BOOK: Serious Men
AUTHOR: Manu Joseph
Serious Men is the story of Ayyan Mani's attempts to sabotage the reputation of his insufferable - yet brilliant - boss at the Institute of Theory and Research in Mumbai while simultaneously building up his own reputation through a number of scams designed to paint his young son as a genius to the world. Watching both of Mani's schemes take on an unexpected life of their own is both laugh out loud funny and poignant and could be described as a cautionary tale of the perils of runaway egos.
Serious Men is also an exploration of the socio-economic traditions of India and the struggles between the differing religious sects. Ayyan Mani's activities are based in an all-consuming need to break free from the confines placed on him by society. Joseph's portrayal of the roles of women in Mumbai society is spot on and illuminating. Joseph manages to give the reader a lesson in world studies without sacrificing enjoyment - which is a considerable feat.
Despite being difficult to get into in the beginning, Serious Men is a highly entertaining and thoroughly riveting page turner that is sure to keep the reader up into the night and receives my recommendation.