Books: Truth & All That

THE SERPENT AND THE ROPE (407 pp.) —Raja Rao—Pantheon ($5.95).

No philosophical thicket seems denser to the Western eye than Hinduism, and no country more confusing than India. In this long, densely packed novel of the intellectual and emotional odyssey of a high-caste Brahman, Indian Author Raja Rao offers an intimate look at Indian family life seen from the inside, and a sometimes illuminating, sometimes bewildering tour of the strange-blooming intricacies of Hindu thought as his hero grapples with the mundane practicalities of the West. With a novelist's illusionist skill, Rao makes it all as fascinating as a basketful of talking cobras.


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