English, August: An Indian Story (New York Review Books Classics) [Upamanyu Chatterjee, Akhil Sharma] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying. It was the blurb on the back of this book that initially attracted me. The synopsis likens this Indian novel to a synthesis of John Kennedy Toole’s. A review, and links to other information about and reviews of English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee.
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It arrived in an age of nihilism; we live now in times of skin-thickening sincerity. Mainly, I guess, because it chatteejee a heavy read.
In a sometimes horrifying episode near the end of the book, Agastya Sen learns that he will be posted to a tribal area and have responsibility for its development.
There he finds himself surrounded by incompetents and cranks, time wasters, bureaucrats, and crazies. Open Preview See a Problem?
I hope that the magic of those evenings spent in the silence of the forest somehow compensated for living thousands of kilometres from his family in India, in a god-forsaken Canadian hick town freezing his ass off with no friends to speak of.
Apr 05, Campbell rated it it was ok Shelves: Agastya is of the same breed for all that he can feel is a disjointed state of mind with the rest of the world. A bone to pick? He mixes high-brow and functionality. The self-discovery happens only when August can gain perspective on his life and situation by literally putting distance between himself and all that he once held near and dear.
DNF I am not annoyedbut guilty for dragging two of my friends to read this book. Jun 26, Rishav Agarwal rated it it was amazing.
Sen makes light of this by using the word “shit” liberally. August further notes that Ghandi’s eyes bulge as if in response to the placement of the rod! The end result being that he climbs the steps of the corporate ladder much more easily than all the other rats who run as if their tales are on fire.
In the tribal areas of India, Maoists ipamanyu “Naxalites” try to represent the tribals and push out the government of India. This visit is his Holden Caulfield moment.
Not that the novel will help you pass in your next attempt but it sure will make you laugh, which is important.
Jun 04, Sayantan Upamanyh rated it it was amazing. He switches off his mind after office hours and goes home. He’s meant charterjee be funny in his angst-y confusion, but I was annoyed and bored. And who has ever conquered that? His mind wanders, restless, and during sleepless evenings he engages in nightly runs to tire his body and force it to remember what life should feel like.
The luckless Agastya Sen has to explain his name to every clerk and tourist in Madna, whereas this writer has become aunt-in-name to two babies named thus in the last year alone. There is a lot of deforestation. The novel, published inis said to be semi-autobiographical written by Chatterjee in his late 20s.
The overall theme of the book, I would say is about alienation; about the sense of not belonging, about being so far from home, and about being out of the comfort zone. This has led the way for other low budget, independent movies such as Bombay Boys and Split Wide Openwhich are part of the next generation of “middle cinema”.
That’s a wonderful name. Wittgenstein, wasn’t it, who said that India lives in its villages? It is at best a social commentary, peppered with wry boyish humour that keeps one entertained, even in the absence of a plot.
Dec 23, Pawan Mishra rated it really liked it. There is a hint of Darjeeling my hometown in the book too that made the reading experience a tad bit heartwarming amid the laughter I was breaking into constantly. Meaning Discoverers in Meaningless Events.
Apr 19, Rahul Bhaskar rated it it was amazing. Do Indian authors—those still living in Indiathat is, versus those holed up at Columbia University or Oxford—have an axe to grind?
Filth disguised as ‘humor’. Moral character seems spread pretty thinly as the book’s young hero obsesses with getting stoned and obtaining medical excuses for missing work. The writing is sharp and the description of the rural landscapes to the point.
But then, so many authors have been excused this. However, it eventually becomes one long philosophical journey and a process of self discovery.
The novel presents a new generation of Indians already strongly influenced by modern American culture several of the augusy have studied in the US — though not quite the MTV generation yet the novel was written inwhen the impact of cable and satellite TV in India was still limited.
Get stoned, shirk work, collapse in the heat, stare at the ceiling. Chatterjee was disgusted by the universe he wrote of and made no bones about it; the voice of English, August is as sharp as its year-old protagonist is aimless and fuzzy-headed.