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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness av…
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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (utgåvan 2018)

av Arundhati Roy (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,374399,979 (3.5)99
"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"--… (mer)
Medlem:MichaelKelly
Titel:The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
Författare:Arundhati Roy (Författare)
Info:Vintage (2018), Edition: Reprint, 464 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:Novels India

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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness av Arundhati Roy

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» Se även 99 omnämnanden

engelska (35)  spanska (1)  tyska (1)  italienska (1)  nederländska (1)  Alla språk (39)
Visa 1-5 av 39 (nästa | visa alla)
I enjoyed "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness". It was a fascinating insight into an India, Pakistan and Kashmir that those who have never lived there will never know and the prose was often poetic. At times it felt like I was listening to a beloved elder relative wh0, although I knew had lived a fascinating life, had a tendency to ramble. Still I finally finished it and I feel somewhat enriched by having read it.
  KarenBayly | Apr 10, 2021 |
Such a tender rendering of characters whose individual struggles are interwoven into the dense and complex political fabric of their country. The scope of what she has included, the breadth but also the depth of it, is so staggering and utterly amazing. How did she fit it all? How did she talk about it all with so much tenderness, humanity, and love? At no point did she discount the amount of violence that we have to also think about. I thought that she captured the complexity very well too, especially if she were to talk about the politics without the characters. Some characters are quite obviously stock, in terms of the opinions they have (like the typical of 'liberal' or 'centrist' types, and one of course one of them is a journalist! lol) but I guess it is quite necessary especially for people who are not familiar with the politics, just so they can get some sort of approximation of what the different viewpoints are. (Also definitely, while she is nuanced she does have a firm stand which is why the book pisses off so many nationalists). Having watched/read enough Arundhati Roy interviews I could recognise that some parts were based on her own experience too.. I'm glad that her writing this was just so fully human, so full of the blood that made senseless violence feel a bit more human.

Sometimes it did feel like she forgot the novel a bit and she goes off to talk about the politics. The density of it meant that I was acutely aware that there's a lot I will not fully understand because I am not living in India or fully immersed in their politics, life there, nor experienced the decades that have unfolded. Despite some stock characters, she still manages to write about it all with the heartbreaking intimacy that I love about her writing... this quote:

"God's carotid burst open on the new border between India and Pakistan and a million people died of hatred. Neighbours turned on each other as though they'd never known each other, never been to each other's weddings, never sung each other's songs."

The way she wrote about what Kashmiris feel, go through, were parts where I felt most touched.. nobody really goes into that level of human understanding where you try to understand what violence can do to a community, how they regard each other, how it affects the way they might trust or view each other, their own history or survivability. How that level of violence and trauma affects the deepest level of human affection and relational experience.

Of course on the other side of it all is that it can be so chilling how she writes about the mechanical cruelty of the 'right', the way they clean up the street after a massacre-

“The post-massacre protocol was quick and efficient- perfected by practice. Within an hour the dead bodies had been removed to the morgue in the Police Control Room, and the wounded to hospital. The street was hosed down, the blood directed into the open drains. Shops reopened. Normalcy was declared. "

the way they systematically torture and kill. The way they practice their lies so easily. The way the deaths of people are rewritten in official reports. Think I'll never forget that part of the book where they made one Kashmiri man try to bring out another severely injured Kashmiri man they were chasing who had hidden in sewage. For one a half hours they had looked at each other until the suspect died there, in sewage, and then he was reported to be a terrorist/militia member the authorities had captured in a supposedly tense face-off. It was these kind of episodes that really revealed the cruelty and inhumanity so much, & it was parts like this where I the aforementioned heartbreaking exposition on Kashmiris really tore through me:

“Those eyes that stared at us for one and a half hours – they were forgiving eyes, understanding eyes. We Kashmiris do not need to speak to each other any more in order to understand each other. We do terrible things to each other, we wound and betray and kill each other, but we understand each other.” ( )
  verkur | Jan 8, 2021 |
People who flocked to read this novel because of their love for The God of Small Things were most likely up for a surprise. Because instead a second part to Roy's first novel, or something along the same lines, what we have in The Ministry can be best summarized as a novel that reflects very richly the 20 years that have passed since her debut novel was published. 20 years that are filled with investigative journalism that has brought her to publish works like like Capitalism: A Ghost Story and Walking With The Comrades; work that has shown Roy's commitment to unraveling the intricate Indian society and its many failures, and the evolution that the country has seen during the last decades towards becoming a Hindu fascist state.

While Ministry is a work of fiction with a plethora of characters, its historical context is not, and that's probably where the richness of the book lies. Because the different character arcs that entangle through the novel are nothing out of the ordinary -- however fascinating each character's story might be, there's nothing in their life experiences that one couldn't possibly find in today's India, and that's both eye-opening and terrifying all the same. From the place of Hijras in Indian society, the discrimination of the Muslim population --specially since 9/11-- and the never-ending conflict in Kashmir, they all find place in this novel and give depth to characters that otherwise we might never get a chance to come to know.

So reader beware, this is not The God of Small Things; but if you put expectations of the sort aside and approach this book with patience and a bit of a stomach, you will find many fascinating stories that are totally worth reading and re-reading again. ( )
  csaavedra | Sep 24, 2020 |
Arundhati is such a badass. I truly admire her. But 3/4 of the way through this book, I still had no idea what was driving the story and so I had to put it down. I mean, the story does draws India's political problems out of the characters' stories in a very, very human way. And of course, it would be an easier read if I knew more Kashmir & Indian context. I could see this writing engaging people with a certain type of mind, who see things from unique angles.

The book's chaotic events are told from the perspective of warped people. Understood, that it's their world that has warped them and pushed them to the edges, be it squatted graveyards or 11-year hunger fasts.

But at the end of the day, I couldn't reconcile the topic, point of view and motivations as they changed frequently and fluidly. If I put the book down for a few hours, I had no idea where I was when I picked it back up. ( )
  mitchtroutman | Jun 14, 2020 |
In een interview met Arundhati Roy over wat nog maar haar 2de roman is, vergeleek ze dit boek met een stad. Ik ken geen betere introductie tot de hybride stijl van dit boek dan dit fragment: “Grootsteden zijn vaak chaotisch en onoverzichtelijk voor buitenstaanders. Het duurt een tijd voor je er je weg vindt. Er lopen grote boulevards en kleine weggetjes. Sommigen vinden hun plek in de stad, anderen niet. Hier en daar is er sprake van wegversperringen. Zo is het ook met de structuur van dit boek. Er zijn doodlopende wegen, niet alles wordt even netjes uitgewerkt. Het boek heeft een hybride en luidruchtig karakter, er staan pamfletten in, politieberichten, brieven. Dat past bij de rumoerige wereld waarin we leven.”
Hybride en luidruchtig, dat mag je wel zeggen: in dit boek wemelt het van de personages, Roy gebruikt verschillende stijlen en registers, en vooral, ze roept haar activistische boodschap wel zeer luid van de daken. Vooral dat laatste valt telkens weer op: Roy kaart voortdurend de verschillende vormen van onrecht aan die zich in de Indiase maatschappij (en bij uitbreiding de geglobaliseerde wereld) voordoen. Etnisch geweld, discriminatie van transgenders, de corruptie en het machtsmisbruik van politici en overheidsfunctionarissen, de onmacht van ecologische actievoerders en van kleine, ‘gevallen’ mensen, enz…. het komt allemaal aan bod, voortdurend herhaald in verschillende vormen en vooral in het gedeelte over Kashmir wel heel cru. Dit is dus een uitermate politiek boek, waarin Roy verwijst naar concrete schandalen en wantoestanden en – bedekt maar toch duidelijk – naar politici die vandaag het extremisme en de discriminatie aanmoedigen. Vooral de boodschap aan het adres van de huidige premier van India, de hindoenationalist Mohdi, is zeer duidelijk.
Maar uiteraard zit er niet alleen politiek in dit boek. Als je toch naar een gemeenschappelijke noemer zoekt, dan draait deze roman in essentie om afgrenzing en begrenzing in het leven, en hoe mensen daar op een verschillende manier mee worstelen en omgaan. Om die thematiek concreet te maken voert Roy dus een heel mozaïek van personages en verhalen op, ze buitelen bijna over elkaar heen. Wellicht wil ze daarmee de chaos van het (Indiase) leven illustreren, maar het doet helaas af aan de kracht van het verhaal. Als lezer zou je bijvoorbeeld maar al te graag willen dat ze hoofdpersonage Ajum, de ‘hijra’, de transgender vrouw die geboren is in een mannenlichaam, psychologisch dieper had uitgewerkt; Ajum is het verbindend personage in deze roman, en rond haar epische figuur weeft Roy zeker een poëtisch universum, maar helemaal uit de verf komt ze niet.
Roy vergt ook tamelijk wat van haar lezer. Het wemelt van de verwijzingen naar de Indiase geschiedenis en toestanden en begrippen die behoorlijk wat voorkennis vergen. Ik heb de indruk dat ze vindt dat de lezer de inspanning maar moet leveren om zich in te werken, en dat is haar goed recht. Maar het maakt de lectuur er niet gemakkelijker op. Al bij al geeft dit boek aan de ene kant een overweldigende indruk, andermaal een beeld van de enorme diversiteit van India, maar aan de andere kant verzwelgt het literaire gehalte net iets te veel in de politieke boodschap. ( )
  bookomaniac | Apr 3, 2020 |
Visa 1-5 av 39 (nästa | visa alla)
This review gives order and intelligence to the spectrum of bad reviews about this mysterious book. This book contains a secret code of mystical nature, and must be read several times. Attainment is as good as the trouble inflicted in the lifetime of the protagonist....Read on
 
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I mean, it's all a matter of your heart...
Nâzim Hikmet
In what language does rain fall / over tormented cities?
Pablo Neruda
Death flies in, thin bureaucrat, from the plains--
--Agha Shahid Ali
Then, as she had already died four or five times, the apartment had remained available for a drama more serious than her own death.
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At magic hour, when the sun has gone but the light has not, armies of flying foxes unhinge themselves from the Banyan trees in the old graveyard and drift across the city like smoke.
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She lived in the graveyard like a tree.
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The moment I saw her, a part of me walked out of my body and wrapped itself around her. And there is still remains. (Page 256)
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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"--

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