Ramayana

Ramayana

Divine Loophole

Book - 2010
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Teeming with powerful deities, love-struck monsters, flying monkey gods, magic weapons, demon armies, and divine love, Ramayana tells the story of Rama, a god-turned-prince, and his quest to rescue his wife Sita after she is kidnapped by a demon king. This illustrated tale features over 100 colorful full-spread illustrations, a detailed pictorial glossary of the cast of characters who make up the epic tale, and sketches of the work in progress.
Publisher: San Francisco : Chronicle Books, c2010.
ISBN: 9780811871075
Characteristics: 184 p. : ill. ; 21 x 24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa.

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BREATHLESSMAHONEY
May 17, 2017

A delightful read! The artwork is beautiful and engaging, a bit of a modern take on classic Hindu art and the story is told in a simple style that will (hopefully) whet the appetite for more.

forbesrachel Sep 03, 2013

The great epic of the Ramayana is presented in this slimmed down version. This makes it more accessible to children, or those that do not have the time to read a 3000 page book. The word count may be reduced, but the author has provided something in exchange for this. Each entry is accompanied by stunningly beautiful art comprised of a geometric style which utilizes a wide range of vibrant colours. The author is an animator for Pixar, and although the style is unique to this work, the quality is just as good.
The tale is told concisely in modern language (it does not sound transliterated), but does not suffer from this, as it is still easily understood, and children will surely enjoy some of the bold words and imagery (eg. "This is no ordinary bad guy; we're talking about a ten-headed demon with bad teeth!" pg13).
The author is conscious of his potential multicultural readership, so he takes the time to describe terms, the names/roles of the different beings, and certain cultural points. The illustrations are relevant to each page, proving helpful to these explanations in a visual way.
The epic itself is about the life of Vishnu in his human avatar of Rama. The focus is his exploits against demons, his marriage to Sita (avatar of Lakshmi), and in general how he brought about an age of peace. Rama is clever, swift to action, dutiful and loyal, and along the way gained several companions, including his brother Lakshman, who is as brave and true as Rama, and Hanuman, a divine monkey of great size and speed.
The final third of the book is devoted to listing and giving further information on the gods, sages, warriors, animals and demons that were named throughout. Pronunciations of names are also provided.
If you are looking for a most faithful version of the Ramayana, this is not it. But if you are looking for a book that remains true to the lessons, and heroes, and does so in a way that is fun to read, than you will surely find this one worth a try.

m
mirabeller
May 09, 2012

If you ever wanted to learn the basic low-down on the Ramayana, Sanjay Patel does it very well in this beautifully illustrated story.

The original mythology is quite sexist and classist, and while Patel can't really change it, that story element is disturbing.

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