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Publisher's Summary

The epic tale of victory and defeat

The story of the Ramayana had been told innumerable times. The enthralling story of Rama, the incarnation of God, who slew Ravana, the evil demon of darkness, is known to every Indian. And in the pages of history, as always, it is the version told by the victors that lives on. The voice of the vanquished remains lost in silence. 

But what if Ravana and his people had a different story to tell? The story of the Ravanayana had never been told. Asura is the epic tale of the vanquished Asura people, a story that has been cherished by the oppressed outcastes of India for 3,000 years. Until now, no Asura has dared to tell the tale. But perhaps the time has come for the dead and the defeated to speak. 

For thousands of years, I have been vilified and my death is celebrated year after year in every corner of India. Why? Was it because I challenged the gods for the sake of my daughter? Was it because I freed a race from the yoke of caste-based Deva rule? You have heard the victor's tale, the Ramayana. Now hear the Ravanayana, for I am Ravana, the Asura, and my story is the tale of the vanquished.

I am a non-entity - invisible, powerless and negligible. No epics will ever be written about me. I have suffered both Ravana and Rama - the hero and the villain or the villain and the hero. When the stories of great men are told, my voice maybe too feeble to be heard. Yet, spare me a moment and hear my story, for I am Bhadra, the Asura, and my life is the tale of the loser.

The ancient Asura empire lay shattered into many warring petty kingdoms reeling under the heel of the Devas. In desperation, the Asuras look up to a young saviour - Ravana. Believing that a better world awaits them under Ravana, common men like Bhadra decide to follow the young leader. With a will of iron and a fiery ambition to succeed, Ravana leads his people from victory to victory and carves out a vast empire from the Devas. But even when Ravana succeeds spectacularly, the poor Asuras find that nothing much has changed for them. It is when that Ravana, by one action, changes the history of the world.

©2012 Anand Neelakantan (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

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What listeners say about Asura

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Disappointed

It is not the story of Ravan what disappointed me but the way author put his own thinking and prejudice in it. I think the book ends at the chapter where Ravana is killed. After that this book is nothing but crap. Author haa written whatever he could just to target caste system. But if he had researched well he would have known that during Ramayan we had varna system that was not based on birth. Caste system come much later when kindoma divided and different cultures originated. Also, it is a shame that author mentioned caste system as a part of vedas which is terrible. Vedas never mentioned caste but varna. Another problem was with the maths that author tried to put to justify the ages of characters. Those numbers are very off. Ravan's perspective is good but author's perspective is totally wrong.

8 people found this helpful

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Amazing Narration by Denzil Smith

At first I thought who would read about a Villains story as our movies portrayed Asuras as Villains. Anand showed what the Asuras life will be In lanka lands and he showed Ravanas life from his perspective. Denzil's Narration gave life to this story. He really inacted every scene with different vocal sounds for each characters in the story. Each and every character is well explained and the narration created an interest to listen to this story everyday. Waiting for more from Anand and will read all the stories which are narrated by Denzil Smith.

5 people found this helpful

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An epic retold from the oppressed persons view.

Truly an epic told from the eyes of the oppressed with a cynical humour connecting to today’s politics. A great listening experience.

3 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

The biggest problems with this book are the narrative and storyline. It has too many loopholes and the author does an unimpressive job at covering it (and it's evident through that he is aware of these loopholes). The narration is far from captivating and it's evident that he is trying too hard to save the story.

2 people found this helpful

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perspective changer over Ramayan

not geeky like ramayan, no magical chants or astras simplicity in potraying Ravan's life good one...! definitely recommend one

2 people found this helpful

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A must to listen

Beautifully expressed the auras pint of view which gives a good perspective to the other side of story. Truly interesting

2 people found this helpful

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A different view of Ramayan

At the beginning i was not liking it but as the story grew i started enjoying it. i just wanted to finish tbe book as soon as possible as it was so interesting. this book is from view point of Ravan.

2 people found this helpful

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A welcome dissent.

Asura is a well written book and a treasure to those interested in alter narrative of Ravana. The author should be appreciated for his writing a mythology with a rational and realistic approach.

2 people found this helpful

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only for a perspective hearing

the book is quite different to the thought of Ramayana as read and seen by most of us. book tries to give a sneak peek into the life of ravana. however, there are a lot of points where it seems references are taken from the Indian version of Ramayana and colour it with that of the Asura. e.g. Sita giving the Agni test, death of Laxman, Ram/Laxman getting healed miraculously when hurt in fact, the Hindu version of Ramayana gives a lot more praise to ravana as a bhakt of Shiva, Brahma and the shiv tandav; whereas this book proclaims ravana to be a mere human at best a good one time read..

1 person found this helpful

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Strongly opinionated

The book is strongly opinionated. At every point in the book, one segment of the people are *always* right and other are *always* wrong. It becomes too repetitive after a while.

5 people found this helpful

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  • 24-01-20

Excellent storytelling!!

I really liked the storytelling and the narration. Whether I like all angles or not, it make us stand in front of us. Very fluent language. Throughly enjoyed.