Goodreads on the Book:
Ousep Chacko, journalist and failed novelist, prides himself on being “the last of the real men.” This includes waking neighbors upon returning late from the pub. His wife Mariamma stretches their money, raises their two boys, and, in her spare time, gleefully fantasizes about Ousep dying. One day, their seemingly happy seventeen-year-old son Unni—an obsessed comic-book artist—falls from the balcony, leaving them to wonder whether it was an accident. Three years later, Ousep receives a package that sends him searching for the answer, hounding his son’s former friends, attending a cartoonists’ meeting, and even accosting a famous neurosurgeon. Meanwhile, younger son Thoma, missing his brother, falls head over heels for the much older girl who befriended them both. Haughty and beautiful, she has her own secrets. The Illicit Happiness of Other People—a smart, wry, and poignant novel—teases you with its mystery, philosophy, and unlikely love story.
My review:A very surprising and unputdownable book…
I was not very sure to read it for a while just because I did not want to dig in a mysterious case of a suicide of a boy. You know that subject is not the best one to read nowadays… Frankly speaking, the fact that I run out of my English written books last week gave me the primary reason to read it and once I started reading it, I got amazed with the book and the style of the writer to tell the story. I just caught me at the very beginning and never left until the last page.
It is not necessarily about the specific reasons for the death of a boy. It is a comprehensive study of abnormal psychological conditions of people that change lives even end them. Thanks to the fact that writer is very much well prepared to make an in-depth psychological analysis of his characters, the book provides readers fascinating story in which anyone could find something similar from his own observation of others or even from himself/herself. Psychological matters discussed in the book are not only about life and death but also about fear, expectations, striving for success, sexuality, social taboos etc. So, I consider that the writer dwells upon psychology matters within the main plot very successfully.
The book provides the readers with a lot of references to the philosophy as well. To illustrate, those who are interested in discourses of Ludwig Wittgenstein may remember his consideration of the language as a limitation. He famously quoted that “the limits of my language means the limits of my world”. Similarly, the book make some bold statements about the limitations of the language when trying to discover the delusions of the main characters.
Last but not least, readers find very interesting pieces of information about the life in India, culture, social relations, family affairs and struggle of students and obsession about math.
After all, well written indeed. Go and read it without any hesitation…