23 February 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

The Flawed Good Man by Sanskriti Singh (Book Review: 4.25*/5) !!!

1904th BLOG POST

3rd Book of 2021

As I had said in one of my previous year’s blog post that I need to read as many religious and historical epic books as possible in my lifetime – the process for which I wanted to initiate right from this year. I am lucky enough to find a very good book based on Mahabharat named “The Flawed Good Man” in the 2nd month of the year itself which is based on the life of Karna and his role in the biggest war ever fought on this planet. The book is written by an 18-years old writer, Sanskriti Singh. Yes, you read it right- Just 18 Years Old. This is completely unbelievable for me to accept that someone in their teen can write a book on our epics and do so much justice to it that it seems someone matured enough has written the story. And let me tell you, the book is not a short story but a full-fledged novel of 320 pages. Kudos to the authoress!


“The Flawed Good Man” talks about the life of Karna and what all he went through right before he took birth due to which he never got the respect he deserved and desired. He always struggled for his rights starting with right to education and regularly got humiliated in public for some or the other reasons. Being from an upper-class family, he was identified to be from the caste of Suta who had less privileges comparatively. Due to caste system quite prevalent during those days, he had to regularly prove himself at every step. Whenever I read about Mahabharat before this, it has been more inclined either towards the role of Krishna or Draupadi or Kunti or Arjun but this is the first time when I have read from the point of view of the most talked personality in the Mahabharat- Karna.


The narration is very simple, and author keeps it as basic as possible. Anyone who is even beginning with their reading journey will find it easy to grasp something as complex as historical epic. The vocabulary used is very convenient for one to keep enjoying the story rather than disturbing their reading cycle by picking up dictionary at regular intervals.


The chapters are short and very smartly divided which are either about Kunti’s character and struggle initially and then later talks about several major landmarks in Karna’s life and finally moves into the tangent where the chapters are even based on few other characters with whom Karna had some instances which defined his role further in the war and at times, changes his life for good or bad. These short chapters made the experience of reading more delighting and peaceful.


Along with talking about Karna’s life, author also keeps giving some philosophical inputs which at the age of 18 the way Sanskriti has spoken through her words sounds too matured, spiritual and insightful. I liked how she balanced the book with Karna’s tale, the role of other characters in his life and along with it, managed to add these concepts too which will help the readers understand the messages about Dharma, righteousness, promises, relationships, responsibilities etc. Sanskriti has just made me her fan with these knowledgeable pieces as I got to learn a lot.


I would like to specially mention few parts that mesmerized me as a reader:

-          Ramayan philosophy during Kunti’s swayamwar

-          Dharma Vyadh and Kaushik is a great chapter on many life lessons and how as society, we are doing wrong by discriminating people. The chapter also has lots of spiritual knowledge.

-          The funny conversations between Suyodhan, Ashwatthama and Karna.

-          Krishna’s entry in the book and his conversation with Karna on injustice met with him.

-          The whole Draupadi vastra haran scene which tells you how tough a woman can be even after being at her worst and weakest moment.

-          The relationship between Karna and Draupadi is written with maturity which I believe is very complex to handle.

-          The romantic chemistry between Karna and his second wife, Supriya, is also nicely handled.

-          The Kurukshetra scene

-          The climax of the book right from Karna’s realization that he is going to die till his death scene made me cry. And if an author does that with their writing, I believe nothing more is expected from a reader’s point of view.


Now, talking about the drawbacks of the book, well, from the writing perspective, there is nothing. But I am too angry with the quality of editing and publishing. There are more than 100 typos in the book along with mistakes made in the names of the character as well as grammatical errors. Even spelling mistakes has not been eliminated while proofreading. I am seriously surprised how could both- author and publisher end up missing so many mistakes and what made them publish it in such a hurry that could cost bad feedbacks for the book. Also, it terms of publishing quality, on many left-hand pages, the extreme right words have got blurred so reading even those pages are quite a pain.


Other than these points, the book is a very nice and informative read and I am glad I completed it on the day of Jaya Ekadashi and co-incidentally, even Bollywood has announced a movie on Karna today the dialogues and lyrics of which will be written by Kumar Vishwas. I give this book 4.25* out of 5. I had to reduce 0.5 stars due to the drawbacks I mentioned above. I highly recommend this book to everyone who is interested in reading these stories in simple language.






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