The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: A novel
2 journalers for this copy...
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on an intimate journey of many years across the Indian subcontinent - from the cramped neighborhoods of Old Delhi and the roads of the new city to the mountains and valleys of Kashmir and beyond, where war is peace and peace is war.
It is an aching love story and a decisive remonstration, a story told in a whisper, in a shout, through unsentimental tears and sometimes with a bitter laugh. Each of its characters is indelibly, tenderly rendered. Its heroes are people who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, patched together by acts of love - and by hope. "
I just finished reading this book and I can't put in words how much I liked it.
The unforgettable characters, the way its is written, given us small glimpses of the stories to come, the war in Kashimir, the odd Jannat Guest House...
It's a book that will stay with me for a long time.
It's now travelling to someone that I hope will appreciate this book as much as I did.
Once more and again, and again, and again... Thank you irus for sending it my way.
It is (as always) a bit difficult for me to say exactly why and/or what I liked about it, and I've been thinking it must be, I guess, the exact opposite of the reason I loved "Stoner" (a book by John Williams) so damn much.
This one's a book that can really become confusing and lead us, at times less prone to this type of reading, to start shuffling things and thinking that we are no longer able to keep up with them. Fortunately this did not happen, and it felt like I was able to enter the countless worlds of India like no other book had ever done. And it brings with it all sorts of emotions (but only a few of those I imagine that country itself is be able to induce) between awe, hilarity, sadness, anger, fear, confusion and even total incomprehension, but also acceptance, tenderness and wonder in face of little nothings, situations, people, places ...
The best of everything is probably the imensity of brief life stories of all the characters that cross the page, just like people crossing the street in front of us. It's almost like getting to know the life story of the all those worlds within India.
Seriously? It is a really good, great book!
As far as I am concerned, much, much better than "The God of Small Things".
This book's with Nin-guem now, who's not in a hurry to read it...
[Photo by Ami Vitale (click to enlarge): soldiers on honeymoon boats, in Shrinagar]