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I expected this book to be as interesting as English, August. Jul 21, Dayanand Prabhu rated it did not like it.

Sheldon rated it really liked it Jun 29, He is constantly confronted and assaulted by the absurdities of bureaucratic life around him. Agastya is no pure do-gooder, thw he at least is a voice against the madness. It will get you disgusted, it will churn your stomach, it will stun you into silence. Still, Chatterjee’s satire is sharp, and his lingering over various politician’s sagas and descriptions of futile attempts at getting anything done are enjoyable.

Hilarious for the characterization, while saddening to see how the country’s bureaucracy has messed it all up.

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Open Preview See a Problem? Nov 04, Ashwini Nocaste rated it it was ok.

After an amazingly well written “English August”, this one is disappointing. But still, the book is absolutely brilliant for Chatterjee remains faithful to one of the most complicated subjects that can ever hoped to be captured in any language, let alone English ie the behemoth of governance in India.

One wishes for a stronger narrative thread, but the writing is good, the satire on target, and the humour sharp. Mar 08, Rajat Bansal rated it liked it.

Agastya Sen, the civil servant, ladies and gentlemen, is back with a fang. We won’t make it, you know, as a nation until — to take only one instance — the people who put up our road signs and the people who need to use them, to decipher them from their cars, are the same.

Indeed, it is a book about Nutsyanyaya, the essentially impenetrable monolith of omnipresent bureaucracy that has taken on a life of its own and does more bad or rather: Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. Comic and Kafkaesque, the Mammaries of the Welfare State is a masterwork of satire by a major writer at the height of his powers. Peter Williamson rated it really liked it Aug 15, But it is hopeless — the Welfare State is a mystery within and without and getting things done is pretty much last on the list of everyone’s priorities.


As Madame Europe Olympia says disappointedly to Agastya: And he has a sharp eye regarding character, getting the various bureaucrats, peons, politicians, and businessmen just right. Frustrated, for example, that various signs — in government buildings as well as on roads — are put up by illiterates who therefore have no idea what the signs say, and can’t know whether they are putting them in the correct place he notes: Fairy Tales at Fifty. Somewhere someone has compared Upamanyu Chatterjee to Joseph Heller, and I would not disagree with him.

Don’t get me wrong. Parts of the story leave your hands gripping the book tight and your body squirming on the floor.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Far more often than not he is on target.

A number of fathers are interested in marrying their daughters off to him, despite his best efforts to ward them off.

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This shocking novel is realistic in the sense that ordinary people might have experienced more than we can ever imagine. He even manages to get sent on a training course in France, a huge but much underappreciated perk.

There are indeed fascinating references to the politicians as well, including their sartorial details: We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure. Madna — ghastly, insignificant Madna, kilometres from Delhi, familiar to readers of English, August — “is representative of ten thousand other small towns and five hundred other districts in a land of a billion people.

He is quite philosophic about the law that governs the transfer of civil servants; he sees it as a sort of corollary to the law of karma, namely, that the whole of life passes through innumerable and fundamentally mystifying changes, and these changes are sought to be determined by our conduct, our deeds otherwise, we would quite simply lose our marbles ; only thus can we even pretend to satisfactorily explain the mystery of suffering, which is a subject that has troubled thoughtful souls all over the world since time immemorial.


Delivery and Returns see our delivery rates and policies thinking of returning an item? Certainly not for the faint hearted or ones with a weak stomach. While the two who use his bed in his absence do vacate it when Agastya is there, it is a less than ideal arrangement.

The politicians as well as the govt officers plundering the state.

The Mammaries of the Welfare State by Upamanyu Chatterjee

Oct 27, Prakriti rated it it was amazing. Most seem to have adjusted to the situation better than Agastya has: Agastya happens to have worked with Menon, the “Deputy Secretary Personnel Housing ” eight years earlier in Madna, but given that despite his position it took Menon three years before he could allot himself his own very fancy flat, things don’t look promising for Agastya.

I felt that Chatterjee could have taken a fine scalpel to dissect the problem but, instead, takes a massive sledgehammer, scattering all in its wake but leaving us overwhelmed and, to be honest, too often bored.

Indeed, in outlook and approach he is much like his younger self. His novels are just so odd and hard to forget. The sex scene, the idiosyncrasies of the bribe-guzzling, tai-chi practicing, file pushing Indian bureaucracy is satisfactorily described.

Jul 02, Anirudh rated it it was ok. Nutsyanyaya, he calls it, and examples abound throughout the book. In all matters, He sees the truth, but is yet to take a decision.

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