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11. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

We delve into The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy. Longlisted for the Booker Prize (2017), it didn’t make the shortlist, but did it make for a good book club read?

Meanwhile for fans of horror and Halloween enthusiasts alike we meet up with Andy Russell of London’s Horror Book Club to find out about the joys of being frightened by your book at bedtime.

And we have recommendations for your next book club read, including a bookseller recommendation from James Elliott of Daunt’s in Belsize Park.

Book recommendations


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  • Ishanee
    June 27, 2021 at 5:51 pm  - Reply

    There is a general consensus that The Ministry of the Utmost Happiness is nowhere close to what she achieved with God of Small Things. Again, I feel both these books are so specific to the contexts and I wonder how it would translate to an international audience.

    Ministry came out when I was a student, on the university campus and everything was so familiar, like pieces of our contemporary politics clicking together, the nation’s present being painted. It did not feel like a bird’s eye view. The character spread was various parts of marginalized India inching towards each other.

    God of Small Things is literary gold. Every passing year, I ask myself if I say this because I am an Indian. Perhaps, but this book still lingers as one of my best reads.

    • brc-admin
      June 30, 2021 at 10:17 pm  - Reply

      I agree, The God of Small Things is a remarkable book. I enjoyed it when it first came out but read it again recently, after a gap of many years, and couldn’t believe how good it was. Laura is just reading Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance for her book club. I wonder, what’s a book by an Indian author that you really love and would recommend? – Kate

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