as one of the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die, and I attest that it deserves its place there. Sadly, few of my acquaintances seem to know of it (and that\'s odd, since I teach English for a living). It is definitely a journey I recommend. I will most likely be looking up some non-fiction resources on South-Asian history, since this truly has me intrigued. Please check out the Wikipedia summary, as it gives concise details of the mythology the story is based on, and how the events and characters are related to it.