Serious Men

Serious Men

Manu Joseph / May 28, 2020

Serious Men A poignant bitingly funny Indian satire and love story set in a scientific institute and in Mumbai s humid tenements Ayyan Mani one of the thousands of dalit untouchable caste men trapped in Mumbai

  • Title: Serious Men
  • Author: Manu Joseph
  • ISBN: 9780393338591
  • Page: 437
  • Format: Paperback
  • A poignant, bitingly funny Indian satire and love story set in a scientific institute and in Mumbai s humid tenements Ayyan Mani, one of the thousands of dalit untouchable caste men trapped in Mumbai s slums, works in the Institute of Theory and Research as the lowly assistant to the director, a brilliant self assured astronomer Ever wily and ambitious, Ayyan weaves twA poignant, bitingly funny Indian satire and love story set in a scientific institute and in Mumbai s humid tenements Ayyan Mani, one of the thousands of dalit untouchable caste men trapped in Mumbai s slums, works in the Institute of Theory and Research as the lowly assistant to the director, a brilliant self assured astronomer Ever wily and ambitious, Ayyan weaves two plots, one involving his knowledge of an illicit romance between his married boss and the institute s first female researcher, and another concerning his young son and his soap opera addicted wife Ayyan quickly finds his deceptions growing intertwined, even as the Brahmin scientists wage war over the question of aliens in outer space In his debut novel, Manu Joseph expertly picks apart the dynamics of this complex world, offering humorous takes on proselytizing nuns and chronicling the vanquished director serving as guru to his former colleagues This is at once a moving portrait of love and its strange workings and a hilarious portrayal of men s runaway egos and ambitions

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      Published :2020-02-09T03:27:35+00:00

    About "Manu Joseph"

      • Manu Joseph

        Manu Joseph Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Serious Men book, this is one of the most wanted Manu Joseph author readers around the world.


    135 Comments

    1. If cynicism is what passes for wisdom among the mediocre, Manu Joseph is terrific at being mediocre. India has found its Tom Wolfe in him, a contemporary master of satire who writes eminently readable novels about losers who make bitingly funny observations about an inquitous world built and inherited by the accidental victors of history. He is unsparing and delightful in his politically incorrect barbs and no one escapes his scrutiny, not even the poor, whom Indian writers usually describe with [...]


    2. What a lip smacking delicious book! Here's the recipe :1. Take a wickedly genius lower class Dalit's story.2. Add space scientists from ISRO. Sprinkle research science jargons and mock them up.3. The usual spices - office politics, extra marital love affair, child prodigy.4. Mix everything with keen observations gently. Ensure the story stays simple and linear.5. Pour cold blooded rib tickling laughter generously. Treat with fumes of tear jerking laughing gas.6. Ready! Now serve it in asuper dec [...]


    3. ​Manu Jospeh's 'Serious Men' presents a caricaturised sketch of the world of the geniuses as seen through the eyes of an ordinary man, at times a nobody, at other times the main protagonist of the story. As this man walks in and out of his day job, he cleverly observes these people, hating them for their superciliousness, leaving not a chance to poke fun at them (albeit most of this happens from the confines of his den). However, secretly, he also aspires to be like them for that is the only w [...]


    4. Thank you, Manu Joseph, for this gem.What tickled me the most about Manu Joseph's 'Serious Men' (apart from the humour of his witty and observant sarcasm), are two retrospective qualities (that i felt the book has after i finished it) - the amazing simplicity of the story and its complete plausibility. It is a powerfully written tale of a man (and a few serious men) that is not entirely impossible, and i almost secretly wished these men and that man existed already, that the story were true. Man [...]


    5. I really feel that I should have read Serious Men first before going on to Manu Joseph's second book, The Illicit Happiness of Other People. Not to take anything away from Serious Men, which is an exceptional, and a very courageous debut at that, but Joseph's second book is a tour de force which takes you to an entirely different level of cherished literary hangover. Serious Men is a work, where so many things happen at so many levels, so many issues are tackled or brought forward, that you tend [...]


    6. In the world that lay outside his home, there was no right or wrong. Every moment was a battle, and the cunning won.After the book's release, Anil Luthra, Metro Editor from The Times of India had published what people said about this book.Holy Shit. My job is in danger - Stephen HawkingIf I had a father like Ayyan Mani, I would've been a better person, avoided plagiarism, and co-founded something original. This book changed my perception towards life. - Bill GatesI want to meet Ayyan Mani. I thi [...]


    7. Comic and sharply witty novel which has so many targets in its sight that it can be rather confusing. Joseph does however hit many of the targets rather well.Joseph targets the layering of Indian society; Brahmins and Dalits, education, marital relations, political corruption, particularly deliciously the scientific community and the search for extra-terrestial life (along with the future of physics)and the nature of love.Ayyan Mani works in administration in a scientific institute where there a [...]



    8. ***SPOILERS ALERT***Serious Men is one of the best heist novels that I have read in my life. It is not about a bank robbery or about jewel thieves. It is about a Dalit man Ayaan Mani who is trying to steal the question paper of one of the toughest exams in India, so that his son can escape their rotten existence in a Mumbai chawl and become a scientist/teacher in one of India's most prestigious institutions - the Institute of Theory and Research. Serious Men is a great science fiction novel. A l [...]



    9. first appeared in a different form in The New Indian ExpressAfter reading Manu Joseph’s 2010 debut novel, Serious Men, one of the questions on my mind was: why isn’t the book ten times as popular as it is? A novel as entertaining as this one is rare to find – add to that the fact that it also makes cogent remarks about Brahminism, about Indian parents’ atrocious ambitions for their children, and about illicit love.Serious Men doesn’t read like the work of a debutante. Perhaps Joseph’ [...]


    10. A satirical look into the world of Indian science, bureaucracy, the age-old conflicts between the haves and havenots, and sort of a battle between the sexes. An engrossing first half with a not so bad second half . Ayyan Mani, the Dalit clerk to the Brahmin scientists interpolated himself into all affairs of the Science and technology institute, where two Brahmin giants are battling out their opposing views about alien invasion. Oporna, the clever female scientist becomes crucial to their battle [...]


    11. This book of grey humour is not for serious men. Or at least not meant to be read as a social commentary if you are the type to take offence. Maybe, if you don't take offence, you can read it as a social commentary.The book has simple plots that revolves around ordinary people who have their grand schemes and ambitions. And the envious neighbors, hungry media, votebank politicians,passionate scientists (and science), vengeful lovers and office politics make for a fun light read. Manu Joseph writ [...]


    12. Book is fun to read. You will not find something expressed beautifully in a page or two. What you will find is a sentence here and there rich in wisdom/satire and crafted in perfect way.Author has succeeded in not giving any extra space to any sentiment than it needs. This is perhaps one of the few books of which I have read every printed word. There are many instances in the novel where one thing is compared to other for example brahmins vs dalits. In most of the books/stories I have read, when [...]


    13. “A man cannot be exactly the way he wants to be and also dream of keeping his wife.” Studded with such cutting one-liners and paragraphs of piercing satire, "Serious Men" is seriously a comic read. What I like about Joseph is that he does not spare anyone. Whether its a poor Dalit clerk with an apparently-genius son or its the narcissist Brahmin, director of the fictional scientific institute in Mumbai - Joseph tears every character apart one by one, and yet you can't help liking them. From [...]


    14. After a slow start (too slow) and several moments when I almost gave up, the story finally picked up the pace and a deviously funny story unfolded. This book will get a positive rating. His second novel, The Illicit Happiness of Other People, is way better, though!!


    15. Отличный прохиндейский роман с живейшими персонажами. Ну и да - наука и Индия. Чего еще мне желать в читательском развлечении.Арвинд Ачарья - мой герой.Айян Мани - тоже герой, хоть и не мой.


    16. I really liked the writing and social commentary and picture it portrayed. However, I felt the plot a little lacking to keep me super invested and excited past the first 100 pages. Still worth reading, but not a must read.


    17. The book gives, in a nutshell, what the two extremes of the Indian social sector think of each other, of the world around it and the media. I had heard a lot about Manu Joseph, the author, and hence was curious when I saw his name on the library bookshelf. I wouldn't call myself too happy, but this one was a good book. Ayyan Mani is sole breadwinner of a family of three, living in a chawl in Mumbai. The initial pages of the book give a good description of Ayyan and the way his mind works. He wor [...]


    18. Don't be mislead by the title. 'Serious Men' is nothing serious. At one level it is a story of men who have a purpose (or so they think) in their life. At another level it is a story of people who are at the extreme ends of India's caste society. We have a dalit who thinks that brahmins have always had it easy, and it's just their stratum who have been left to face the World in all its challenging glory. He plots a script in which his 11-year old deaf son is transformed into a child prodigy who [...]


    19. Thank you Manu Joseph for writing such a complex yet gripping novel. I can't stop to marvel at the sheer brilliance of the plot, the strong narrative, and the spontaneity of it all. Story of Ayyan and Oja Mani and their 'prodigy' son- Adi. Ayyan is not your typical run-of-the-mill hero, he has shades of grey, in fact, he's purely a grey character. He works as a personal assistant at the prestigious Institute of Theory and Research to the renowned physicist and the director Acharya who is equally [...]


    20. This book was a perfect start to the year. A book based in Bombay which is filled with a lot of satire, dark humour and based on bureaucracy of the country. The story which deals with issues of caste and social tension yet handles them in a sharp, funny way. It has a bit of a slow start but then when I felt that it was the time to just keep it aside, it picked up with pace and how. Highly recommended to everyone who are thinking to pick it up, you won't regret.


    21. Плутовской роман про науку, замешанный на Бальзаке в Болливуде — и с приветами Ч.П. Сноу, Лоджу и Макъюэну. Только гораздо лучше: у бледных англичан бы так прекрасно не вышло — первый был вообще не писатель, второй страшный зануда, а третий графоман. Тут же все живо, объемно, [...]


    22. Wicked, smart, and somehow only fitting that the story is set in Mumbai. Absolutely loved Joseph's writing style - wonderfully descriptive and engaging. Cannot wait to read his second book!



    23. I had never heard his name until I attended the session 'Writing our Times' by Manu Joseph at the Jaipur Literature Festival-2017. Apart from everything else, he talked about his two books briefly. Both the titles were intriguing. He said, "One thing I know is - Men. I know what they think." It was exactly at that moment when I ran to the bookstore to buy this book. Words like 'curious' and 'anxious' wouldn't define that feeling - even faintly. And that's exactly where I am going to leave you. H [...]


    24. Debut novel from Manu Joseph. Comical novel with lot of satire. Main narrator is a secretary at the science space research centre. Protagonist is a dalit(low caste), and the story switches between his personal life and the events happening at the research centre. He tries to publicise his son as a genius, inspite of knowing the dangers, he can't seem to stop. The story also brings about the caste system in India and the anger low caste has towards the upper caste(Brahmins). Altogether its an int [...]


    25. outstanding joseph's wry sense of humour and his observations are out of this worlda thought provoking book that will leave you with a lot of questions and one which you wont be able to shake off for a whilei read the book in 1 sittings brilliant !!




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