Short Book Review: Kama’s Last Sutra by Trisha Das

SBR: Kama’s Last Sutra is an interesting experiment, where a 21st-century archeologist working in Khajuraho time travels to the 11th-century kingdom ruled by the king who had built what is supposedly the best-known temple today in Khajuraho. It is an interesting tale. Educating you on history, while entertaining you through its characters.

A few things didn’t work for me, however. One, its feminism was rather surfacy and showy.  Two, whatever our time-traveling character did in the story, it didn’t need a 21st-century character in the 11th century. A contemporary character could have done that. So, the time-travel is just a ploy to get to what the author really wanted to write about. I would have preferred it to be more integral to the story.

These and a few other things I noticed from time to time gave a very documentary-like feel to the book. That might be the result of the documentary film-making background of the writer. Documentary films are alright, but by the nature of the medium, they can’t be as nuanced and substantive as a book can be. I would have liked the story to make the best use of the medium it chose – that of a book.

To read or not to read: You can read for the history or for a hot modernish love story set in the 11th-century. But I am not asking you to leave anything else to grab this.

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