Thursday, March 29, 2018

THE MAHABHARATA SECRET: A Commendable Achievement by Christopher C Doyle

The Mahabharata Secret by Christopher C Doyle: A Book Review
 The Mahabharata Secret is a thriller that affirms the fundamentalist notion that sophisticated electronic, aviation and scientific technology existed during the times of the Mahabharata, in ancient India. That said, The Mahabharata Secret deserved to be appreciated for the lengthy unfurling of suspenseful events in present-day India that foregrounds its history. Tradition and modernity coexist in Christopher C Doyle’s thriller. This book could be categorized as a historical thriller because Emperor Ashoka and his stone edicts appear as crucial characters in the story. They are part of the quest to unlock the mystery surrounding the cryptic emails from Vikram Singh, a north Indian aristocrat to his nephew Vijay who works abroad. 
Christopher C Doyle brings home a highly effective landscape with his narrative strategy based on detailed descriptions and adeptness in creating suspenseful moments. These are the two crucial points about the writing of Doyle. He is very adept at detailing a scene. Unlike many of his peers who write in the same genre, he could create moments in the story that hooks the reader so well that turning pages is not a difficult act. That was why I was able to read and complete the book at a relatively good pace.
The “secret” of the Mahabharata in the title does not represent something secretive about the Mahabharata. The term is used to postulate the attempts by a secret society named the Nine Unknown Men. Some of them become known as the novel progresses. In that area, you are in for a surprise at the end of the novel. However, I do have my reservations about how the novels could have ended.
Had the novel been eighty pages shorter, it would have even won a prize for its craft. However, a few decisions made by certain characters when the novel’s plot arches into turmoil seem rather odd. Also, something seems off in the way the research is conducted in the story. Due to its subtext of historical investigation, the story requires the displaying of many pieces of research into various historical facts. The research that is conducted by the characters appears below par. The reference to a library is nonexistent in the novel. This could have been done in a different way, like an ongoing investigation of events in various libraries and be meeting other experts rather than googling everything and taking a print out. Also, something else could have been done, like a curfew on a national highway at the end of the book in order to stop the terrorists, part of the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The language of the book is lucid, simple, and has a flow to it. Many Indian writers in English fail to bring this flow to their language. Only very few of them were about to impress me in this category. Doyle is one of them. This is a great compliment, Mr Doyle if you are reading this- do rejoice. You have earned it. The book is 382 pages long and seems to have 100,000 plus words. The suspense has been kept intact until the end, a commendable achievement by Doyle. The Mahabharata Secret is published by Om Books International. The cover design resembles another book in its colour scheme. The book I am suggesting is Ashwin Sanghi’s novel Chanakya’s Chant. Other than the colour scheme of the cover page, there are no connections between these two books. I wanted to mention this because it caught me the first time I took the book in my hands. 

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