by J.M. Macfie
This book told many tales from the Puranas, the Ramayana and mostly the Mahabarata. I remembered quite a few from my readings of the two latter, but many were new to me. The trouble is that, although the author takes a lot of pride in his supposed impartiality and fairness in depicting Hinduism's strengths as well as weaknesses, he takes quite a racist or at least a haughty, pedantic view in his descriptions, calling - for example - the presence of Shiva lingams "revolting and obscene"; calling Indian thought "arrested"; claiming that India's caste system constitutes "the most rigorous and cruel" color bar in history (a dubious claim, perhaps); and just generally adopting a mocking tone when describing inconsistencies in the stories and so on. But they are told well and I enjoyed the book anyway for the information it contains.