Top critical review
A mixed bag - nothing out of the ordinary
Reviewed in India on 26 January 2019
Devdutt Pattnaik's Ramayana vs Mahabharatha can be described using an analogy. It is to the epics, what study guides are to text books. You can learn the main points of the epics here, without having to read the epics themselves.
This book is nothing out of the ordinary. If you've read the epics a few times, you'll already be well aware of the content he covers. Of course, there are certain sections of the book - like the regional retellings - which are really illuminating and lovely to learn about.
But overall, the content is pretty repetitive. The author uses the same explanation (a copy-paste of explanation) in multiple areas of the book. This ruins the reading experience slightly. Then there are the long-drawn explanations for words/actions/behaviours which Indians would be familiar with, but which the author has explained in detail and provided English names for. This makes me believe the author wrote the book for a western audience.
In terms of the flow, the first half of the book is entertaining, but the latter half becomes a little too preachy. There are some grammatical errors in the latter half and 1-2 factual errors too. But these are a result of poor editing, since in the first half of the book, the same content is written correctly. A little more care in editing would really have made the book better.
Verdict: Can skip. Doesn't really add or detract value to/from your library.