Book Review: Olympus by Devdutt Pattanaik

 

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Blurb (As on Goodreads):

Olympus is the home of the Greek gods, much like Amravati of the Hindu devas.
• Zeus, the leader of Olympians, wields a thunderbolt like Indra and rides an eagle like Vishnu.
• The feats of the Greek hero Heracles, known to Romans as Hercules, reminded many of Krishna, as did his name, ‘Hari-kula-esha’ or Lord of the Hari clan.
• The Greek epic of a husband sailing across the sea with a thousand ships to bring his wife, Helen, back from Troy seems strikingly similar to the story of Ram rescuing Sita from Lanka.
Is there a connection between Greek and Hindu mythology then? Does it have something to do with a common Indo-European root? Or maybe an exchange of ideas in the centuries that followed the arrival of Alexander the Great, when Greek emissaries traveled to the kingdoms of Mathura and Magadha?
In this book, mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik turns his attention to ancient Greek tales and explores a new world of stories. Long have Europeans and Americans retold Indic mythologies. It is time for Indians to reverse the gaze.

My Take:

I have never had such a strange, mixed feelings about any other book. This might be because the way the book is written. This book is basically a book of facts, an overall summary of what the Greek world is about. I appreciate the author’s effort in trying to draw a connection between Hindu and Greek Mythology.

The book starts with a general overview of how different empires rose and fell, finally paving the path to globalization. This book has been narrated by Alexander, the Great to a Rishi who is inquisitive about the Greek civilization. The book doesn’t.t really focus on anything specific. And that frustrated me a little. Also, it confused me a lot, thanks to so many characters spread over a tiny space. The maps in the books helped a little though!

The illustrations are beautiful and are drawn by the author himself. I loved these and thoroughly enjoyed coloring them 😛 ( Yeah, crazy me!)

Why should you read it?

This book could serve as your basic introduction to the Greek world. A gist of what the civilization encompasses and what can be expected. But to know in-depth about the Greeks, there are better books available in the Market.

Ratings:

Goodreads rating: 3.5/5

My rating: 3.5/5

Until next time

xoxo

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