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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness Audiobook

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

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 an 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 the miracle of Arundhati Roy's storytelling gifts.

©2017 Arundhati Roy (P)2017 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"If Arundhati Roy's lyrical prose, melodic voice, and lilting accents aren't enough, the stories of Anjum, Tilottama, and a cast of society's misbegotten - interwoven with India's social and political growing pains - will keep listeners captivated.... Roy's impeccable diction makes this dense and challenging saga accessible and unforgettable." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (212 )
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4.1 (189 )
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4.3 (190 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-18-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    "Author narration does not work for me"
    What did you like best about The Ministry of Utmost Happiness? What did you like least?

    The cadence of the writing.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Arundhati Roy is a great writer, and I loved The God of Small Things, but I am going to switch to my Kindle to read this book. Her voice is soothing and it is great to hear a book by its creator, but her voice never changes tone and it is monotonous to listen to for long periods (and this is a long book!). I find myself drifting and missing key points of the story. Plus, it is difficult to keep the long Indian names straight in my head when they are spoken vs. written. I feel that a professional narrator might have helped with this issue.


    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Giuffrida San Francisco, CA 07-06-17
    M. Giuffrida San Francisco, CA 07-06-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Trouble with Narration"
    What disappointed you about The Ministry of Utmost Happiness?

    The author's voice and I had difficulty understand her accent


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness?

    Did not complete book.


    What didn’t you like about Arundhati Roy’s performance?

    I LOVE this author and was so looking forward to listening to this book, especially since it is read by her. I kept losing focus and to my ear, her voice and accent just didn't draw me into the story.


    Any additional comments?

    I will read the print copy of this book, since I just could not complete listening.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Satyajit Joseph 07-16-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Amazing writer, not as engaging an orator"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I love Arundati Roy and I have been waiting for this book since she first announced its release. I have hard copies of all her books and this was my first audio book purchase of her work. My disappointment is possibly tied to the fact that I expected her reading and her voice to transport me to that ethereal place that her books do. It did not. Her voice was monotonous and I had to fight to stay connected. I just ordered the book at my local library and cant wait to read it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love how she creates characters that stick.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I really wish we had picked a stronger, more passionate and lively reader for the book. I enjoyed listening to Trevor Noah and Anderson Cooper, because they are professionals and understand the right tone, deflections and emotions. Arundati's voice didn't connect


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gaurav Dubai 07-05-17
    Gaurav Dubai 07-05-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    5
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    "Beautiful story delivered with panache"

    Myriad contemporary issues.
    A mirror for those who may care to see it.
    Another masterpiece.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angel Freeville, Earth, Outer space 06-14-17
    Angel Freeville, Earth, Outer space 06-14-17 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Master story teller"

    It was nice she made it an audiobook, that she read it. It had many complex ideas about her homeland. It was very human and heartbreaking.
    Otherwise it didn't move me much. She's a revolutionary at heart and this came from the heart, but unless you are from India it might be hard to get too involved in the plot.
    Also it's nice to see she finally let her other famous novel become an audiobook, but too bad she didn't narrate that one, because who knows better then the author the real feelings of each line?
    I like her nonfiction work better at this point and look forward to more of it. She is one of the greatest writers and activist of our times.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yennta 09-11-17
    Yennta 09-11-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful writer, wonderful reader"

    People who have trouble understanding accents (like my partially deaf boyfriend) would have an awful time with this book. Roy's accent sounds lovely to me, like music. But best to listen to the sample to make up your mind. This is such marvelous writing, touching, witty, so beautiful and crazy, and the bonus is, I finally have a sense of what's been going on politically in India for all these years. I love the main character. A few of the others seem made to carry too much historical baggage to be real people. But oh, the writing the writing. I LOVED THIS BOOK.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    F. AHMAD Houston, Texas 08-08-17
    F. AHMAD Houston, Texas 08-08-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A somewhat familiar story"

    At least half of the book, which concerns a transgender person of a muslim background, seems to be inspired by a storyline from the 2011 Pakistani movie, Bol. The characters and the backstory of this part, however, are better fleshed out than the movie. The rest of the book concerning the day to day plight of the people of Kashmir, is refreshing and something that generally doesn't see the light of day in the international media, given the concerted policies of the Indian government and the nationalistic fervour it has drummed up in its population. It will be interesting to see the response to this book in the coming months from the Indian press, especially for Roy's portrayal of Modi as "Gujrat's Lalla".

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Lane 07-12-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really good but I need to read it again "

    I love Arundhati Roy's first book. I read it 3 times and discovered more each time I did. This book is far more rich and complex. It's brilliant but there were things that I missed that perhaps the print version would help me catch next time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Prasanna PRSN Michigan 06-22-17
    Prasanna PRSN Michigan 06-22-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Powerful writing"

    The narration is so petrifying that my eyes were wide open all along.

    Roy is an extraordinary critique of the society and this book is a must-read for those who live in euphoria that India is advancing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn PORTLAND, OR, US 09-14-17
    Lynn PORTLAND, OR, US 09-14-17 Member Since 2016
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    7
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    Story
    "Where's the Happiness?"
    Would you try another book from Arundhati Roy and/or Arundhati Roy?

    I respect the deep knowledge that Ms Roy has of all the miseries the people in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have suffered, but I finally didn't want to hear any more graphic descriptions of the many ways we humans make our fellows suffer. The plot was not compelling enough of a thread to keep me going. Shouldn't it be "Ministry of Utmost Misery"?


    What was most disappointing about Arundhati Roy’s story?

    The history of violence is the main thing; plot is meager and sometimes confusing.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    It was charming to hear Ms Roy read, but sometimes difficult to understand.


    Was The Ministry of Utmost Happiness worth the listening time?

    I didn't finish.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not sorry that I listened to part of the book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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