Monday, May 13, 2019

Review: Ashoka The Great

Ashoka The Great Ashoka The Great by Wytze Keuning
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This magnum opus written on Ashoka more than 70 years ago originally in dutch and was lost to time when it was accidentally discovered by Ms. Steur who resurrected the dutch trilogy as a single edition in English bringing the rich tale to us. Like I said this was originally a trilogy but now it's a single huge volume well over 1000 pages.

Book 1 tells the story of young Ashoka who is learning to rule and is also worried about the future of the vast empire which should I rule go to the eldest son sumana but he is not fit for being a king as he is not of strong will and through him the brahmins want to rule.

Book 2 tells the story of Ashoka's assent to the throne and the fights he has to fight and how those fights change his life going forward.

Book 3 tells the story of Ashoka as the world's teacher who is trying to spread the message of peace and Buddha to the entire world.

Like most I was also kind of skeptical about books written by a Dutch author who never visited India but as I started reading my doubts disappeared too. I had this book for many years before I decided to read it and that decision was made while I was listening to a podcast on Ancient India and when it started on the story of Ashoka I finally decided to read this and since then it took me almost a year to finish this book only because it was left unattended for many days on end due to it's huge size but it was always a pleasure to read.

And finally I employed my hybrid method of listening and reading the book as and when feasible and was soon able to finish this wonderful book in all its glory. Like others have also said there is only one word of define the story in these pages and that word is 'Magnum Opus'.

I know this is big book but you can definitely add this beast of a book to your TBR and read and then just Keep on Reading.

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