About the book: brief
The Shambala Sutras is the first novel by Aurijit Ganguli, an Indian novelist. Though there are a few books written on Shambala already, this novel takes theories and secrets about the place, a legend rather, to a new level. Aurijit’s research work has been superb and one can agree, after reading the novel, that this one has been conclusive, in terms of fiction, work which keeps the readers engaged and excited as well. Though the novel almost covers India in the entire novel, the story comes to India from the USA at the beginning. Central characters are Arjun and Lisa, a botanist and another interested in botany but a chef… search for Shambala (which originates from a search for Sanjeevani herb of Ramayana) is the central drive of the storyline.
Critical analysis: plot & theme, craft & narrative
It’d be essential to point it out that the novelist hasn’t tried to do anything in excess and so, the novel has been a smooth experience for me. It took me about 6 hours to complete the novel with a few pauses. This is a good, gripping and healthy score for a debut novelist! And therefore, I believe that The Shambala Sutras will be a page-turner to a great extent for bookworms who are interested in mythological fiction by Indian authors or involving Indian subcontinent themes. Built around Shambala, which is important for Buddhist and Hindu beliefs, as you will know in the course of the novel, the fictional craft of the author has added many twists in the story, which connect the past of the protagonists to the present situations or add a new discovery in the ongoing one or just bring something out of nothing… a few of them are completely eye-catching! I also liked the fact that the novelist has been reader-friendly and did not use flashy language and neither let his lexicon become generation-oriented. So, a reader of 80 will find it equally interesting as a reader of 12. That is appreciable. The nature of the novel is largely like a spiritual adventure which was not planned. Aurijit Ganguli has used his narrative to bring many concepts that we find in Hinduism and Buddhism to the light. It is a good attempt in order to bring the essential, useful and largely ignored (in today’s context) parts of Indian culture and civilisation to modern readers. So, critically looking, The Shambala Sutras offers a reader a package which is complete, almost, with essential elements offered in a healthy proportion, without adding too much of anything and also ensuring that nothing is lacking… it’s pleasantly surprising that a debut novelist has done so well!
My suggestion: should you read it?
If you are looking for something exciting and yet not losing the ideal goal of fiction, you have a wonderful work to read in form of The Shambala Sutras. However, if you are a reader who needs spicy (sensual) elements in any narrative, you might miss it. This is a healthy adventure tale which will not let you rest without reading the conclusion… are you up for it? My opinion is YES!
Review by Rahul for Desi Readers
The Shambala Sutras: Novel by Aurijit Ganguli – Book Review
- Desi Reader Rates it
Recommended novel in history & mythology genre… healthy fiction with wisdom on offer… bonus for serious readers and excitement for casual readers of leisure fiction by Indian novelists.