The gracefully suspect and satirical tone of Tharoor’s title animates his monumental tale, The Great Indian Novel. In an opening disclaimer, the author cites the epic Mahabharata, as the source of his inspiration. Blending history and myth to chronicle the Indian struggle for freedom and independence.
The story he retells, however, is also a thinly veiled account of the people and events that shaped India during the struggle for independence from British rule. Tharoor recasts these in a mythological, fictive realm, skillfully bringing elements of traditional Eastern and Western literature. The history and myth, dream and reality combines in every chapter, calling into question the validity of categories.
Despite his clichéd treatment of British and Indian characters, he animates history with the imagination of an artist and the philosophy of a sage.