Serious Men (Hardback)Manu Joseph (author)
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Winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize and shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction
Ayyan Mani works in the Institute of Theory and Research as a lowly personal assistant to a brilliant, insufferable astronomer, Arvind Acharya, who is obsessed with his theory about microscopic aliens falling to earth.
Stranded in an ordinary life, Ayyan knows he may not be able to escape his realities. To entertain himself, and to cheer up his weary wife, he weaves an outrageous fiction around his ten-year-old son, setting in motion a chain of extraordinary events he is unable to stop. Meanwhile, a war is brewing between rival scientists at the Institute and a beautiful astrobiologist complicates matters further. An astute observer, Ayyan follows these events closely, inventing new ways to further his own cause.
Serious Men is a brilliantly funny tale of science, love and hope. Manu Joseph's assured storytelling makes this a debut to treasure.
Publisher: John Murray Press
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 566 g
Dimensions: 239 x 161 x 31 mm
Manu Joseph's first novel elegantly describes collisions with an unyielding status quo, ably counterpointing the frustrations of the powerless with the unfulfilling realities of power. With this astute comedy of manners he makes a convincing bid for his own recognition as a novelist of serious talent, the latest addition to a roster of Indian writers who are creating fine literary art from their country's fearsome contradictions * Peter Carty, Independent *
Manu Joseph's satirical tale of an ostensibly new India still in thrall to its caste-ridden and sexist traditions is so much more than a mere comic caper . . . Sophisticated entertainment * Catherine Taylor, Guardian *
The finest comic novelists know that a small world can illuminate a culture and an age...with this sad-funny debut Joseph does just that * Boyd Tonkin, Books to light up lazy days, Independent *
He has written a debut novel that skewers a society where new ambitions and older class divisions co-exist. From the contrasts of contemporary India, he extracts pointed, often bitter comedy * Sunday Times *
The writing is exuberant * TLS *
The absurdity and humiliation of social exclusion drives the comedy of one of the year's most auspicious debuts * Independent *
A charming debut novel * Guardian *
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“A brilliant, moving novel”
I read this overnight. A friend pre-ordered this book for me saying she has just discovered a great new novelist. Manu Joseph is funny, perceptive and and such a amazing narrator. I went and read all his journalistic... More
I wanted to like this book as I liked the author's use of language and turn of phrase. Unfortunately, I found it difficult to get into the story and was never able to warm to any of the characters in the book.... More
“An enjoyable human comedy”
Serious Men is the story of Ayyan, born into the lowest order of Indian society where, despite laws abolishing the condition of Untouchability, he is forced to lead a
life of low expectation and no opportunity.... More
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