Beastly Tales from Here and There has ratings and 44 reviews. Shriya said: DISCLAIMER: By the time she finished the book, the reviewer was so deeply. Jul 31, Beastly tales from here & there. Author: Vikram Seth. Pages: Price: Genre: Verse. Publication:Penguin India. Publishing Date: LibraryThing Review. User Review – GlebtheDancer – LibraryThing. This collection of poems is a wry look at some children’s classics, giving them a modern twist.

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I’ve read only Book 2 of Paradise Lost but was hooked from start to finish. I read Vikram Seth’s ‘Beastly Tales’ long back, around the time it was first published. My young children enjoyed it as much as I did.

It’s the perfect example of read aloud poetry–funny and intelligent and bouncy–thoroughly enjoyable. In fact the book inspired me to write poetry for children, something I continued to do for the next few years. Seth’s poetry actually reminds me of Roald Dahl’s fabulously funny verses from his book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Please do read that book,if you have not done so.

Try it in any csae. Have just discovered your blog today and this is my second comment. My first comment is in response to your review anr the new Shashi Tharoor book. Thanks for the recommendation Lalitha Hfre have seen Charlie and the Chocolate factory, haven’t read the book though.

Personally, I didn’t like the film much and suspect the book is far superior. I know its popular among some people, it really needs to be popularised more.


This was a good read.

Though I must tell you I haven’t anything of Vikram Seth apart from this. If the latter, I highly recommend A Suitable Boy. It is really very good Tale, and neatly encapsulates not just its protagonists’ journey, but post India’s too in a way His first full-fledged verse work and its quite deth.

I have not read it. But he does write verse so very well!!! Its a must have IMO. I bought it the last time i was in india.

Barring these classic works, I haven’t really bothered with verse, especially when it comes to modern writers. Which is why, this quite simply escaped me and hre any case, I’m yet to really sink my teeth into any of Vikram Seth’s works. But a very heavy recommendation by a friend, who insisted that there was possibly no better writer of verse in India than Seth prompted vikraj to check it out. The book is a compilation of ten fables, retold and reinterpreted in the author’s own inimitable style, lending it a lot wit and some clever twists.

While two of the stories come from India, there are other fables taken from China, Ukraine and Greece.

Beastly Tales from Here and There by Vikram Seth

The fact that Vikram Seth learnt Chinese poetry during his stay in the country might have had some bearing here. Quite obviously, as Seth himself says, his decision to write this Jungle book fable was an impulsive one, prompted by a hot, sleepy day.

By the time I had finished writing ‘The Crocodile And the Monkey ‘, another story and other animals had begun stirring in my mind.

And so it went on until all ten of these beastly tales were born”. Among all the stories, at least four of them are extremely entertaining and Seth’s drom scheme is a delight. I especially enjoyed The Hare And The Tortoisewhich the author writes with much chutzpah and there’s a nice little twist in the end. I didn’t care much for many of the other fables in the middle bdastly, which I thought were sort of violent and also repetitive.


Make no mistake, this is not necessarily a lighthearted, feel-good read. Some of its stories are very much in the vein of George Orwell’s Animal Farmwhich we know was a hard-hitting political allegory.

The Summing Up: Beastly tales from here & there

Of course, there are fables here which offer plenty of personal lessons. If The Crocodile And The Monkey talks about the ugliness of greed, The Frog And The Nightingale a personal favourite from the book is a particularly moving story about a nightingale, who loses her voice and her audience, by heeding to the selfish frog’s advice. Vikram Seth displays mastery in poetry and this is especially a good book to read out aloud to children or anyone, so that the lyrical and rhyming quality of the words are effectively brought out.

So great repeat value. Keep this for one of those rainy days literally! Posted by Sandhya Iyer at Newer Post Older Post Home.