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The Illicit Happiness of Other People (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 7. Januar 2013

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 352 Seiten
  • Verlag: W W Norton & Co; Auflage: New. (7. Januar 2013)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0393338622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393338621
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 1,4 x 0,2 x 2,1 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 160.697 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

Joseph s prose is exquisitely phrased without an excess of sentimentality.... The confident, immersing voice of Illicit Happiness promises readers this is not the last we ve heard of Manu Joseph. "

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Manu Joseph deputy editor and Mumbai bureau chief of OPEN Magazine. Previously, he was the National Features Editor of The Times of India. He has been a journalist for about fourteen years and is based in Mumbai. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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Von Christiane am 19. Juni 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
A very poor catholic family from Kerala living in a Hindu neighbourhood in Chennai :
Ousep (in his youth a rising star in journalism, gone to seed, turned alcoholic but still „too proud to live within his means“) and Mariamma (economics postgraduate, unbalanced by childhood trauma, forever nursing old grievances, feeling caged-in and hoping for her husband’s demise) are parents to shy, insecure 12-year-old Thoma (hopelessly in love with an older girl) who has always lived in the shadow of his brilliant cartoon-artist brother, Unni, who threw himself head-first from their terrace at the age of 17.

Ousep, never a loving father who knew little about his teenage son, is obsessed with finding a clue to why Unni did what he did. Mariamma is heartbroken and can’t find peace of mind because her adored son did not leave her a farewell note. Thoma is desperately trying to be like his brother and take his place in his mother’s affections.
Three years after the suicide Ousep – believing that he has found a new clue – again starts hounding Unni’s friends, classmates, neighbours, teachers, fellow-cartoonists and anybody who was ever connected to his dead son but nobody can or will tell him any more than he already knows.
This search for answers goes on for most of the book, interspersed with bouts of drunkenness, furious marital disputes, neurotic behaviour, pretend suicides etc. etc. Only towards the end of the novel does it pick up speed, things start happening, people start talking and we finally get a glimpse of the complex person Unni's father never imagined.

While enjoying the parts of the book given to philosophical musings on truth and delusion, all in all I found it tedious, most of the characters unlikeable and the ending unsatisfactory.
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0 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Sandra Pelz am 29. April 2013
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Die Idee ist gut die Ausfuehrung schlecht nur sehr oberflaechig, Die Personen werden einfach nicht echt erst in den letzen Seiten werden ideen ausgearbeitet.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 22 Rezensionen
10 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A tantalizing psychological novel 30. Dezember 2012
Von Raghu Nathan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Manu Joseph's first novel, 'Serious Men' was a satirical one on India's elite scientific institutions. Just a year later, he has come up with this second one, which is an absorbing psychological thriller. I liked this one much better than 'Serious men', as the main characters are deep, intriguing and strong personalities, making you look forward to what they would do next. The novel is set in the southern Indian city of Madras in the late 1980s and has splendidly funny, sharp and perceptive observations on the Tamil residents of Madras and their preoccupations. It has got good suspense and grabs your interest and attention all the way.

Unni Chacko is at the center of the novel but he was already dead three years before the novel even starts. He was a seventeen-year old boy who expressed his comprehension of the world and pursuit of truth through his cartoons. But Unni commits suicide by jumping off from the top floor of his building without leaving a note or telling anyone close to him about the reasons behind his intentions to take his own life.
Ousep Chacko, Unni's father and a somewhat failed and drunken journalist, sets about trying to unravel the mystery behind 'why Unni killed himself'. The novel is all about his gradual discovery of who Unni really was, what consumed his thoughts, what company he kept and how he came to end his life. Unni's mother Mariamma is portrayed with care and love as a fascinating and troubled personality, a middle-class housewife of Madras in the 80s, who constantly lets out her frustrations by talking and gesticulating to the kitchen wall. She has much baggage from her childhood in Kerala and is the long-suffering wife of Ousep and a loving mother. The story follows Unni's brief life in search of what he believed to be the Ultimate Truth. We are taken through a maze of the many psychological posers that Unni and his buddy Somen Pillai create before arriving at the reason behind Unni's decision to commit suicide.

The persona of Unni is beautifully developed through the recollections of his mother, his friends and the neighborhood girl, Mythili. The author seems to have done substantial research talking to neuro-scientists about the nature of mental disorders. One of the central themes running through the book is the possibility that the pursuit of Truth, in most cases, could be just a mental disorder and Enlightenment , just a schizophrenic condition!

There are many incisive and funny observations on Madras and its inhabitants all through the book. There are also some profound statements about Life and Truth coming from Unni.
For example, at one point, Unni elaborates his theory on how ordinary men manage to cast such a spell on women who are much cleverer than them. He says: ' ...the fundamental quality of a delusion is that it is contagious. The very purpose of every delusion is to transmit itself to other brains. That is how a delusion survives. On the other hand, truth can never be transmitted. It does not travel from one brain to another. Movement is a quality of delusion alone....'
Elsewhere, the neuroscientist Dr.Iyengar says, '....the society of neuroscientists would admit that all evidence points to the fact that God is a figment of man's delusion, yet believers in God, who form most of humanity, cannot be considered delusional. This is a ridiculous position....'

I enjoyed reading the book immensely and believe that Manu Joseph is one of the most promising writers in English emerging from India. I look forward to his future works.
7 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
One Alcoholic Mans Quest for the Truth about his Son in 1990's Madras. 27. August 2012
Von Tommy Dooley - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Manu Joseph is currently being lauded as one of the leading lights in the new wave of Indian authors that are adding to the literary wealth of the English language, so I had high hopes for this book that were not immediately realised. It tells the story of Ousep whose eldest son, Unni has done something very bad - taboo almost, and he can not rest until he finds out why. He was once a promising journalist but along the way he over reached himself and as his career went into free fall he found peace looking at the world through the bottom of a beer glass.

He has another son who has never shown any of the promise of Unni. Thoma and his long suffering mother have to put up with his drunken displays of self pity and aggression, which includes the neighbours and then suffer the ignominy of those actions from the same neighbours. They also have no money as he drinks it all and have to make do and mend whilst inventing new excuses for not paying the land lord and making under wear out of old curtains.

The search for answers occupies the whole book and the search for the truth in another person can also sometimes be like a mirror into one's own motivations.

I did not get on with this book at all to begin with, after being billed as `darkly comic' and a `must read', I thought it was trying too hard and so not succeeding at all, but it is one of those books that I am glad I beared with. This is an excellent tale that weaves seemingly unimportant details into the plot after you had half forgotten about them. It also holds up a light to modern India as it is set in Madras in the 1990's and finds it wanting in many respects especially the societal cruelties that are played out to unwritten rules which no-one ever deviates from. It will keep you guessing till the very last page and I personally found the further I got in the more hooked I was. I now totally agree with the rave reviews and can only recommend it.
Stick with it 1. April 2013
Von Criticalthinker - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
The first 160 pages of this beautifully written novel left me cold. it wasn't until the backstories of the main characters began to flesh out that I saw a reason to care about any of them (a morose and emotionally withholding drunk of a husband and father, a resentful and mentally unstable housewife who is too smart and educated for her life, an arrogant and cruel teenager who kills himself, a hapless younger brother who is no more than a stock character). Is that a flaw in the writing or pacing of the book? Perhaps. But even as I was picking this up nightly, reading in fits and starts -- putting it down in after twenty pages, only to pick it up and repeat that the next night, and the next -- I enjoyed Manu Joseph's deft use of language and his astute observations. I love his wry, subtle humor, and his way of telling a story in a few sentences:

"Somen's father is bare-chested, his mother is in a sari. Ousep can see their bellies. And their deep navels that gape at him as if they are the alert eyes of a long, indestructible tropical marriage."

Much has been made of the philosophical questions posed in this novel. Frankly, as central to the plot as those themes are, that aspect of the story borders on the edge of trite for me. What I find more interesting is the examination of where we draw the line between mental illness and "normalcy." Absorb what you will from this book, but do stay the course for the first half and you will be rewarded in the second.

My favorite quote:

"It is the misanthrope alone who has clarity. By standing outside the huddles of man, he sees a lot, and what he often sees is the evidence that people are not as smart as dogs think they are."

Too right.
Read it! 28. Februar 2015
Von Grandpa M - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Wonderfully written. A wickedly intellectual challenge. Explores the ability to know the truth about life, the world, everything. Finds the culprit to be human being's ability to think, to reason, to know what is enlightening. Does this by following, in revealing detail, the thinking and the behavior of a family and its community wrestling with the inability to understand the suicide of a brilliant teenager. The belief in happiness as the universal virtue to be pursued is, the story suggests, a delusion, established and supported by all the rationality and faith humans can bring to bear upon the concept, a delusion that diverts them from the truth of their existence, their behavior, and nature itself.
2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Couldn't Really Get into this book. 31. August 2013
Von kathleen - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I read Serious Men by the same author and loved it. I just couldn't get into this book in the same way or be interested in it. I was over a third of the way through the book and it had not hooked me so I took it to the second hand book store and exchanged it for something more entertaining.
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