This is Manu Joseph’s first book & the second one I have read. The Illicit Happiness of Other People blew my mind! It is one of the finest books I have read and Serious Men was also recommended by several people & it does not disappoint.
While I did not find it as good as the previous book, it is witty, interesting, and will keep you hooked.
The Serious Men in this book are the scholars & scientists of the Institute of Theory and Research who are divided into two factions: One who want to explore alien life by listening to their signals & those (mainly Arvind Acharya, who is the head of the institute) who believes alien life forms are falling on earth in the form of particles.
Ayyan Mani is a dalit who is living in a Mumbai slum & working as a peon at this institute. He weaves his own plot to find significance & matter in this life where he is surrounded by people who are considered important in their own right. The story revolves around him along with the events & the people.
The book is a delightful read and Manu Joseph is another good Indian author who should be read by more people.
Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad
Let us make this very clear. This book is for those who watch American television shows. The ones who have watched either The Sopranos, The Wire, Mad Men or Breaking Bad. These are the shows which changed American television & introduced the concept of the lead actors who have their flaws.
This book takes us in the writers’ rooms of these shows & how the universe of these shows was created. Each lead writer has his own style and the book explores that well.
While tracing these shows, this book also traces the change in American television with HBO changing the business with The Sopranos and then following up with The Wire. Other networks followed suit and today the landscape has evolved with OTT platforms.
A fine book for those interested in television.
The second Mohsin Hamid book I have read and at 256 pages, this is not a long read either.
It traces the story of Daru Shezad, a man living in Lahore who is fired from his job and descends into drugs. He cannot pay his bills, falls in love with his best friend’s wife and ends up on trial for a murder he may or may not have committed.
His story is set against the backdrop of a Pakistan which was racing against India to acquire its own nuclear bomb at the expense of its economy. This was Mohsin Hamid’s first novel and it is well-paced.
There is not a moment when one wants to put down the book as we see Daru spiral in a rabbit hole.