Book Review: The Immortals of Meluha – Amish Tripathi

When I heard about the book “The Immortals of Meluha” I was very skeptical about it. With the image of Shiva on the cover page, my first reaction was why should an agnostic like me buy a religious book? Seeing it on home-page of Flipkart for so long, and reading/hearing good reviews I came close to buying the book many times, but the reluctance was always there – even when I knew it was fiction I always felt it had something to do with religion and wanted to read some random pages before I should buy it. On a chance visit to some mall that had Landmark, I finally read 2-3 pages, realized it is about mythology, not religion (two completely different ball-games although I’ve seen many people confusing them), and was instantly sold on the book.

Recently I’ve got interested in Indian Mythology (thanks solely to Prem Panicker’s Bhimsen), and not for any religious reasons. Indian Mythology has many weird, many strange, but entirely gripping stories, and who does not love that! Amish Tripathi plays with Indian Mythology in a very captivating manner. The basic premise is simple – Shiva was not a God, but a man who was considered a God because of his deeds. Everything else follows suit. Nandi is a good friend and companion to Shiva, Veerbhadra is not Shiva’s reincarnation, but his childhood friend and many more mythological characters are turned into real-life characters. My favourite was that Brahma was an inventor akin to Einstein/Newton/Da Vinci rolled in one.

The book was definitely a page-turner and completely enjoyable. Although there was one thing that ruined the simple joy of book reading and that was the pathetic binding of the book. I don’t know about other places, but from the Landmark where I bought the book, all the books had very shoddy binding. As soon as I started reading the books, the front cover fell off and I had to take immense care that the pages did not tear off. I hope, for the next two books of the trilogy, Amish gets another publisher or at least asks the publisher to bind the book properly.

If you are interested even a bit in Indian Mythology and the stories surrounding it, I would recommend “The Immortals of Meluha“. Hoping the next two installments are at least at-par with this one. The expectations off the author would be very high after his gripping first book.

Edit: The sequel to Immortals of Meluha – The Secret of the Nagas (second part of the trilogy) is releasing in July 2011, and can be ordered from Flipkart.

The Immortals of Meluha @ Stack your Rack

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33 Responses to “Book Review: The Immortals of Meluha – Amish Tripathi”


  1. 1 mythalez June 15, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    nice change of genre :)

  2. 3 bob June 16, 2010 at 1:12 am

    thanks 4 da review, i guess i will pick it up. tx

  3. 5 Sandeep June 22, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Very very poor book. I am sorry, but considering the world standard, it has got a weak plot and a boring narration. THe concept and the last chapter can be given some credit, but overall the book seemed worthless to me.

  4. 7 utkarsh June 28, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    My FIL recommended this book to me yesterday .. and you have already reviewed it :)
    Waiting for it to be available here or my FIL has promised to send it :) .. Looks like its worth it .

    • 8 colonelsrikant June 28, 2010 at 7:03 pm

      an incredibly exciting and interesting myth to reality page turner novel unlike anything i have read earlier from the current string of indian english authors (other than chetan bhagat). there were a few weak links and amateurish dialogues in the plot but entirely pardonable, as this is the author’s first book out. his research into the legends and myth surrounding shiva to humanise him from a deity into a mortal is entirely commendable and believable. the shiva trilogy could one day be ranked as the indian ‘lord of the rings’ trilogy. won’t be surprised if some smart hollywood mogul reads the book soon and decides to give the thumbs up to making the immortals, and the ones to follow, into a blockbuster in the lines of the harry potter series ! as usual,it may have the hindu radicals up with their ‘trishuls’ looking minutely for the dots and dashes which they feel denigrate the so called image of their divine destroyer. still, good luck, amish, and please don’t take 10 years to come out with vol 2 and 20 for vol 3.

      • 9 Kunal July 1, 2010 at 3:30 pm

        Colonel Srikant, even I hope some activists do not pick on this book, nowhere has the author defamed anybody. And I read somewhere that he is releasing the part-2 and 3 in the next 2 years.

        And yeah, I would love to see a movie adaptation of this book.

        • 10 Nova January 19, 2012 at 9:05 am

          Glad to see a fan following of this book. I have become a publicist of this book since I keep recommending it to anyone and everyone! :)

          Does anyone know when the 3rd volume is releasing?

    • 11 Kunal July 1, 2010 at 3:24 pm

      Utkarsh, it is worth it.

      And if you are not able to get your hands on the book there, don’t worry. Once you are back, you can read the sequels too and would be spared the wait that I am going through :P

  5. 12 Anuradha July 15, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    I enjoyed reading this book, though having so many mythological and historical facts that can be questioned, but the storytelling is good.

  6. 13 Varun July 18, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Overall the concept of the book is really nice. The author takes elements from Indian mythology and combines them properly with his own fantasy.

    In an interview over here http://www.whackk.com/july-2010/karma-shiva-and-adventure
    the author said that, “I need to take feedback honestly and sincerely to keep improving. But if the point is specifically on the modernity of the language, I don’t intend to change that. Language is a means to an end. The end in the case of a fiction book is to tell a story. If the language makes it easy, then the language is doing its job. If the language is too difficult and ends up making the story slow, then it is not doing its job. And the best way to make the language easy is to use words that people use every day, not trip them up with some classical words for which they would have to rush to the dictionary”

  7. 14 Deep C November 21, 2010 at 12:38 am

    for this book I must say ‘A wonderful adventurous read’.

  8. 15 Ashish December 2, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Eagerly waiting for part II…

  9. 16 Ashish December 2, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Eagerly waiting for part II

  10. 17 Abhishek December 29, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book…Though the author could have spared the suspense at the climax when Sati is about to be attacked by the Naga…Eagerly awaiting the next book.

  11. 18 Sur January 7, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Wish the sequels come out soon!! It is sucha long wait and the 1st book ends so abruptly, it’s lyk, hey!!!!!! wat happens nxt?!?!?

  12. 19 Pritesh May 28, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    The book is definitely interesting and enjoyable… but surely not a reflection of Indian mythology,,, it’s a poor review… good books on Indian Mythology would be something What Devdutt Patnaik writes or Mr.Kakkar elucidates on Indian Insights….

    Meluha is a great book and am eagerly looking forward to The secret of the Nagas.

    But it’s still masala … and guess most books on ur wishlist are masala books. Turn to Jaya by Devdutt Patnaik .. there’s the real stuff on mythology !!

  13. 20 DEEP July 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Interesting book! I particularly feel that all the characters are well portrayed and sculpted. I especially liked the character of the Parvateshwar. Mythology had been shaped well. This beautiful work of Mr. Amish can be compared to this era as well, Anxiously waiting for the second and the third part.

  14. 21 Rohit Nanda July 12, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    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.

  15. 22 bhakti waghdhare July 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I am purely hypnotized by this book. I see the characters in my dream. Its a crazy feeling. Amish your writing is incredible. I could visualized every incident, every episode and line each word so pretty well. It genuinely takes time to get back to today’s reality once u keep the book down.
    AMAZING..

  16. 23 arjun August 29, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    i did read the book but i like the trailers and the cover pages of the book

  17. 24 Priyesh September 27, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    I liked your review.

    The plot and story is quite fascinating as well as the idea of depicting a demigod as a normal man who earned the god like respect because of his karma. But there are few things I think could have been better.

    The writing is not much gripping,apart from some chapters, and lacks details on the characters part. Moreover, INPO the details of Meluhan cities were not imaginative but quite modern as we see in our everyday life.

    Second, I think the spiritual quotient, rituals and rites of our ancestors was the main reason behind the highly advanced sense of nobility and laws and thus a better, rich, peaceful, knowledgeable and wealthy society. But importance of these were not just missing but bashed harshly using words like “bullshit” and “ridiculous” by no one but the protagonist.

    Overall, the novel is an interesting read.

    On the completely other note, I too liked the Brahma as an inventor akin to modern scientist, not because it is creative fiction but an absolute truth. The rishis and munis of those yugs were not lame worshippers but spiritual scientists. And to just present my view, here are some of the astonishing facts.

    1.Speed of light described in Rig Veda and later interpreted by Sayana in 14th century . Click http://alishekh.blogspot.com/2009/05/speed-of-light-in-rig-veda.html for more details.

    2. As a part of the south Indian marriage ritual, the newly weds are asked to see a star known as arundhati vashisth in Ursa Major constellation(sapt rishi in Hindi) for a reference to how they should live their life as a couple. Nothing extraordinary in the story and looks another age old senseless ritual.

    But here what makes it unbelievable. The given star in constellation is not one star but a pair of two(hence arundhati vashisht), which doesnt appears to be two stars from naked eye from earth but only one star. But still rishis knew they were a pair and hence named them arundhati vashisht.

    More astonishingly, these two stars revolve each other unlike other star systems in which one revolves around the other, and hence the ritual of getting a reference of way of life revolving each other as a couple.

    How can one possibly find out such details of a pair of stars without huge telescope.

    3. We all know that in stories related to Sun god, his chariot has 7 horses. Is it just a coincidence that newton found that a ray of sun light has seven colors? I dont think so.

    So my friend , there are a lot of info in our scriptures which is later found to be true by material scientists but in different language.

  18. 25 Mathew Panamkat October 31, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    The real problem with the book is that the story starts on a mistaken premise.The Indus Valley Civilisation had nothing to do with Lord Ram.It was a Dravidian Civilisation with which the conquesring Aryans came into conflict.
    As long as it is a myth, it’s ok. But if Amish is defending the indefensible, he is totally mistaken..

  19. 26 jeevan.rama January 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Do not miss to read, ONE BOOK FOR LIFE SUCCESS

  20. 27 Anand Neelakantan March 26, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Dear All

    My book- Asura- tale of the vanquished – the story of Ravana and his people is hitting the stands in April 2012. It will be available in FLIPKART by March 31st. It is the Ramayana from Asuras point of View- A Ravanayana, an Asurayana. Eagerly awaiting for your views

    http://www.flipkart.com/asura-9381576052/p/itmd8fczwfakfdh3?pid=9789381576052&_l=j9Xfifej1tnSUjNow6B3Vw–&_r=O5Rv8QG247XGgCt2yUvCNQ–&ref=4bdbbc7f-b3f4-44fc-aa53-d28e4633de55

  21. 29 ajit vadakayil May 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

    hi,

    the author must be a PAID AGENT of the vatican–

    we have several of them in india– yes hindus themselves.

    the have reduced shiva lingam to be a penis inset in a vagina.

    and now this– that shiva is a man– a mere mortal.

    is the author amish any better than mf hussain?

    punch into google search SHIVA LINGAM, DANCE OF SHIVA – VADAKAYIL.

    capt ajit vadakayil
    ..

  22. 31 Kaushik February 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    As long as the stories are read as pure fantasy, I guess it’s ok. But to take them as an ‘interpretation’ of myths would be tantamount to saying that the foundations of a 5000 year old living civilization is based on nothing but the ramblings of ignorant people who didn’t know any better. It’s a tragedy that these masala ‘interpretations’ of myths are lapped up by the public, but the real work by renowned scholars go unnoticed.


  1. 1 Books, Blogs and Cricket « Bitter Sweet Symphony Trackback on November 26, 2010 at 8:03 pm
  2. 2 Book Review: The Secret of The Nagas – Amish Tripathi « Something about Nothing Trackback on August 17, 2011 at 6:58 pm
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