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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness Audiobook

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

Regular Price:£23.99
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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, written and read by Arundhati Roy.

An intimate author-read recording of the 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 enduring classic.

Arundhati's voice transports us across a subcontinent on a journey of many years in The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. 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 narrated by the author herself, this extraordinary audiobook demonstrates the miracle of Arundhati Roy's storytelling gifts.

©2017 Arundhati Roy (P)2017 Penguin Books Ltd.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (100 )
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3.8 (93 )
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Performance
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  •  
    KMV 19/06/2017
    KMV 19/06/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Buried in the undergrowth of a forgotten garden"

    I can only think that Ms Roy used almost every fibre of her being to write this book. For anybody who has lived in a place where all is not as it seems on a fairly grand, enduring scale you'll appreciate the layers upon layers of this narrative. If those are not experiences familiar to you then the beauty of the images countered by others quite unexpected, some funny, many thought provoking, may hold your attention. I hope the person who gave the first review tries again. Ms Roy's reading may not be polished to perfection, but that is what gives this audiobook both charm and a sense of the story's immense wealth.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Redford 20/06/2017
    Rachel Redford 20/06/2017 Member Since 2015
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    "A definite should-read!"


    Arundhati Roy’s follow-up to her 1997 Booker Prize winning The God of Small Things has been long awaited, and after her twenty years as a high profile political activist, it is no surprise that listening to 16 hours of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is a challenging, deeply uncomfortable but rewarding experience.

    There’s a sort of narrative following mainly Anjum, a transwoman struggling to live in Delhi and finally finding some kind of peace along with others in a city graveyard, and Tilo a strong woman activist not unlike Roy herself and the three men who fall unhappily in love with her. Around these few lives are woven looping skeins of other lives in this huge, sprawling, disjointed, polemical, hydra-headed work - fiction blended with myth, poetry and a justified raging fury against the myriad corruptions and cruelties of modern India and a fired by a determination to give a voice to the disregarded suffering millions.

    For me, it’s a work of righteous fury based on Roy’s 20 years of activism – whether it’s concerning the victims of Bhopal walking 3 weeks to make another protest with their ‘macabre bunting’ of birth defects to be ignored once again; 2000 Muslims killed in revenge for Hindu pilgrims burned alive in their train; or most importantly her focus in this labyrinthine work the on-going, unsolved vicious battle over Kashmir in all its heart-breaking detail.

    In between these huge concerns are a torrent of others woven in including the building of dams at the expense of communities of poor people and the vast range of government scams – and all those on a small scale – bodies returned without eyes to their relatives; sharp practice in the Eid goat market; precious dead cows swollen with ingested plastic bags; vultures killed by eating carcasses of cows injected to increases their milk yield resulting in dead bodies not being disposed of...

    It’s the details that are so telling – the high-heeled young women who think it would such ‘fun’ to visit Kashmir, the woman chucking her rubbish over her balcony as her driver cleans the Toyota Corolla; the little girls in gold slippers trying to avoid the goats’ blood flowing down the street.

    Roy reads this lengthy work herself which is entirely appropriate as she knows where to communicate emphasis, compassion, horror and irony. She also reads the quite considerable amount of Hindi / Urdu (I don’t know what language it is) which I would skip if reading the book, but even without understanding the words, it adds to the absorption of the work.

    Definitely a 'should-read'!


    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs 12/06/2017
    Mrs 12/06/2017 Member Since 2013
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    "Couldn't finish 😢"

    Sadly gave up listening. I was so looking forward to Arundhati Roy's new book and was excited by the thought of the narration given by the author as I had heard her being interviewed.
    The first hour or two was just lovely but as the story became more complex the quality of the narration faltered. Some long passages sounded monotone and small phrases were paused at the end of sentences then quickly added as if the voice was catching up with the readers eyes. It really detracted from the enjoyment of and concentration on the story. I suspect we are getting used to such fabulous and professional narration that when a slightly amateurish attempt is presented, it is just too noticeable. Happy to have another go with another narrator at a later time.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 25/06/2017
    25/06/2017
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    "Poor narration. Will buy the book instead😕"

    Loved Roy's last book The God of Small Things and I think I will love this one too, but sadly have given up on this audible version as the narrator is just so poor. I was initially pleased when purchasing that Roy herself was the narrator as it can work well. This is a book of great detail, with many complex intertwining character's and their lives. The narration at times was flat and hurried. Understandably not all great author's are great narrator's - two very different skills.
    Audio should have picked this up. Will definitely buy and read the book!

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sd 06/12/2017
    sd 06/12/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "Outstanding, on par with the G.O.S.T's , fantastic"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it is an experience in itself


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Anjum, for the complexities of her character , Saddam, for the mix of humour and eccentricity, Musa, for his strength yet also his humility, Tilo, for her general outlook and strength of character


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Anjum coming out of her depression and announcing to the kwaghbah that SHE would decide the way Zainab would dress!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I have spent hours listening and re-listening over and over, not least because I adore Arundhati Roy's voice and her way of speaking (she is also the narrator).


    Any additional comments?

    If you find the story hard to follow at first stick with it because it is a tapestry that reveals itself and becomes a fascinating work of art. Please don't wait 20 yrs to write your next masterpiece of fiction, Ms Roy!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CraftyM UK 20/11/2017
    CraftyM UK 20/11/2017
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    "Hard to listen to"

    I hoped the narration would improve but it's really not good, very monotonous and without any intonation. It's a mistake to have the author read their book I think, and would have been much better with an actor who could give it life. I bought the audio with the book, thinking I would enjoy having it read to me, but it actually made me want to run away and hide, just hearing that boring, boring voice (actually she has a lovely voice, but not as a reader) grating on me. Tried listening to it in bed at night, and had to turn it down as it was so irritating. What a shame. I gave the story only 3 stars because the narration has spoiled it for me, and I haven't been able to give it a fair go. Back to the good old reading version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SG Oxford 17/11/2017
    SG Oxford 17/11/2017 Member Since 2012
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    "Complex and Moving"

    The tale of a marvellous cast of characters, passionate believers, graced with warmth and tenacity in a harsh and unyielding world. It depicts an India that few foreigners see, let alone understand. Long, easiest digested in chunks , leaving time for reflection between.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K 04/11/2017
    K 04/11/2017 Member Since 2015
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    "Couldn't keep listening"

    Like many others, I gave up on this one due to the terrible narration. I loved 'The God of Small Things' and was so looking forward to this book - but after listening for several hours I couldn't go on because of the narration. This isn't the first good book I've listened to that's been narrated, terribly, by the author - I'll be avoiding them in the future. The story was interesting so I'll get the book from the library and enjoy in the old fashioned way when I have time to sit down and read (rather than listen and walk, which is how I most often access novels these days). A real shame.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms. N. Ferguson-lees 28/09/2017
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    "fantastico"

    loved every bit of it and what a charming lullaby voice Roi has. charming and beautiful prose

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ana R. 24/09/2017
    Ana R. 24/09/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "confusing"

    Found it very confusing to follow. the narrator was excellent but couldn't understand what was gong on

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Abhigyan
    08/08/17
    Overall
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    Story
    "beautifully written , a simple yet storming story"

    beautifully written, there's magic in this book , I mean real magic , must read . a story from the heart .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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