The illicit happiness of other people by Manu Joseph, A Review

How I Got the book
I had read Manu’s debut book, “Serious men”, only after it won accolades such as The Hindu Literary prize and likewise. I had liked it as a nice read and considered worthy for an award especially for an award. Then I started following his sporadic articles in the Open magazine which shots into fame every now and then with controversial articles. I had emailed and congratulated him for the award and how I enjoyed his novel. He replied thanking me and how he was struggling to finish his second novel. I bought the book as soon as I heard it was out. Get it easily from or
It would have been really struggling to write such a poignantly beautiful novel. This novel revolves around a small Malayali family set in Madras in late 1980s and 1990.  The protagonist is a teenage boy with a name Unni Chacko who is on a whirlwind of philosophical quest and is deluded more often with his own findings. The characters are instantly likable. The Author carries on along with the life of Unni through the words of his friends and family. 
The story is set as a series of conversations and interviews by his father after the hero ends his life with a suicide. This search is due to the fact that father gets his hand on a cartoon Unni drew on the day of his death, and goes on to seek the reason for his boy’s suicide. The story unfolds thus.
Irreverent with sexual innuendos, the story though set in South India in Madras about a Malayali Family, has very little Malayalam or Tamil words in it. Simple English with no Exclamation marks!
Very good read, gripping in most parts, disturbing as well as it has psychological themes running around.

Overall 5/5