27 October 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

The Accursed God: The Lost Epic by Vivek Dutta Mishra (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

 1881st BLOG POST

39th Book of 2020!


I have read many books on Mahabharat- the biggest epic in the Universe and I must say that reading it always makes you think about a lot of things – right and wrong – in the epic itself and also about your actions in your life as there are many situations in this epic where you can corelate with your situations. Every book that I have read till date about Mahabharata always started from the birth of Pandu and Dhritarashtra or Pandavas and Kauravas. This is the first time where I got my hands upon a book named “The Accursed God: The Lost Epic” which is written on the character of none other than Bhishma.


Frankly speaking, I never knew about Bhishma much except that he was respected by all as I always read about the final War where other characters are dominant. This book speaks about Bhishma’s journey even right before his birth which gives us terrific insights about what all happens long before the war of Mahabharat takes place. This book also talks about how the seeds were planted long back which kept on developing roots of hatred across generations which finally made the world suffer the biggest War of all times. I didn’t even know about Bhisma being the accursed God and how he got the boon of choosing when to die which this book has made me know very well now.


The book is written by Vivek Dutta and I must say that the research that the author has gone through to ensure that the book covers several small details which plays prominent part in the epic is worth-applaudable. I don’t think that there are many documents available to know about Bhishma or Devbrata which speaks volume about the efforts that has been put into giving shape to this book.


Speaking about few segments specifically which really made me become one with this book:- the first thing that shall always stay with me is the battle between Bhishma and Parshuram- the way it has been narrated makes you imagine as if the same is happening in front of your eyes and you realize the power of the clash between the titans. Another scene that author does justice is with the character of Amba which tells a lot about how powerful women were even in those days.


The book finally comes into action when the character of Chitrangad becomes king and starts dominating the things which makes even Bhishma take oath which surprises everyone- even this scene has been handled very well by the author. The few initial conversations between Shri Krishna and Bhisma are mesmerizing as knowing and reading about Shri Krishna is always enjoyable. The last chapters which tells about how Mathura is conquered by Pandu which irritates kings from other regions is again a great read which gives the book a nice closure. Along with this, I am also glad about how author has been able to include the tale of other regions such as Anga, Yaksha, Gorkha, Magadh, Gandhar, Mathura, Apar Kunti etc. and their respective kings and generations.


Now, talking about the drawbacks- when a book is written about a story or epic which consists of more than 10 characters and speaking about this one, it has lot many characters- the first thing I expect is a family chart on the 1st page for the ease of readers to recollect when they read book in breaks. Secondly, when the plot has battle between different regions etc., then the ancient Indian map shall also need to be the part of the book. Both these factors are missing from the book. I believe author has not given nice backdrop on Pandu and Dhritarashtra’s childhood days as you find them grown up quite soon. Similarly, a great character Amba is not discussed after a while at all.


I also feel as this is just first part of a big series, I believe the book should have been edited well as I believe author has gone into details even in those segments where it wasn’t needed that kind of elaboration. The book could have been easily 100-150 pages less as a book of 400-500 pages is tough for a reader to go through. Also, somewhere, I wanted the book to end with another conversation between Bhishma and Shree Krishna but I missed it. The book also consists of typos as even the names of characters are spelled differently at many instances.


Except the above few points, overall, this book is a great read in terms of knowing the character of Bhishma and how characters played with each other due to which the dynamics got built around them which led to certain scenarios later on in next generations which led to the War of Mahabharat. I give this book 4 stars out of 5.





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