The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

Customer Reviews

343 Ratings

Overall Ratings

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3 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 06-18-17

Author narration does not work for me

What did you like best about The Ministry of Utmost Happiness? What did you like least?

The cadence of the writing.

How could the performance have been better?

Arundhati Roy is a great writer, and I loved The God of Small Things, but I am going to switch to my Kindle to read this book. Her voice is soothing and it is great to hear a book by its creator, but her voice never changes tone and it is monotonous to listen to for long periods (and this is a long book!). I find myself drifting and missing key points of the story. Plus, it is difficult to keep the long Indian names straight in my head when they are spoken vs. written. I feel that a professional narrator might have helped with this issue.

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25 of 26 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Yennta on 09-11-17

Wonderful writer, wonderful reader

People who have trouble understanding accents (like my partially deaf boyfriend) would have an awful time with this book. Roy's accent sounds lovely to me, like music. But best to listen to the sample to make up your mind. This is such marvelous writing, touching, witty, so beautiful and crazy, and the bonus is, I finally have a sense of what's been going on politically in India for all these years. I love the main character. A few of the others seem made to carry too much historical baggage to be real people. But oh, the writing the writing. I LOVED THIS BOOK.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Jeff Lacy on 08-23-17

An author should not narrate her own work

This was a painful read. I slogged through as much as I could--about 65%. Then it was either throw it through the window, or me jumping out the window. I stopped and started reading this novel four times. I never could get a handle on it, never could get interested in the characters, never could appreciate the meaning of this fluid, fluffy, stream of imagination that flung itself aimlessly here and there trying, I believe, to be fairy tell, social commentary, religious lesson, myth, and novel. I would step back from it and wonder, "What do we have here? What am I not getting?" I worked overtime on this one. A month I worked and nothing. I loved Roy's other novel, GOD OF SMALL THINGS. I think it is a masterpiece. But MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS is too ethereal for my tastes. As to the Audible, it has been my experience that authors make poor narrators of their works. Ms Roy was an extremely poor narrator of MINISTRY. She was insensitive to breaks between sentences and paragraphs, phrasing, and often mispronounced words. It was sloppy and confusing. Her strong accent did not make the story sound romantic or Oriental or more "Indian", it only put a thick layer of dissonance and lack of clarity between the oral narration and the listener. I am hugely fond of Audible in my reading experience. But what if one was using Audible for one's sole access to a work of fiction? If one cannot understand the narrator, it defeats the purpose. Audible needs to consider re-narrating this novel. Use a narrator with a British accent, even one with a slight Indian accent. Why not consider the same one used for THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS?

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Satyajit Joseph on 07-16-17

Amazing writer, not as engaging an orator

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I love Arundati Roy and I have been waiting for this book since she first announced its release. I have hard copies of all her books and this was my first audio book purchase of her work. My disappointment is possibly tied to the fact that I expected her reading and her voice to transport me to that ethereal place that her books do. It did not. Her voice was monotonous and I had to fight to stay connected. I just ordered the book at my local library and cant wait to read it.

What did you like best about this story?

I love how she creates characters that stick.

How could the performance have been better?

I really wish we had picked a stronger, more passionate and lively reader for the book. I enjoyed listening to Trevor Noah and Anderson Cooper, because they are professionals and understand the right tone, deflections and emotions. Arundati's voice didn't connect

If this book were a movie would you go see it?


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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By M. Giuffrida on 07-06-17

Trouble with Narration

What disappointed you about The Ministry of Utmost Happiness?

The author's voice and I had difficulty understand her accent

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness?

Did not complete book.

What didn’t you like about Arundhati Roy’s performance?

I LOVE this author and was so looking forward to listening to this book, especially since it is read by her. I kept losing focus and to my ear, her voice and accent just didn't draw me into the story.

Any additional comments?

I will read the print copy of this book, since I just could not complete listening.

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5 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Gaurav on 07-05-17

Beautiful story delivered with panache

Myriad contemporary issues.
A mirror for those who may care to see it.
Another masterpiece.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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