The Immortals of Meluha – Book Review

by Aman on March 19, 2011

The Immortals Of MeluhaWell, last Friday I ordered a copy of The Immortals of Meluha from Flipkart, mainly cause I had seen it on almost every major bestseller list and figured it’d be a good read over the weekend. Believe me, the last thing on my mind then was that I would be writing a Book Review on The Immortals of Meluha. I’ve never done Book Reviews in the past (makes me wonder why, though) and they’re not exactly funny to read which is the USP of this blog (please please say I write kick-ass funny stuff).

So I’m out to try out a new social experiment. Doing Book Reviews with a taste of sarcasmic(is that even a word!) truth in them. Something similar to what happens at The Vigil Idiot. So here goes nothing.

The Plot of The Immortals of Meluha

The Immortals of Meluha is the first book in the Shiva Trilogy series written by Amish Tripathi (who by the way happens to be an IIM pass out and we all know the recent spate of books being churned out by these guys. Am sure at this rate the IIM’s will open a publishing house of their own very soon. One up for 100% placements!).

Like the name suggests, The Immortals of Meluha is set in the imaginary land of Meluha which actually is the Indus Valley that we read so long back in our history course. All through the Immortals of Meluha, you’ll be visiting places like Harriyappa (yeah, the same Harrappa – Mohenjedaro one) which makes me wonder, no actually quite sure, that Amish would have topped his History course. Meluha, is the land of the legendary Suryavanshi’s (the good folks) who are at constant war with the Chandravanshi’s (the not so good folks). To make matters worse, the Chandravanshi’s have aligned with the warrior tribe called Nagas (the real mean ass ones) who carry out constant terrorist attacks on the Suryavanshi people. The Immortals of Meluha actually reminded me of India – Pakistan – Taliban somehow!

Well, so what do the Suryavanshi’s do now? It’s simple guys, they need a Hero to save them. You see, all evil things need to be destroyed by a Hero. Superman does it. Batman does it. Hell, even Nagaraj and Super Commando Dhruv do it! The same is done in The Immortals of Meluha by Shiva, the Nomad. He is the would-be-destroyer of evil, the Neelkanth that was prophesied by the Gods lest all hope faded for mankind. Ok, not that dramatic but you get what happens in The Immortals of Meluha.

So does our Hero go out and destroy the evil Chandravanshi’s and the Nagas? Well, I don’t want to play spoilsport for you at this moment but yes, evil is destroyed. Now whether that evil is something within Shiva’s heart or elsewhere is left for you to find out. And yes, like every Hindi movie,even in The Immortals of Meluha, there’s a pretty girl involved called Sati (C’mon guys, if Superman can have Lois Lane and Spiderman can have Mary Jane, what makes you think we Indians aren’t cool with chicks!)

The Good Bit on The Immortals of Meluha

The Plot Rocks! Swear-on-my-mom, it’s actually really good! The plot is original and I really loved the fact how Amish has gone ahead and interspersed History and Mythology to create one spell-binding plot in The Immortals of Meluha. Some people might complain that the story dragged at times but I actually liked his attention to detail while describing some of the key essential characters and items used in the book.

Another major influencer for me to purchase The Immortals of Meluha was due to it’s amazing cover. So whoever said, never judge a book by it’s cover, must have been wrong or had never thought bout our friend Amish. The portrayal of Shiva against the backdrop of a lake and mountains is straight out of The Lord of the Rings. 5 Stars for That!

I had not seen the teaser video of The Immortals of Meluha before and saw it while writing this review but that’s one impressive trailer. As a marketer, I really appreciate the way the author and his team have gone about promoting the book by creating a buzz around it.

The Not So Good Bit

With the utmost and sincerest apologies to the author, I found the writing in The Immortals of Meluha to be a little below par. Now yes, I’m no Shakespeare myself when it comes to the language but at places, it was downright appalling. You have words like ‘Goddamnit’, ‘bloody hell’, ‘In the name of God what is this nonsense?’ etc, which I guess would be great for an Indian audience but not very English-like!

Final Word on The Immortals of Meluha

MeluhaThe Immortals of Meluha ain’t that bad for a debut novel. Like I said, buy it for the plot alone and you won’t be disappointed. If you don’t have high standards of English like me (I love sarcasm!), then you might even love it. It costs INR 295 and you can find it at any of the major bookstores or over at Flipkart.

The best part was that I was just about to buy The Immortals of Meluha from Landmark but at the last minute changed my mind and decided to check it out on Flipkart. And saved myself 50% in the process! Yabba-Dabba-Doo! One weekend read for 148 bucks ain’t that bad!

Update: The price on The Immortals of Meluha has been reduced to to 127! Buy It Now!

The Sequel to The Immortals of Meluha and the 2nd book in the Shiva Trilogy, The Secret of The Nagas has now been released. Click Here to order The Secret of the Nagas at a 35% Discount along with Free Shipping!

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Malay March 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm

one business question: do u get paid by flipkart for this? .. :D
btw, this is the first book review i have read (see, that proves you are one of my two favorite sardars)… but i liked it just for the heck of it.. i dont think i am gonna read book in near future, but i liked reading the review :D

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Aman March 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Not yet bro :P ….once u buy then I just mite!

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Suketu Mansuria March 20, 2011 at 4:28 am

Just thinking of a great marketing idea….Lucky and Dmitri Singh T-shirts!!!! That would be awesome. I’d wear one. Just a thought.

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Aman March 20, 2011 at 6:09 am

Thanks Suketu…actually I’d already thought of that…just need to get this blog noticed by a whole lot of people and then maybe :)

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Shalini April 4, 2011 at 10:01 am

I differ with the author (of the review) particularly on one point.. if u closely follow the character sketches in the book.. the very purpose of the author(of the book), in a way, has been redefining some of the legendary images we know them as..the use of slang was absolutely justified.. in fact that was what created the very difference in many ways to get the point across… even the finer and subtler ones…
& please… i dun think authors should write or not…a particular way…coz it ain’t ‘English-like’..

My reaction to that statement – !!!

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Aman April 5, 2011 at 5:28 am

Well, Shalini great to have you comment and put forth your view on the same. I agree that the writing was suitable because Amish wanted to connect with a whole lot of readers who could identify with the language used. The same goes for Chetan Bhagat’s books. But from a literary point of view, I don’t feel it’s up to the mark. Like I said, since I was brought up on Shakespeare and Milton, so I have very high standards of what to expect from people(and I’m not saying this to blow my own trumpet). The same may not be true for the average Indian reader out there.

Thanks for the lovely comment :)

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Shalini April 9, 2011 at 7:44 am
rakesh juyal April 5, 2011 at 5:37 pm

May be flipcart read this article. Now they are selling @ 177/-
Damn!

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Aman April 6, 2011 at 7:16 am

Yeah…but even at 177 it ain’t that bad!

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richa May 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I just started reading this book and I felt the language was quite bad at places – the expression is not upto the mark but the story holds you and makes you want to read – I hope I carry on reading just for that!

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Aman May 15, 2011 at 2:46 pm

@Richa…So how was the overall impression?

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Vaneesh May 14, 2011 at 9:37 am

Loved the cover. Absolutely stunning. The combination of mythology, history and fiction is what makes it a winner. Finished the book in just 2 days. The only part or parts which i thought were a little out of place were the use of modern words like oxidation, Punjab, rajasthan. And off course words like damnit etc makes one lose the feeling of 1900 BC.

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Aman May 15, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Thanks for the comment. Couldn’t agree with you more on the language bit!

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Varun Rao June 6, 2011 at 10:59 am

Hey Aman, This novel caught my eye through it’s cover. Being an avid reader and a writer myself, i initially found it odd to see some ‘modern’ or ‘nu-age’ words incorporated into the novel, but I think it is used for a purpose. Amish just wanted to create a bridge between the ancient and the modern world and appeal more to his audiences. Looking at the way, the english language has transformed (even at the Oxford levels) over the last decade, its natural for writers to go ahead and add some ‘masala’ words. Its all about selling big after all :) Liked your post on this one. Was wondering whether Flipkart has the legal authority to produce copies of novels (which are small in size and the inside pages tilted compared to the actual one) and sell them at a relatively lower price on a public platform ;)

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Aman August 15, 2011 at 7:40 am

Hey Varun,

I guess it’s a trend these days to use such language to identify with the mass crowd…nothing wrong with it….

Nice questions bout the legal authority of Flipkart…my guess is Amish gave a legal go-ahead to another publisher to mass market the book!

Thanks for the lovely comment :)

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rohit July 12, 2011 at 10:46 am

An enjoyable read The Immortals of Meluha by Amish . loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and original, this book is going in by “to read” list.

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James Edward July 22, 2011 at 9:06 am

Hi Aman, I loooveed the book, and awaiting the next one, I saw the trailer of Secret of Nagas on the facebook page of Shiva trilogy & believe me literally got goosebumps, & I too defer from you in regards to the lanugage, i feel if you wanna go mass talk like them…..

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Sneha August 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Hello Aman,

Thanks for the review, I had purchase this book and moving to it part 2. I loved the story and its concept. I feel its really cool and a very good book for weekend reading.

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Aman August 15, 2011 at 7:36 am

Hey Sneha,

Just finished part 2 and it’s a really good read! Have a nice weekend :)

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Babita Farshwall September 6, 2011 at 9:46 am

The way it reminds u of India, Pakistan and n that taliban, it reminded me of the very classic Troy. N surely this super hero sounds some one like Brad Pitt. Wow!. I think this is well enough reason to buy it. Hey thanks :D

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Aman September 7, 2011 at 10:27 am

Ya it’s a nice read…do go for it!

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Chandrapal September 12, 2011 at 8:40 am

The first Indian book that I’ll will re-read…

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Aman September 16, 2011 at 6:18 am

Yes, it’s really an interesting read…

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Keshav Mundra September 21, 2011 at 8:39 am

Hi Aman,

good to read through your blog…!!

On the book, I thought I was watching a typical hindi movie where u have everything from a hero to action to drama and ofcourse a lady love!. I mean how else can u define certain narrations as the one where Sati is revived to life from a situation where no one has ever recovered from..and ofcourse she had her hero Shiva by her side :) . It probably shows that its the first venture of an immateur writer.

But, overall, worth a read and ofcourse a good blog..!! Hope to read much more of u in future!

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Aman September 23, 2011 at 7:03 am

Hi Keshav,

Yes it is an interesting read. I wouldn’t call it immature, I think that’s being a little too hard on Amish :)
Thanks for dropping by and hope you enjoy my posts!

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Rashmi Venkatesh January 27, 2012 at 10:13 am

Hi Aman,

Just ordered my copy of the book today. Then thought I’d read up reviews. I don’t generally read reviews and then go on to buy books. I came upon your interesting site. But hey, we certainly can handle a li’l more sarcasm, if you claim this to be one! :-) All the sarcasm I saw in your review was on IIM grads, which any1′d readily agree. Your take on the book is extremely sweet :-P
You’re a funny guy and so is your blog! I’d definitely be subscribing and catching up on more reviews by you. But don’t shed negative light on yourself and call yourself sarcastic. You seem sweet. Now, THIS is sarcasm! ;)

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Aman February 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Hey Rashmi,

I’ve never had a sweeter comment on my site than yours, I must say! (and this round goes to me :P )

Thanks for subscribing to the blog and hope you continue leaving such awesome comments!

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Bharat February 1, 2012 at 8:49 am

Dear Aman

I came across your book review by chance.
And have to admit, loved your simple yet funny interpretation of the book.

I am half way thru the 1st book and have the 2nd book waiting for me.
A fantastic read. The way Amish has combined facts & myth into his story is amazing.

Keep reading, and keep your imagination alive.
Best Rgds
Bharat

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Aman February 9, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Hi Bharat,

Thanks for that wonderful comment!

Glad that you liked both the book and the review…people normally comment on my blog saying they loved the review more :P (just kidding)….
And like you said, great interspersing of mythology and fiction by Amish!

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Chetan February 14, 2012 at 7:09 am

Hi Aman,

Wanted to buy and gift both the books today. Do you know any store in Mumbai where I can pick them at a discount?

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Aman February 14, 2012 at 8:55 am

Chetan,

You can find it at any major bookstore…crosswords,landmark etc….if u have time, then u can order it from flipkart (link mentioned in review) and they even gift wrap it as well but yes, the delivery will take about 2 days…

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Alex February 20, 2012 at 10:09 am

Hi Aman, I am interested in purchasing The Immortals of Meluha and The Secret of the Nagas but Flipkart doesn’t ship to Malaysia, only to India… I’m willing to use your affiliate link during the purchase provided that I can instruct Flipkart to send the books to your address – which they will do for free according to their website. As soon as you receive the parcel, I would appreciate it if you forward it to me in Malaysia. I will pay you the shipping expenses to Malaysia via PayPal if you have a PayPal account and I will do so before you ship the books to me. I would be very grateful if you are willing to do this.

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Aman February 20, 2012 at 11:00 am

Hi Alex,

Just replied to you via mail…hope it helps

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Jay September 25, 2012 at 8:21 am

Hi Alex,

Were you able to get the book to Msia. Kindly rvert asap.

Jay

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Jay September 25, 2012 at 8:23 am

or you can mail me at jayagaran@terasmil.com.my

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suraj prasad February 25, 2012 at 4:33 am

Good review. The cycle of destruction continues, Shiva Hypothesis – http://clarkprasad.com/2012/01/01/dec-21-2012-shiva-hypothesis-and-nasa-secret-knowledge/

You may also like my science fiction thriller – Baramulla Bomber, – Quantum Physics Meets Ancient Vedas in background of Kashmir and Cricket

Baramulla Bomber FB-page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Baramulla-Bomber/134048753296487?sk=info#!/pages/Baramulla-Bomber/134048753296487?sk=info

I am also looking for bloggers who can review Baramulla BOMBER, and free copy to be provided. Please do mail back if you are interested. My email – surajprasadk@gmail.com

Other wise, hope you can review it when it releases. Thanks for going through my comment :)
And – Please please…please do join the FB page for more updates.

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chitra April 15, 2012 at 6:11 pm

I know I am rather late in joining the clan of the reader of this book. I finished it just today, and wanted to check if anyone shared the same feeling as I did, after reading this book, and the reviews shocked me more than the book. The story is a half baked cake, which looks ok from the boundary, but tastes and smells very poor, and makes you feel sad and sorry. We all agree that ancient civilizations did exist, and logically all the gods of today would have been normal people, if at all they existed; but you dont expect people so many centuries back acting exactly like they were boy/girl next door of 21st century. This is a poor interpretation of history as well as mythology.

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Aman April 17, 2012 at 11:20 am

Hi Chitra,

I do agree with some of your points and like I’ve mentioned in my review, the language and flow really needs a lot of improvement! That said and done, the plot, however, is quite an interesting one. It might be a poor interpretation of history but I don’t think Amish ever wanted to re-write the history books. All he’s done is mix a bit of mythology and history to present the reader with something that’s not thought of before.

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YOGENDRA KUMAR June 5, 2012 at 8:07 am

Swayed by the hype around this book, recently I got a copy and read it. I found it to be a good beginning in the sense that at least somebody has made an effort to rummage through the huge pile of mythological tales of our past which lie forgotten and unappreciated. However, on comparison with similar genre books by other authors, especially the western ones, I think this book could have been made more interesting if the author had added more historical and archaeological facts to the story line with a few maps and illustrations and related them to the present (Agreed this book is essentially a work of fiction, yet it still retains enough of history and that is why it is so readable). Secondly, as many others have commented, the language at places could be qualitatively better. Nevertheless, this book makes an excellent read and I hope more writers take this task up ahead.

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Malvika Jaswal August 8, 2012 at 4:01 am

Hmmm, since everyone seems to love this book and it cintinues to be on every bestseller list in India, I was having serious second thoughts. This review makes me feel better. Though maybe I was too harsh http://malvikajaswal.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/the-immortals-of-meluha-an-epic-that-wasnt/ what do you think?

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Ekta Singh August 25, 2012 at 9:51 am

Hi Aman,
Fabulous review. I am glad there’s someone other than me who was reminded of the India Pakistan situation while reading this book. I thought I was the only one. I read many other reviews but nobody else mentioned this and then I found your review :) It felt good to find someone else who thought like me. I was also reminded of Mumbai city when he first described Ayodhya in the book. The entire description made was of present day Mumbai city. I do feel that the characters were really flat. They didn’t have much depth. But all in all it was an interesting read nevertheless.

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Jay Gran September 20, 2012 at 6:02 am

Hi Aman,

I am from Malaysia as well and i would love to purchase both the books. Kindly advice how do i go about on this the easiest way.

Thanks,

Jay

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