The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

A Novel

eBook - 2017
Average Rating:
7
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"A richly moving new novel--the first since the author's Booker Prize-winning, internationally celebrated debut, The God of Small Things, went on to become a beloved best seller and enduring classic. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness transports us across a subcontinent on a journey of many years. It takes us deep into the lives of its gloriously rendered characters, each of them in search of a place of safety--in search of meaning, and of love. In a graveyard outside the walls of Old Delhi, a resident unrolls a threadbare Persian carpet. On a concrete sidewalk, a baby suddenly appears, just after midnight. In a snowy valley, a bereaved father writes a letter to his five-year-old daughter about the people who came to her funeral. In a second-floor apartment, a lone woman chain-smokes as she reads through her old notebooks. At the Jannat Guest House, two people who have known each other all their lives sleep with their arms wrapped around each other, as though they have just met. A braided narrative of astonishing force and originality, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is at once a love story and a provocation--a novel as inventive as it is emotionally engaging. It is told with a whisper, in a shout, through joyous tears and sometimes with a bitter laugh. Its heroes, both present and departed, have been broken by the world we live in--and then mended by love. For this reason, they will never surrender. How to tell a shattered story? By slowly becoming everybody. No. By slowly becoming everything. Humane and sensuous, beautifully told, this extraordinary novel demonstrates on every page the miracle of Arundhati Roy's storytelling gifts"--
"An epic novel of love and history and the perseverance of the human spirit in the face of loss and tragedy"--
Publisher: [S.l.] : Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2017
Edition: First United States edition
ISBN: 9781524733162
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: 3M Cloud Library

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m0mmyl00
Sep 26, 2017

This was a difficult book to read. It traveled back and forth in time, and skipped without warning from one place to another. I almost put it down, but couldn't. So many scenes were so unlikely. An hermaphrodte is born to a woman who wants a son so badly she hides his abnormality as long as she can. He grows up and lives as a flamboyant and rather famous Hijra (transgender) in a Hijra house. Later, he sets up housekeeping in a graveyard and is joined by a changing cast of misfits, philosophers, cast offs, and more-or-less ordinary off-beat characters. There's a mysterious baby who appears suddenly and then disappears but is cared for tenderly by one of the graveyard sometimes-dwellers. There are relationships that twist and bind over the course of decades. There's much love, much loneliness, much connectedness, much sadness, much triumph. I gave this book four stars because it won me over so decisively when I was on the fence. But I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I changed that to five stars. The writing and characterization and insights into human feelings were simply beautiful.

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infinityg37
Aug 28, 2017

I'm with Brangwinn on her comments. Was so excited to read a book by the Author of the God of Small Things, but found this one long and confusing.

Cynthia_N Aug 16, 2017

I struggled with this one. It was at times a beautiful story with characters I liked but it wasn't enough for me to really enjoy reading it. Three stars because of the character Anjum.

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GummiGirl
Aug 08, 2017

Highly complex, and polemical at times, but frequently poetic and worth persisting through the confusing parts. It gave me a real feel for a rapidly developing country and Kashmir in particular.

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brangwinn
Aug 06, 2017

I have loved the past novels of Roy, but this book failed to hold my attention as _The God of Small Things_ did. I’m not sure disjointed is the right word for the way it was written, but I could never gain empathy for the main characters, although I certainly sympathized with what life must be like for homosexuals in India. I guess part of my problem in reading it was that I kept looking for a plot and there wasn’t one.

c
Candaceb108
Jul 03, 2017

Faced with the kaleidoscope of chaos that was India in the 80's and still now, what other book could Roy write. So much can be forgiven. How else would an author present such incredibly idiocy of war and cruelty. I don't know. The books starts as though on acid you are perceiving a lotus. The middle is as if the lotus has become a petaled IUD that explodes in your heart slow motion. It ends with a bubble gum happy ending laced with cyanide. Tough sledding.

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spiderfelt_0
Jul 01, 2017

Can you imagine a book so lush it propels you into a world you've never visited? The scents, sounds, colors and feelings of Delhi, Kashmir and Kerala were almost tangible. Arundhati Roy possesses the ability to build people who tower over a story, sharp and mesmerizing. This book was worth the wait, clearly constructed with care, thought and precision; it left a bittersweet taste in my mouth.

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