‘What is the acceptable amount of blood for good literature?’ Arundhati Roy’s new novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness reviewed
More about the book!
The task of creating ‘bloody good literature’ is, indeed, difficult. Where the prose of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is at times as beautiful as that of The God of Small Things, which could cause one to bristle and delight, this effort is sometimes restrained or bogged down by the ambitious weight and scope of the narrative.
There are times when Roy is perhaps too democratic a writer, sparing no detail—such as in the description of a seizure-prone, severely sick dog who enjoys biryani and mangoes in the summer. Likewise, there are times when Roy is too autocratic a writer, ignoring the wills of her characters, driven too hard by her own determination to connect and create plotlines. With both these tendencies, too much time is devoted to subplots and not enough to fleshing them out.
In the latest issue of the newly launched Johannesburg Review of Books, Panashe Chigumadzi reviews Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.
Click on the link above for the full review!