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.

Author...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!