Official Review: Myth and Punishment by Anoop Chandola

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kimmyschemy06
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Official Review: Myth and Punishment by Anoop Chandola

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 22 Nov 2017, 10:47

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Myth and Punishment" by Anoop Chandola.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Myth and Punishment is an interesting and very informative coming of age book written by Anoop Chandola.

Adina is a twelve-year old East Indian girl born in the United States. Her mother divorced her father when she was two then secretly sold off family jewels, which are Adina’s birthright, to defy Hindu tradition. One of the jewels was said to be offered by her maternal grandmother to one of the Hindu gods. This was in return for a grandchild which resulted to Adina’s birth. Now, Adina is in search of the god whom the jewel was offered. Thankfully, Adina’s paternal grandparents teach her about her Indian heritage. So, using her laptop, Adina invokes each god by meditating on what she knows about each of them and so powerful are her meditations that the gods appear and talk with Adina like real live persons.

This is a very informative book about Indian culture. Told in the third person perspective and with an established plotline, the book is primarily about Hindu deities and mythological figures including Agni, Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Yama, the monkey god Hanuman and the sage Narada among others as well as Indian historical figures like Gautama Buddha, Akbar the Great, Saint Kabir and Princess Mirabai.

The author successfully incorporates Indian myth and history with a timely and very significant domestic issue, divorce. By featuring a different mythological or historical figure in each chapter, the author teaches the readers various Indian traditions and by asking each figure of his or her opinion about Adina’s predicament, the author imparts Indian beliefs particularly regarding appropriate punishment for certain crimes and wrongdoings especially those that affect the lives of other people.

Aside from the crime of making false statements for personal gain, the book also brings up other relevant issues like parents’ abandonment of children, miscarriage of justice, gender equality and double standards. Moreover, the book mentions two important laws, the Law of Karma and the Law of the Jungle.

More than the deities and historical figures mentioned in the book, I think the core of this story is the importance of family and the effects of family disruption to all members especially if the cause of the disruption is duplicity of a member. The author expertly depicts the painful effects of deceitfulness by citing a few examples in the book.

However, as a non-Indian reader with very little knowledge of Indian mythology and history, I find all the information, somehow, overwhelming and at some points confusing. The part I found to be the most difficult to follow is the appearance of the different avatars of Vishnu and the different names used to refer to Parvati. Moreover, though the ending is undoubtedly satisfying, I feel that the initial quest was not fulfilled. Finally, I noticed a few errors within the entire book mostly typos and misspelled words.

I, therefore, rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is interesting, informative and entertaining. I recommend it not only to young adults but also to parents as well as readers who are interested in Indian mythology and history.

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Miriam Molina
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Post by Miriam Molina » 23 Nov 2017, 02:23

I, too, will be overwhelmed by all those deities.

Thanks for the insightful review!

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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 23 Nov 2017, 04:01

Miriam Molina wrote:I, too, will be overwhelmed by all those deities.

Thanks for the insightful review!
Thank you. It's an interesting and informative book nonetheless :)

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Post by Mercy Bolo » 23 Nov 2017, 06:06

I don't know much about Hinduism and Indian mythology but I'm fascinated by Indian culture. Despite the overwhelming information, I think I could pick up a few things from this book. Too bad there's nothing in there about the spicy Indian food. :D
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Post by ReyvrexQuestor Reyes » 23 Nov 2017, 07:46

I sympathize with your predicament regarding Hindu deities. Whereas in other religions there is only a handful, Indian believers will have to deal with around a thousand personifications of their gods. Just to think of lighting a joss stick to them would be a strenuous task. Your review is comprehensive and informative with regards to what a reader would expect from the book. Thank you. Hindu culture fascinates me. The book may be right down my alley.
"In the beginning was the word.........John 1:1"

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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 23 Nov 2017, 09:23

Mercy Bolo wrote:I don't know much about Hinduism and Indian mythology but I'm fascinated by Indian culture. Despite the overwhelming information, I think I could pick up a few things from this book. Too bad there's nothing in there about the spicy Indian food. :D
There might have, for offerings, I just didn't know they were food :lol:

-- 23 Nov 2017, 09:24 --
ReyvrexQuestor Reyes wrote:I sympathize with your predicament regarding Hindu deities. Whereas in other religions there is only a handful, Indian believers will have to deal with around a thousand personifications of their gods. Just to think of lighting a joss stick to them would be a strenuous task. Your review is comprehensive and informative with regards to what a reader would expect from the book. Thank you. Hindu culture fascinates me. The book may be right down my alley.
Thank you very much. I hope you get a chance to read the book :)

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Post by kandscreeley » 23 Nov 2017, 10:12

I think I would find this a little confusing myself. Thanks for the review, though. Sounds like a good book.
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Post by MsTri » 23 Nov 2017, 13:08

As a huge fan of greek and roman mythology, I'm intrigued at the opportunity to learn about other mythologies/beliefs, so I just may read this for that aspect alone, though it sounds like a good book in general, as well. Thanks for the introduction!

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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 23 Nov 2017, 21:55

kandscreeley wrote:I think I would find this a little confusing myself. Thanks for the review, though. Sounds like a good book.
It sure is, only a little confusing with the overwhelming information :)

-- 23 Nov 2017, 21:56 --
MsTri wrote:As a huge fan of greek and roman mythology, I'm intrigued at the opportunity to learn about other mythologies/beliefs, so I just may read this for that aspect alone, though it sounds like a good book in general, as well. Thanks for the introduction!
You're welcome. I hope you get a chance to read the book :)

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Post by inaramid » 26 Nov 2017, 11:38

Wow, this feels like a must-read for every fan of mythology. The idea seems very original to me, as I haven't really encountered so many books (actually, none) that delved into Indian mythology. I have to wonder whether it was written with non-Indian readers in mind as well. Otherwise, I agree that the author could have done a better job of presenting everything in a manner that those outside the Indian culture will understand.

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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 26 Nov 2017, 20:26

inaramid wrote:Wow, this feels like a must-read for every fan of mythology. The idea seems very original to me, as I haven't really encountered so many books (actually, none) that delved into Indian mythology. I have to wonder whether it was written with non-Indian readers in mind as well. Otherwise, I agree that the author could have done a better job of presenting everything in a manner that those outside the Indian culture will understand.
The information included in the book can be quite overwhelming for non-Indians :)

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