“He stares at the open textbook for hours and is distracted by the pain of the parallelogram, which is slanted forever. His nails scratch the page to straighten its tired limbs. It affects him, the great arrogance of the Equilateral Triangle, the failed aspiration of the octagon to be a circle, the eternal suffocation of the denominator that has to bear the weight of the unjust numerator, the loneliness of Pluto. And the smallness of Mercury, always a mere dot next to a yellow sun. In this world, there is no respect for Mercury.”
― Manu Joseph, The Illicit Happiness Of Other People
How beautifully this book has been penned down - I have no words!
"Ousep Chacko, according to Mariamma Chacko, is the kind of man who has to be killed at the end of a story. But he knows that she is not very sure about this sometimes, especially in the mornings."And the author has you - the reader completely in these opening lines of the book.
This is a book that will blow your mind off! Though it took me almost 2 months to finish this one because I left it in between after reading a few chapters. It became too depressing and cynical for me to bear and continue reading it. It is a nuanced read that will leave you with an unsettling kind of feeling.Anyway, so I picked it up again after over a month and I am so glad I did it. It is a poignant suspense/mystery novel that will leave you stunned and depressed at the same time.
It's a story about a father's quest to find out a good reason and the motive behind his son's (Unni) suicide. The story unfolds from various different points of view: Ousep, Mariamma, Thoma, and Mythili, their neighbor. Each of them trying to explore and go to the bottom of the reason why Unni killed himself. They each have something to hide, and each of them tries their best to keep it hidden. The story keeps on becoming interesting with various plots unfolding scrupulously with different characters being introduced and narrating their own perceptions about Unni. Each of them has a similar, yet an entirely new approach to Unni's personality, which, in some way or the other, keeps on adding to the mystery.According to me, it is one of the best Indian contemporary suspense reads - the meticulous details, impeccable writing makes it unputdownable! It is a masterpiece with brilliant characters and an intricate plot that is weaved together with engrossing philosophical theories that will suck you in completely. And I just loved the way the author has described India’s obsession with IITs and America. If you are someone who enjoys contemporary writing with philosophical nuances like me, you should definitely go for this one. Though I should also mention it is a very disturbing read - comprised of death, suicide, and the painful plight of parents trying to solve various mysteries. And trust me, even after days of finishing it, the theories mentioned in the book will keep your brain engaged in mulling over the concepts.
Loved it - though I got a bit depressed while reading it, but I thoroughly enjoyed the writing - the mystery, cynicism, and various theories and philosophies - it’s a masterpiece!
Gonna read the author’s other book called - Serious Men.