Mr. Majestic!

Hachette, India 2013
(Also available in Swedish and German.)
 
Translation rights managed by Nat Sobel at Sobel Weber Associates, Inc.  146 E. 19th Street, New York, NY 10003, USA. Phone: 212-420-8585. http://www.sobelweber.com
 

 

“Usually, the thrills and frills of crime fiction are in its plot — some nasty crooks, crafty cops and twisted con games strung together plausibly, and there, you have a decent crime thriller. A few crime fiction writers take a step further to add literary merit to their tales. Zac O’Yeah could well be the exception.”

 

DNA Newspaper

 

 

“Bringing humour back to crime fiction is Zac O’Yeah’s Mr Majestic: The Tout of Bengaluru, and the ride is every bit as entertaining as promised. /---/ The Swedes may be known for their crime fiction, but only Zac O’Yeah combines a thriller and a masala potboiler with such ease and panache.”

 

Postnoon

 

 

“It’s a narrative so filmi, you almost expect a song-and-dance sequence. What you do get is a taste of Bollywood: burly hit men, car chases, albeit featuring white Ambassadors and retrofitted autorickshaws, suitcases full of freshly Xeroxed money, an undercover burqa routine, and a model in a bikini who is Hari’s damsel in distress. Despite the suspension of disbelief that is necessary here, it is a trip worth taking.”

 

The Indian Express

 

 

“Pitted against Scandinavian crime fiction, which is having a long season, Mr Majestic—the Tout of Bengaluru, is Bollywood to European arthouse. And no, not the ‘meaningful’ multiplex cinema of today either, filmed in shades of blue and bleak, but gloriously, unabashedly Technicolor with full-on frontal lighting, over-the-top escapades and sheer joy seeping out of every frame, as summed up in Paul Fernandes’ cheeky cover art. Zac O’Yeah—Swedish by birth, incidentally, and Bangalorean by choice—casts a droll eye on everything familiar to the urban Indian, and a lot that escapes him entirely, and wrings out a novel that’s not quite like anything done before in the English language. By turns city noir, comic caper, on-the-edge mystery and unapologetic page-turner, Mr Majestic also manages to be that rare thing: a crime novel that doesn’t take itself too seriously while simultaneously ensuring the bad guys get their comeuppance. The credit for that must go to the magnificent Mr Majestic, he who saves dogs and damsels from distress with equal aplomb. /---/ As much as Mr Majestic, Bangalore is a living, breathing entity in the novel, drawn with affection and knowledge. The author has a sharp ear for the local patois, an unerring eye for the ridiculous and a feel for the city that should be the envy of many a Bangalore-born.”

 

Outlook Magazine

 

 

“O'Yeah's slick prose makes for a racy read, an ideal pick-me-up to relieve the tedium of a long journey or miserably hot summer afternoon. But the real fun lies in discovering that Mr. Majestic is an authentic Indian thriller, rather than a Western prototype shoehorned into an Indian setting. It is a masala crime caper, set to the rhythms - that word again - of Indian life, language and geographies.

 

The Hindu Literary Review

 

 

“The Bangalore of Mister Majestic is a Bangalore situated in a recognizable time and place, not just a backdrop that happens to be called Bangalore. Bangalore is so strongly depicted, in fact, that while reading Mister Majestic, I found myself thinking of it in relation not to other detective novels, but to urbanist Jane Jacob’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which seemed to predict so many of the problems that Bangalore faces today and that O’Yeah has turned into vital plot points: the colonization of roads by automobiles, the danger of giant planned suburbs all built in a single go, and the takeover by parks by criminal elements. /---/ A book full of wonderfully timed humour.”

 

Sunday Guardian

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

About the novel:
 
Hari Majestic is an unlikely detective: a reformed tout and small-time conman who finds it increasingly difficult to carry on doing his job with a pure mind. The offer to investigate the disappearance of a tourist seems at first like a great career improvement, but it turns out that there's more to the mystery than meets the eye. Soon Hari Majestic begins to doubt his own survival and reincarnation chances.
 

 
“Mr Majestic is a delightful read and O’Yeah’s writing is fluid, funny and engaging without being pulpy or unnecessarily sensational.”
 

Youth Incorporated Magazine

 

 

“The characters in this book are interesting and very much alive inside a framework that follows the typical flow of an action thriller with the exception of the humorous style of narration that ties everything smoothly, providing enough occasions for the reader to laugh aloud. Remember: not all detective novels can make you laugh and it is not always that a tout is forced to doubt his odds of survival and ask himself the inevitable: will he be reborn as a cockroach?”

 
The Book Outline

 

 

“There is a spate of characters done well in ‘Mr. Majestic’. Hari himself is distinct, cheery at the worst of times, and rarely grumpy, if not a little spaced out when it comes to dealing with hired muscle. His own business card declares him to be ‘Mr. Majestic, Deputy Director & Official Agent, Sandalwood Starring Multi-Agency’. Remarkable self-restraint prevents him from adding ‘Secret Agent & Private Detective’. He is also superstitious, a believer in fate, and confuses himself (and the reader) with a warped sense of karma. His belief that wishing someone well when taking leave of them, and adding an “all the very best” adds to humorous conversations depending on the context. /---/ An amusing, fast paced story of absurd and amusing incidents.”

 
Deccan Herald

 

 

Mr Majestic: The Tout of Bengaluru is the kind of crime fiction one can read when sick in bed and deliriously high on antibiotics. While sickness and drug- and alcohol-induced highs are common themes in the novel, it’s the hilarity of Zac O’Yeah’s plot and characters that provide the best medicine, that is, laughter. Add to this, the author’s spot-on comic timing, and you have yourself one hell of a therapeutic read.”

 
Timeout Magazine
 
 

A hell of a ride. And the cover art isn’t too shabby either.”

 
The New Indian Express