The Illicit Happiness of Other People

The Illicit Happiness of Other People

Book - 2012
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Ousep Chacko, journalist and failed novelist, prides himself on being "the last of the real men." His wife, Mariamma, finds ways to feed her family despite their lack of money, but in her spare time she fantasizes about Ousep's early death. One day, their seventeen-year-old son, Unni--a boy obsessed with comics--does something terrible and inexplicable. Ousep and Mariamma separately try to solve the mystery of Unni's action but find no answers. Three years later, Ousep receives a package that sends him back to the search. He starts to hound his son's friends and a famous neurosurgeon. Meanwhile, younger son Thoma--a twelve-year-old with below-sea-level self-esteem--falls desperately in love with their haughty, beautiful teenage neighbour, who has her own secrets. The Illicit Happiness of Other People--a smart, wry and poignant novel--is part mystery, part philosophy and part unlikely love story.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, c2012.
Edition: 1st Canadian ed.
ISBN: 9781443416375
Characteristics: 343 p. ;,23 cm.


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BPLNextBestAdults May 10, 2013

Unni Chacko committed suicide at the age of 17 and his father, Ousep, wants to know why. While we follow his quest, we learn a bit about Indian culture and about dysfunctional families. Manu Joseph writes with sensitivity and a quirky sense of humour. net

Laurel624 Apr 09, 2013

This book advances the premise that young men are helpless when it comes to resisting an impulse to molest girls who are attractive or provocatively dressed. While the book recognizes that this is a moral failing on the part of men, it nonetheless depicts sexual assaults on very young (12-14) girls as inevitable when an aroused young man encounters a pretty girl who has the poor judgment to find herself alone. Yuck.

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