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The Immortals by Amit Chaudhuri

The Immortals

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Float and wander through a story where an everyday beginning, middle and end, becomes a world transformed. The author sets you adrift, starts to bring your attention to an occasion or individual and then sets a song or a description of a room to capture your thoughts and send them elsewhere. Giving a real insight into a certain sphere of life in India during the 80’s, we are also allowed a fleeting glimpse of some of the numerous people required to make this particular household function. Occasionally you may need to research certain words to understand their meaning and context in this tale of family life. The author has the ability to open your eyes, to reveal the hidden, to encourage you to look for the connections in this delightfully whimsical yet satisfying read. ~ Liz Robinson

If you like Amit Chaudhuri you might also like to read books by Rohinton Mistry and Salman Rushdie.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to another title by Amit Chaudhuri, Odysseus Abroad.

  • Dana Captainino - 'Odysseus Abroad is packed with literary, and in particular poetry references as we follow Ananda and his uncle's passage through a single day on which the story takes place.' Read full review >
  • Alan Brown - 'Wonderful language and intriguing writing style. The book creeps up on you to imprison you into deep thinking and light comedy...A serious book that does not take itself seriously. A welcome paradox.' Read full review >
  • Sue Broom - 'Gorgeously written, this is a poignant and gently humorous story and a treat of delicate observation.  Not a quick read despite its modest length.' Read full review >
  • Pauline Braisher - 'A very well-written and well-observed story of the interaction between a young Indian student/would-be poet and his literature-loving eccentric uncle, both of whom are living in London during the Thatcher era.' Read full review >
  • Ann Peet - 'Beautifully written novel ostensibly about being a young Indian student in London in the 1980s but with great depth and charm.' Read full review >
  • Seeta Maharaj - 'I found this book extremely compelling...I would recommend this book as one of great interest to those who feel lost being in a big city with a different culture.' Read full review >
  • Judith Smith - 'this beautifully written, flowing prose is an opportunity to look through a stranger's eyes.' Read full review >
  • Clare Topping - 'It is a story that is just that, not particularly gripping, not annoying, just a story and not one that would stimulate me to read any others by this author.' Read full review >
  • Christine Waddington - 'For me the charm is in the detail and the descriptions. Each sentence is to be savoured and I felt book got better and better as it progressed.' Read full review >
  • Alison Layland - 'It is written in an intriguing, train-of-thought style – rambling, humorous in places, moving in others – which beautifully captures Ananda’s rather introspective nature.' Read full review >
  • Julie  - 'The themes of loneliness and isolation give way to a more positive theme of companionship. An ultimately feel good book about the power of unlikely friendships.' Read full review >


The Immortals by Amit Chaudhuri

Shyamji has music in his blood, for his father was the acclaimed 'heavenly singer' and guru, Ram Lal. But Shyam Lal is not his father, and knows he never will be. Mallika Sengupta's voice could have made her famous, but being the wife of a successful businessman is a full-time occupation in itself. Mallika's son, Nirmalya, believes in suffering for his art, and for him, all compromise is failure: those with talent should be true to that talent. No matter what. Written in haunting, melodic prose, The Immortals tells the story of Shyam, Mallika and Nirmalya: their relationships, their lives, their music.


'Chaudhuri's exquisite, highly-nuanced, often very funny novel - after all, as unfamiliar to me as NJ is to Bombay - somehow took command of my thinking, my vocabulary, my sense of what's important and what should be. This kind of surrender is rare, and is what I always seek in fiction.'
Richard Ford

'A command performance.'
Eileen Battersby Irish Times

About the Author

Amit Chaudhuri

Amit Chaudhuri is the author of five critically acclaimed novels, is a poet, an acclaimed musician, and a highly regarded critic. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia. He has contributed fiction, poetry and reviews to numerous publications including the Guardian, London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, New Yorker and Granta Magazine. Amit lives in Calcutta and Norwich.

Author photo © Geoff Pugh

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Book Info

Publication date

5th February 2015


Amit Chaudhuri

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Oneworld Publications


416 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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