I had thoroughly enjoyed Manu Joseph's Award winning first novel,Serious Men.He didn't disappoint me this time either.His second work,'The Illicit Happiness of Other People',is also a satirical take on the Indian society.Set in the Madras of the 90's,the book traces the life and death of seventeen year old Unni Chacko,the son of Ouseph Chacko,a failed writer and Mariamma chacko,a Malayalee christian woman with a troubled past.The book is also the story of Unni's younger brother, Thoma and his love for his neighbour Maithili Subramaniam.Witty,satirical and even philosophical at times,this book is really a good read and defintely has the potential to grab a couple of awards.
My Rating- 4/5
Oswald Periera's debut novel,'The Newsroom Mafia' has an interesting premise. It tells the story of the dark underbelly of Bombay and the unholy nexus which exists between the criminals,the fourth estate and the Government.But the book which could have been a taut thriller is terribly let down by mediocre writing.With too many underdeveloped characters(even the don,Narayana Swamy and the narrator,Oscar turning out to be poorly etched out ones!) ,illogical situations and a pretty bad climax,the book despite it's potential ends up being pretty average.