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Asura

Tale of the Vanquished: The Story of Ravana and His People
Written by: Anand Neelakantan
Narrated by: Denzil Smith
Length: 18 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (94 ratings)

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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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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.

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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    4 out of 5 stars
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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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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.

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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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.

3 people found this helpful

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Brought new pov in cognisance

i liked the book. but some myths like ravan lifting shiva himalaya was not mentioned.

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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.

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A different perspective

Very good narration. Felt few aspects were not covered, though it is still a must read.

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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.