This epic has been compressed into 171 pages. It took me a while to get into the flow of the story, and I’m sure when I try to teach it, I’ll need to rely on the List of Characters Narayan graciously provides. This is an epic in the true sense of the word, with larger-than-life characters, incredible battles, tests, loyal sidekicks – all of it. There are enough similarities to some of the Greek stories to make that another way in. I do wonder about the women in this story – Sita, the King’s wife (can’t come up with her name right now). Are there any 3-dimensional women? (I’m willing to skip the “Are there any good women?” question.) And what will this do to a student’s perception of Indian mythology? Similar to Arabian Nights, there is much in here that is about the role of storytelling in a culture’s, well, story.
Now, to look at Patel’s version in its graphic novel format as well as Richman’s anthology of Ramayana stories. How to make this all work?
Meanwhile, Lahiri and Roy lurk in the shadows.