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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Illicit Happiness of Other People by Manu Joseph

Blurb (from the jacket):

Seventeen-year-old Unni Chacko has done something terrible. The only clue to his action lies in a comic strip he has drawn, which has fallen into the hands of his father Ousep, an anarchist. Ousep begins investigating the extraordinary life of his son, blissfully unaware that his long-suffering wife is plotting to kill him.

Set in Madras in 1990, this is a darkly comic story involving the relentless pursuit of a failed writer who has found purpose, an adolescent cartoonists dangerous interpretation of truth, the plots of a brilliant housewife, and the pure love of a twelve-year-old boy for a beautiful girl.

My take on the book:
I came across this book as a 'Hindu Literary Prize' nominee. That year, 2013, there were 5 books that have been nominated to the prize and Vanity Bagh won it. I will read it, too. If just a nominee turns out to be this splendid, how good must the winner be!

I feel honoured that I own a Hardbound copy of such an excellent book. In fact, if you check out online (at the moment), hardback of this book is cheaper than the paperback, which is pretty unusual (compare the rates below).

This is a kind of story I never read till now. There might be many stories like this one, but I read only this one. With this book, I had become Manu Joseph's fan. In fact, I seriously hoped that it had won at least one literary award. Maybe, awards and prizes are just for recognition and acknowledgement. And this book doesn't need one.

The author's narration is one of the best, I have read. It was smooth. It was intriguing. It was to the end hilarious, only dark. Dark-humour is what this book all about. It is insightful, indeed. And philosophical in an interesting way. There were not dense exchanges between the character. There were few dialogues every now and then, but only when necessary. They were appropriate. Rest of the book is a monologue. This book is a revelation. I never expected that monologues could be written so interestingly funny.

This is kind of a book which will have a backcover blur, a different on the front-cover inner jacket and another blurb in the back-cover inner jacket, yet it can't convey the actual intensity of the book. Not a single word less than the whole book could explain about the book.

I could try and come up with a blurb to the story, but, you must go through what I said in the above paragraphs, this book is indescribable within limited words.

Overall, this is a perfect read for curious minds. Filled with humour and starkly intriguing characters, this book cannot be missed...



Title: The Illicit Happiness of Other People

Author: Manu Joseph

Tagline: A novel

ISBN (edition I've read): 9789350293645


Read between: 21-07-2014 to 29-07-2014

Publishers: HarperCollins Publishers

Pages: 343

MRP: ₹ 499

The best deal of this book could be found here:  

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