Mr Iyer Goes to War

Mr Iyer Goes to War

Book - 2016
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Dispatched to a home in the sacred city of Varanasi, Lalgudi Iyer spends his days immersed in scripture. When an accident leaves him with concussion, he receives a vision of his past incarnation - he was the mythological warrior Bhima, sent from the heavens to destroy evil. Convinced of his need to continue Bhima's mission and revive the noble principles of the Mahabharata, Iyer embarks on an epic adventure down the sacred Ganges with the help of his trust companion Bencho, the undertaker. His attempts at restoring order to the world - and winning the heart of the half-beautiful but oblivious widow Damayanti - are hampered only by his complete detachment from the reality of contemporary India. Mr Iyer Goes to War introduces a bold, witty new voice of Indian fiction in this playful and profound tale of love, adventure and friendship.
Publisher: London, England :, Bloomsbury,, 2016
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781408881651
Characteristics: 215 pages ; 23 cm
Alternative Title: Mister Iyer goes to war


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Sep 01, 2017

A technically adept but emotionally unsatisfying novel. It flows reasonably well with well-constructed fanciful and imaginative scenarios that straddles the line between reality and farce. Unfortunately, the author is not able to make up his mind on whether to make this a comical farce or a tale with deeper philosophical import (or both). Consequently, it fails to deliver on either, leaving the reader to wonder about the reason for its existence.

While superficial comparison to Cervantes might induce Western audiences to pick up the book, the numerous allusions to Hindu cultural and religious figures, myths and customs might make them miss some of the context to appreciate it fully.

The setting along the Ganges is quite authentic and the characters as an ensemble colorful even if each of them is rather one-dimensional.

Wish there was more to the novel than being an exercise in technically competent writing.


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