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All booksLiterary fictionThe Ministry of Utmost Happiness
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
Literary fiction

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

by Arundhati Roy

Quick take

Twenty years ago, Arundhati Roy wrote The God of Small Things ... two decades later, her second novel is well worth the wait.

Why I love it

Book of the Month

Twenty years ago, Arundhati Roy wrote The God of Small Things, a novel that captivated readers around the globe. Now, two decades later, her second novel is here, and it’s worth the wait. In The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Roy’s India is a place of both hope and despair, profound beauty and ugliness, comedy and tragedy. She masterfully weaves together the unforgettable stories of a few of the subcontinent’s denizens, creating an epic tale that is challenging in all the best ways, but also eminently readable.

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Member thoughts

All (457)
All (457)
Love (108)
Like (175)
Dislike (174)
542 ratings
  • 20% Love
  • 32% Like
  • 32% Dislike
  • Brooklyn, NY

    Roy's words are haunting, enlightening, and deeply moving. I found myself ending each chapter with a new outlook, from extreme highs to lows. This was some of the most powerful storytelling I've read.

  • Canton, MI

    This book is so incredibly heart wrenching, well thought out. Agree with previous reviewer that if you read only one book this year it should be this one. This will remain high on my favorites list

  • New York, NY

    Full of beauty, humanity, and horror. Some complain about plot, but she writes life, which doesnt always have a clearly delineated reason. Her political voice is stronger in this one, still perfect.

  • Ann Arbor, MI

    If you read just one book this year, let this be that one book! The characters are complex, the story is memorable, and the experience will leave you feeling both moved and grounded. Masterpiece!

  • Austin, TX

    Truly, this is a remarkable creation, a story both intimate and international, swelling with comedy and outrage, a tale that cradles the world's most fragile people even while it assaults them.

  • Kansas City, MO

    A sprawling and beautifully detailed book depicting oppression in India. With multiple points of view, a large cast of characters, and many mediums, this is certainly a read-it-twice novel.

  • Asheville, NC

    A uniquely modern portrayal of contemporary Indian characters and the way politics, religion, the caste system, and sexuality impact their lives. And beautiful writing. So lovely.

  • Pacific Grove, CA

    A bit patchy in places, but loved the lyrical narrative and treatment of characters who are often invisible in any society. Thank you for a beautiful read!

  • Los angeles, CA

    Arundhati Roy does it again! “Sometimes a single person’s clarity can unnerve a muddled crowd.” - Arundhati Roy, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

  • Salt Lake City, UT

    A heart wrenching tale of hard work, pushing through the bullshit life hands you, and creating your own future with what you have.

  • Houston , TX

    Truly one of the most beautifully written novels of all time. I am amazed by Arundhati Roy everytime I come across her genius!

  • St Petersburg, FL

    Arundhati Roy is a hero of mine. This book was beautiful, powerful, and profound. It's in my top 10 of all time for sure.

  • Catonsville, MD

    I stopped every few pages to learn more about India, Pakistan, and Kashmir... it completely transfixed me.

  • Portland, OR

    This is my favorite book of the year for many reasons, but most of all for it's emphasis on human rights.

  • Boston, MA

    It was so cool to read this in conjunction with The God of Small Things. Such a unique writing style.


    This book makes you consider the world and how differently social outcasts are treated.

  • Swarthmore, PA

    Arundhati Roy is one of my favorite authors. She is a masterful storyteller.

  • Sperryville, VA

    A challenging read, but so worth it.

  • Mckinleyville , CA

    Eye-opener into another world.


    Absolutely loved this novel

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