Kama Sutra Book by Attar Incorporated - review by Antipova

Kama Sutra Book

Book by Attar Incorporated

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Elegant Tradition: Vatsyayana's Kama Sutra

Sixteen centuries of tradition in India, one hundred and twenty years in antiquated English, and more than ten years of careful research are beautifully held between the covers of this book. Considering its excellent translation, archival elegant binding, and most of all, its detailed illustrations, I absolutely recommend this book for personal use or as a gift for scholars and lovers alike.
Faithful but accessible translation with detailed paintings provide the full Kama Sutra experience.
Gold text is hard to read in low light.
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review

About author

In a quest to translate the Kama Sutra faithfully for the first time since 1883, Madelyn Dervos spent ten years collecting paintings and working with a team of experts to craft a true-to-tradition edition of the Kama Sutra, accessible to the audiences of the 21st century. In the author's own words:

"Madelyn Carol Dervos joined the Kama Sutra Company in 1972 as general manager and energized the company with a clear vision of how high-quality herbal potions and ancient Indian love-making traditions could meld into a cohesive product line that would delight their customers. But it is her singular vision to bring the Kama Sutra, that classic of ancient Indian literature, to a broader audience that makes possible The Kama Sutra: The Ancient Art of Making Love for the New Millennium.

Unfortunately, the original Victorian-era translation of the Kama Sutra by Sir Richard Burton was nearly impenetrable to the modern-day reader. Madelyn set out to find another translation that remained true to the feeling of Vatsyayana's original work. Her search took her to India.

On her first trip in 1988, she explored several versions of the text and deliberated over many illustrations of the Kama Sutra sexual positions. Nothing fit her dream of bringing a true and modern version of this ancient text to the Kama Sutra Company's discerning customers. However, it was during that visit that inspiration struck. Bumping along in the back seat of a tiny, three-wheeled taxi on the road back to New Delhi, she realized that the only way to get her ideal version was to do it herself.

She then traveled repeatedly to India in search of exceptional art, the kind that would invite her readers to paint themselves into the rich atmosphere, loving embraces and depth of feeling portrayed in the Kama Sutra. "Some visits I would find only one or two paintings so it took quite a few trips for the collection to become complete," she recalls. In fact, it took Madelyn ten long years to gather the 21, hand-painted, original illustrations you will find in The Kama Sutra: The Ancient Art of Making Love for the New Millennium.

Next, she assembled a team of writers, each bringing a unique set of talents to the project. Rob Love, a writer, editor, book designer and professional photographer shared Madelyn's commitment to produce a vivid and enticing edition true to Vatsyayana's work. Evelyn Vuko, a syndicated columnist, author and former English teacher with a special interest in Victorian writing, brought Burton's 1883 translation into the modern vernacular. Their collaboration resulted in an inviting and accessible version of the Kama Sutra that retains the raw flavor, mystique and unabashed eroticism of the original manuscript. And Madelyn is thrilled. "It's enjoyable to read and easy to understand. We re-wrote it and designed it and it is the most beautiful Kama Sutra book available today!" "
    • Expert author
    • Multiple contributoring authors

Content / Style / Audience

Though the Kama Sutra is most famous for its guide to 21 sexual positions, it holds a host of information and was intended to be read by youths and adults to educate and refresh in their minds the principles of "Kama."

"Kama is the process of using the mind and the soul in the enjoyment of the five senses---hearing, feeling, seeing, tasting, and smelling. The main ingredient is the contact between the organ of sense and its object. Being aware of the pleasure that comes from that contact is called Kama. And it is Kama that can be learned from the Kama Sutra."

That is from Part One: Love Principles. There are eight parts in all: Love Principles, Intercourse, Acquiring a Wife, About a Wife, About the Wives of Other People, About Courtesans, Attracting Others, and The Illustrated Positions.

Some of the information presented in the Kama Sutra is timeless---for example, acknowledging that libidos differ, making preparations to make your lover feel cared for, and choosing a partner who matches you sexually, intellectually, and in goals are important to bear in mind sixteen centuries after they were first penned. Some information is interesting merely for historical implications. Many observations about and recommendations for dealing with human nature fall somewhere between but should be intriguing to read for any student of history, human nature, or sex.

And, of course, those who are not scholastically inclined can always flip to the pictures---that's where I started reading!
    • Hetero
    • Historical
    • Instructional / educational


While the picture of the Kama Sutra shows a mottled brown book, this edition is actually sturdily bound in red and gold Japanese silk and looks elegant whether open or shelved. A blank gift inscription page precedes introductions covering Vatsyayana, Sir Richard Burton, and the current edition. The helpful table of contents points you to the area of your curiosity. The full color, full page sexual position original paintings are collected at the very back of the book, each with its own text description on the facing page. Usefully, the male and female always have different skin tones, so it's easy to distinguish whose arm goes where.

The lettering is all a dark gold, which keeps the feel of the book intact but can be a bit difficult to read unless you have direct light.
    • Diagrams / photos included
    • Hard cover
    • Well made

Personal comments

I had read Burton's 1883 Kama Sutra via Project Gutenberg, and while it was interesting as a historical study, the experience was lacking. The Kama Sutra Company's edition made the experience complete, with its excellent translation, archival elegant binding, and, most of all, its detailed pictures. I absolutely recommend this book for personal use or as a gift to scholars and lovers alike.
Follow-up commentary
The book hasn't changed, and neither have my thoughts! This is of high quality, in translation, in execution, and in construction. It would make a great wedding gift.
This product was provided at a discounted price in exchange for an unbiased review. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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Do you like this review?
  • sexyintexas
    I have to get this, thanks for the review
  • Antipova
    I was really impressed with the quality of the book---I bet you'll love it, sexyintexas.
  • Taylor
    Thanks for the review, it looks like a beautiful book. I definitely want to get it soon.
  • Antipova
    It is gorgeous, Taylor. I hope you like it.
  • wetone123
    Awesome review! I love that it's hard backed. I would love to get this book.
  • Antipova
    I do too---it's definitely top shelf on your bookshelf quality. It's my first-ever silk-covered book, too.
  • Joie de Cherresse
    Excellent review!
  • Antipova
    I'm glad you liked it!
  • Enchantedkitty
    Thanks, I really want this book
  • Antipova
    It's super classy, I hope you like it, Enchantedkitty.
  • tami
    very nice looking book!!!!!!!!!!!! and what fun trying everything in it!!!!!!
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