Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi Summary and Reviews

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi

by Geoff Dyer

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi by Geoff Dyer X
Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi by Geoff Dyer
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2009
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Every two years the international art world descends on Venice for the opening of the Biennale. Among them is Jeff Atman—a jaded, dissolutely resolute journalist—whose dedication to the cause of Bellini-fuelled party-going is only intermittently disturbed by the obligation to file a story. When he meets Laura, he is rejuvenated, ecstatic. Their romance blossoms quickly but is it destined to disappear just as rapidly?

Every day thousands of pilgrims head to the banks of the Ganges at Varanasi, the holiest Hindu city in India. Among their number is a narrator who may or may not be the Atman previously seen in Venice. Intending to visit only for a few days he ends up staying for months, and finds—or should that be loses?—a hitherto unexamined idea of himself, the self. In a romance he can only observe, he sees a reflection of the kind of pleasures that, willingly or not, he has renounced. In the process, two ancient and watery cities become versions of each other. Could two stories, in two different cities, actually be one and the same story?

Nothing Geoff Dyer has written before is as wonderfully unbridled, as dead-on in evocation of place, longing, and the possibility of neurotic enlightenment, as irrepressibly entertaining as Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. For all his wit and cleverness, Dyer is unflinching in conveying the empty lives of his contemporaries, and in doing so he's written a work of exceptional resonance." - Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week.

"A theme of the conflict of Western vs. Eastern modes of behavior and perception. Thought-provoking and entertaining, if not to everyone's taste..." - Library Journal.

"Unsatisfying as a novel, but the observations are piquant enough to make for an enjoyable read. " - Kirkus Reviews.

"Dyer is very funny, in both senses - sort of like a post-modern Kingsley Amis. His writing is acute and bad tempered in the great British tradition, and his prose is the equal of anyone in the country. A national treasure." - Zadie Smith.

"Riveting. I love this book. Moments of wit, humanity, and intelligence are to be found on every page here. Dyer can write as beautifully as Lawrence and Proust. I don't ever want to be without his brilliant mind to turn to." - Nadeem Aslam.

This information about Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Geoff Dyer Author Biography

Geoff Dyer was born in Cheltenham, England, in 1958. He was educated at the local Grammar School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He is currently living in Los Angeles where he is Writer in Residence at USC.

He is the author of four novels: Paris Trance, The Search, The Colour of Memory, and Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi; a critical study of John Berger, Ways of Telling; two collections of essays, Anglo-English Attitudes and Working the Room; and many genre-defying books: But Beautiful, The Missing of the Somme, Out of Sheer Rage, Yoga For People Who Can't Be Bothered To Do It, The Ongoing Moment, Zona, about Andrei Tarkovsky's film StalkerAnother Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H W Bush and White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World. He ...

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