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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness Hardcover – 6 Jun 2017

3.9 out of 5 stars 484 customer reviews

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Review

A gem a great tempest of a novel: a remarkable creation, a story both intimate and international, swelling with comedy and outrage, a tale that cradles the world s most fragile people even while it assaults brutal villains. Ministry is a thoroughly absorbing work of art a hybrid of satire, romance, thriller and history. It speaks to the universal struggle of minority people to be free. Here is writing that swirls so hypnotically it doesn t feel like words on paper so much as ink on water. This vast novel will leave you awed by the heat of its anger and the depth of its compassion. Ron Charles, The Washington Post Ministry is the follow-up weve been longing for a poetic, densely populated contemporary novel in the tradition of Dickens and Tolstoy. From its beginning, one is swept up in the story. If The God of Small Things was a lushly imagined, intimate family novel slashed through with politics, Ministry encompasses wildly different economic, religious, and cultural realms across the Indian subcontinent and as far away as Iraq and California. Animating it is a kaleidoscopic variety of bohemians, revolutionaries, and lovers...With her exquisite and dynamic storytelling, Roy balances scenes of suffering and corruption with flashes of humor, giddiness, and even transcendence. Daphne Beal, Vogue Her new novel is larger, more complicated, more multilingual, more challenging as a reading experience than The God of Small Things, and no less immersing. This intricately layered and passionate novel, studded with jokes and with horrors, has room for satire and romance, for rage and politics and for steely understatement. A work of extraordinary intricacy and grace. Gillian Beer, The Prospect Affecting...A rangy and roving novel of multiple voices; an intimate picture of a diverse cast of characters...We see in detail not only their everyday lives but also their beliefs, and the contexts that inform their actions...Tilo is the book s beating heart, a beautiful and rebellious woman and a magical focal point toward which all desire in the novel flows. Roy s instinct for satire is as sharp as ever, and her stories build to a broader portrait of India over the past few decades. Roy s sentences are marked by an eloquence even as they string together various ideas and elements. Her prose is in this sense radically democratic. And her unmistakable style and her way of seeing the world become something larger, too. Amitava Kumar, - BookForum --Ron Charles,The Washington Post

Glorious....remarkable, colorful and compelling. . . Roy has a passionate following, and her admirers will not be disappointed. This ambitious new novel, like its predecessor, addresses weighty themes in an intermittently playful narrative voice. At the novel s heart are three male friends from university and the woman they all loved and continue to love.... Their lives come together like puzzle pieces; the telling involves an unusual combination of epic and classic echoes; of unexpected detail; and, unforgettably, an unflinching realism. You will [be] granted a powerful sense of their world, of the complexity, energy and diversity of contemporary India, in which darkness and exuberant vitality and inextricable intertwined. --Claire Messud, The Financial Times

Summers 20 Must-Read Books If you want to know the world behind out corporate-sponsored dreamscapes, you read writers like Arundhati Roy. She shows you what s really going on. --Junot Diaz, in Vogue

‘Worth the 20-year wait. . . The unmissable literary read of the summer’ Time

‘Roy's second novel proves as remarkable as her first. . . An author worth waiting two decades for ' Financial Times

'A masterpiece. . . Roy joins Dickens, Naipaul, García Márquez and Rushdie in her abiding compassion, storytelling magic, and piquant wit. . . An entrancing, imaginative, and wrenching epic' Booklist starred review

‘The great pleasure of reading Ministry is its intricacy, the profusion of lives woven together into a massive tapestry’ Business Standard

‘What is so remarkable [in Ministry] is her combinatory genius’ New Yorker

‘A fierce and fabulously disobedient novel. . . Roy’s novel is this decade’s ecstatic and necessary answer’ Boston Globe

‘Infused with so much passion—political, social, emotional—that it vibrates. . . Roy’s exquisite, furiously passionate prose is that rare instrument up to the task of telling this shattered story’ San Francisco Chronicle

‘A novel that demands and rewards the reader's concentration, this is a dazzling return to form' Independent

'Intricately layered and passionate, studded with jokes and with horrors. . . This is a work of extraordinary intricacy and grace' Prospect Magazine

'A great tempest of a novel . . . [it] will leave you awed by the heat of its anger and the depth of its compassion' Washington Post

‘The first novel in 20 years from Roy, and worth the wait. . . An assured novel borne along by a swiftly moving storyline that addresses the most profound issues with elegant humor. Let’s hope we won’t have to wait two decades for its successor’ Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

‘Ambitious, original, and haunting. A novel [that] fuses tenderness and brutality, mythic resonance and the stuff of headlines . . . essential to Roy's vision of a bewilderingly beautiful, contradictory, and broken world’ Publishers Weekly (starred review)

‘Ministry is the follow-up we’ve been longing for—a poetic, densely populated contemporary novel in the tradition of Dickens and Tolstoy. From its beginning, one is swept up in the story. . .With her exquisite and dynamic storytelling, Roy balances scenes of suffering and corruption with flashes of humor, giddiness and even transcendence’ Vogue

‘Roy returns to fiction with tales that span from the mourned in a graveyard to the beating hearts of the people of Delhi, masterfully conveying the wide-ranging perseverance of the human soul’ Marie Claire

‘The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is big, both in physical heft and in ideas. It features an unforgettable cast of characters from across India whose stories are told with generosity and compassion. The novel’s greatest feat is showing the ways in which religious belief, gender identity, and even our safety in the world, are not fixed—they have as much fluidity as Roy’s astute plotting’ Vulture

‘This novel, in which many verses speak in the guise of prose, is alive. . . Ministry is a book-world-being which would show us the nightmares of our waking hours, the canopies of our future, gather us into movements, console us when the catastrophes come, haunt us from the horizon’ Wire



Glorious....remarkable, colorful and compelling. . . Roy has a passionate following, and her admirers will not be disappointed. This ambitious new novel, like its predecessor, addresses weighty themes in an intermittently playful narrative voice. At the novel s heart are three male friends from university and the woman they all loved and continue to love.... Their lives come together like puzzle pieces; the telling involves an unusual combination of epic and classic echoes; of unexpected detail; and, unforgettably, an unflinching realism. You will [be] granted a powerful sense of their world, of the complexity, energy and diversity of contemporary India, in which darkness and exuberant vitality and inextricable intertwined. --Claire Messud, The Financial Times

Summers 20 Must-Read Books If you want to know the world behind out corporate-sponsored dreamscapes, you read writers like Arundhati Roy. She shows you what s really going on. --Junot Diaz, in Vogue

About the Author

Arundhati Roy is the author of The God of Small Things, which won the Booker Prize in 1997 and was a bestseller in more than thirty languages worldwide.

Since then Roy has published five books of influential non-fiction essays that include The Algebra of Infinite Justice (2001), Listening to Grasshoppers (2009), and Broken Republic (2011). She has raised profound questions about war and peace, the definitions of “violence” and “non-violence”, about what we think of as “development”, “democracy”, “nationalism”, “patriotism” and indeed the idea of civilization itself.

Roy is a trained architect. She lives in New Delhi.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House India (6 June 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067008963X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670089635
  • Product Dimensions: 29 x 20 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 484 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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