Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Book Review - The Krishna Key - Ashwin Sanghi

Book: The Krishna Key
Ashwin Sanghi alias Shawn Haigins 

Price: Rs.175 @30% Discount at Flipkart
Genre: Anthropological Thriller
No. of Pages: ~500

This is definitely not the first review of The Krishna Key that you have read. There are thousands out there - All you have to do is to "Google it"! And there is a reason for that - It is Good! But then how good is it depends entirely on you! Let me make it clear right at the start - It is not a book for everyone!

Synopsis: (Spoiler-alert!)
The protagonist is Ravi Mohan Saini, a historian who is accused of murdering his close friend over an ancient artifact which is eventually a part of the mythical "Philosopher's Stone". As expected, apart from the extremely smart cop who is hellbent on capturing him, there is another set of people who would go to any length to get their hands on the same object. The entire story revolves around how Saini can prove his innocence, outwit his enemies, and at the same time solve what has been baffling historians and conspiracy-theorists for centuries - What is the legacy that Krishna left behind for us?

The parallel story (much like in Chanakya's Chant) is about Krishna telling his story in his point of view. The author was successful in linking Chanakya's story to that of Gangasagar Mishra in Chanakya's Chant, but failed to do that effectively in The Krishna Key!

The Author:
Ashwin is a changed man! He had no clue on how to structure the book in The Rozabal Line. This he mastered in Chanakya's Chant. But the numerous jokes and one-liners that he pulled out from email and SMS forwards in Chanakya's Chant made me cringe (although he did give due credit to each at the end of the book). But The Krishna Key is as fresh as Spring! He has set a style of his own and it is awesome. To say he has improved as an author is an understatement. He is Reborn! But despite trying really really hard not to compare, I still could not help thinking that he is highly influenced by Dan Brown.

How could it have been Better:
  • At too many places the book points an ugly finger at the beliefs of religions other than Hinduism. Could have been avoided or atleast a bit more subtle. 
  • Too much research, too much information - Again, depends on how you feel about it. I loved the book for how much research the author had done, but putting all that into one book was probably not that great an idea.
  • Better proof-reading could have helped. Number of mixups with the names of the characters, facts, etc. He has acknowledged this on his website.

Who Will Like It:
Do you think that conspiracy theories are fun? Do you, if not love, atleast like a bit of our vedas/puranas, etc.? Do you like fast-paced stories that actually make you wanna flip the pages and find out what happens next? If the answers to these questions are YES, then this is definitely a book for you. Trust me, you will find yourself literally sitting on the edge of the seat as the story reaches the climax. 

Who Will NOT Like it:
This book is a definite no for people who get easily offended on the basis of religion and for people who take things a bit too seriously. Think of it as a story and nothing more. It is fiction. And it is good fiction.

My Rating:

This is definitely a 3 out of 5:

If you thought 3 is too high - I rated it 3 for the sheer dedication that the author has put in to do the required research to make a piece of fiction look like a documentary. And for the effort he has put in to connect all the dots in the end.

If you thought 3 is too low - I rated it 3 due to the same reason. The author has tried to put in too much of his research into the book. We are constantly bombarded with numerous research findings and conspiracy theories and he had to rush through everything to make sure he did not leave any loose ends.

The story is fast-paced and interesting, giving a fresh new look at our puranas. The characters are convincingly real. The language is simple enough and yet catchy. Good research has gone into it. And it has a perfect ending. I am really not sure why most of the feedback for this book says that the first half is great and the second half, not so much. I personally feel that there couldn't have been a better ending and the second half is equally thrilling. Ashwin has grown and flourished as an author and the maturity and confidence is evident. Loved it that he has given extensive details about all the places he has referred to (including YouTube video links) as a part of his research.

Like I said at the start, this is not a book for everyone. It is for people who love to read just for the love of reading. If you expect too much before you start, you will be disappointed. So assume nothing - Just pick up the book and give it a shot - I am pretty sure you will not be disappointed!

Happy Reading!

This book was reviewed as a part of BlogAdda's Book Review Program.
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  1. This is the best book by Ashwin, compared to the all three books. Nice way of narration, together with Mahabharata story in line. I like the way Ashwin gave us his imagination about the Krishna. The facts in the books looks quite real. At last a nice book for the people who want to know about Krishna.

    1. Yes it does. It all depends on the reader. It looked quite believable to me too. It is clear that he Ashwin has spent a lot of time researching before he even started on this.

      Thanks a lot for stopping by... And for the comment... :)



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