Mark’s second novel was almost a treat for that category of readers who rather like reading the novels which are little slow in build up and rather simple in nature but mature in theme and sufficient in plot; in short, the readers who don’t appreciate very much the bombardment of emotions heavily pinned upon themselves by the authors who like to arouse the sentiments this way… American Maharajah appeared to me a read like this, to start the conversation with my readers here. I have read three novels recently and this one by Mark Stephen Levy, a frequenter to India, was also on that list. Two others were debut ones and so their impression wasn’t that strong on me. Mark’s, however, seemed to me mature in handling the sensible content that the novel offers. It is about a myth collaborating with modern realities.
American Maharajah has the characters which try their best to connect with the readers and to an extent, they establish the connection, that too successfully. As a reader, you will certainly be drawn towards Aishani because of her excellence in different fields and also towards Ravi because he has many confusions to cope with… moreover, as a reader, I was very much impressed by the pleasant way in which Mark has introduced his characters to the readers… it was not entirely peculiar but it was certainly a better ‘doing’ than many done ones.
Commenting upon the plot of the novel, that’s too straight and rather simple. And therefore, it’d be best to explore it by reading rather than reading my comments. You will like the simplicity and might also think it could be a little more complex in nature… however, I have liked the way it is – American Maharajah offers a very genuine plot and readers will find it more than sufficient.
Theme of the novel is entirely Indian – myth and ancient narratives and the modern dilemma around these age-old sayings. The cast of rebirth and reincarnation and supernatural has been at the centre of the novel. Ravi is thought to be Amar by Aishani, Amar’s beloved, and Suraj Pershad, the maharajah of Bharthambhor. At the beginning of this identity confusion episode, you will find things pretty cool because the things are too unique to Amar and he is entirely baffled.
I am sure that Mark Levy has kept his words simple to support his novel’s theme and narrative. It is admirable that he has done his best to offer the Indian readers an Indian experience in an Indian way… appreciable! American Maharajah is a quick reading novel and readers won’t have any problems doing the same. It took me no more than a day with pauses for lunch and breakfast.
On the downside, the novel might not fit into the context of the readers who like reading fiction with violence, thrill and excitement. This is rather cold, serious in nature and a little mature to have the scenes like other sense-exciting novels flaunt!
You can surely enjoy this novel if you have decided to do something cooler this weekend. Find yourself in a good company of Ravi and Aishani trying to solve a mystery of rebirth and reincarnation and an age-old theory of no rains! You can get the book from Amazon link below:
Review by Manish for Desi Readers