Blurb on the back: In this sequel to Upamanyu Chatterjee’s debut novel, English, August, Agastya Sen—older, funnier, more beleaguered, almost endearing—and some of his friends are back.Comic and Kafkaesque, The Mammaries of the Welfare State is a masterwork of satire by a major writer at the height of his powers
My Thoughts: In this sequel to "English, August" - which I enjoyed immensely - August is no longer the naive, optimistic, pot-smoking wannabe beaurocrat. He is no longer called August either. Agastya is older, more bitter but still resistant to change into the monster that the system called "The Welfare State" forces its employees to become. He is the good guy in a realm where being good implies being lazy and indifferent. He wishes to change the system from the inside but then he comes across the universal problem of being a speck in the ocean of the corruption and vile. With characters nuttier, strange and more real than any other in Indian fiction, Chatterjee manages to paint a true picture of the bizarre universe called the Indian society. The book was published in 2000 and some of the events and government decisions that Chatterjee envisions in the book, more for comic relief, absurdity and overdramatisation, are a reality today. I wish that this book was as popular as its prequel.