So, I ought to buy it. Own it.
There's a second reason I needed to have that book. Though I know that I wrote Sons of Gods from my own memory, without a reference book open to help me, I was afraid that, just maybe, some of the words from my source might have buried themselves into my unconscious and emerged just as they were. To the onlooker, that might be interpreted as plagiarism. After all, I'm writing the same story, and there are only so many ways to write "We must win this war!"
So I was determined to go through the book sentence by sentence and compare it with my manuscript.
Thus my visit to Watkin's.
As it happened, Watkin's didn't have Subramaniam's book. It DID have a beautiful, two volume edition of Ramesh Menon's version. The two hardbacks were in a box, just ready and waiting to fall into my hungry hands. Beyond my budget, true enough, but I couldn't resist. I bought them! You'll see their covers on the right.
My only quibble is that I felt some of the scenes were too drawn out -- I like tight writing. And, like many Indian writers, he unfortunately has no qualms about delivering spoilers -- the dread of the Western reader. The Ganguli Mahabharata actually summarises the whole story in the first chapters! So, too, does Rajagopalachari. Others tell the reader what is going to happen before it does, which kind of destroys the element of surprise.
Nevertheless, this is by far the best I've read, and if you're a Mahabharataholic, go for it!
To get back to Kamala Subramaniam and the subject of plagiarism. I finally bought her book through Amazon, and it arrived in Germany yesterday. No fear of similarity in the writing. Even at a glance it's easy to tell that her writing style and sentence structure is so very different to mine that I would never have confused her words for mine. I can stop worrying.
I'm also glad to say that it seems I've actually finished revising; the manuscript it almost ready to
go to formatting for Kindle and Smashwords; once that is done, it will be published.
In a matter of weeks!
Before, or just after, Christmas!
Get your ereaders out!
In the meantime, Sample Pages are available right here.