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Odysseus Abroad

by Amit Chaudhuri

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on Odysseus Abroad

Simply clever, lightly understated writing highlighting life decisions, journeys and discoveries. Step into Ananda’s world, where you feel as though you are floating freely through the confines of his mind and hearing the whispers of his innermost thoughts. Ananda is lonely and poetically trying to understand where he fits in the world of his choosing; viewing his life through his eyes, you are able to see the ties that give him strength and support. This is pure artful escapism, the author has the ability to be subtly sensitive, compassionate and yet also to wryly tease and thrust little jibes of fun. This is a book that is able to connect, to embrace and leave you at the end unable to say goodbye. ~ Liz Robinson

Liz Robinson

Odysseus Abroad Synopsis

It's 1985. Twenty-two-year-old Ananda has been a student in London for two years, practicing at being a poet. He's homesick, thinks of himself as an inveterate outsider, and yet he can't help feeling that there is something romantic about his isolation. His uncle, Radhesh is a magnificent failure and an eccentric virgin who has lived in genteel impoverishment in Hampstead for nearly three decades. Over the course of one day, we follow Ananda and Radhesh on one of their weekly forays about town. Weaving back and forth in time, Chaudhuri gradually reveals the background to the two men's lives with deft precision and humour as they walk through London together, circling around their respective pasts and futures, and finding in one another an unspoken solace. Written in a voice that is tender, wry and unsentimental, -Odysseus Abroad is a lyrical and modern exploration of loneliness and failure - as well as a love letter to Homer and Joyce - by one of our most celebrated writers.

Odysseus Abroad Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Maureen Evans - 'An entertainingly rendered narrative of a young Indian student's life in London [...]. Highly recommended for its mix of pathos, wit and taste of how 8o's life may have been lived in London by some Indian immigrants.' Read full review >
  • 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 >
  • Tina Tse - 'whilst the book is well-written and at times there were particularly evocative moments, I did find it was a book to which I was largely indifferent.' Read full review >
  • Glenda Worth - 'we find out about their families and the uncles past.However the first half of the book is rather dull where nothing happens and the second half is little better in my opinion.' Read full review >
  • Barbara Gaskell - 'Unhurried, beautiful writing, but at times hard to find an emotional connection with the characters - 3 out of 5 stars.' Read full review >

Odysseus Abroad Press Reviews

'A stunningly engaging novel where Naipaul meets Amis and Joyce visits Thatcher's England. Wittingly inventive, deeply moving, it's Chaudhuri's finest work to date.'
Caryl Phillips

'A superb book, one of Chaudhuri's very best -- full of wit, charm and humanity, and so delicately and intricately written.'
Ian Jack

'The stunning, Proustian prose that we have come to expect of Amit Chaudhuri is here in abundance, newly enhanced with surreal comedy and wry, self-mocking, often hilarious sex. Brilliantly he superimposes an intensely Bengali sensibility upon the picaresque experience of a London undergraduate. This is his wittiest and also his most profound book to date.'
Wendy Doniger

'In the eccentric Radhesh, Chaudhuri gives us something special... a little gem not to be missed'
Daily Mail

'Delightfully witty... luminously intelligent... Odysseus Abroad has placed itself, with erudition and playfulness, on the map of modernism'
Neel Mukherjee Guardian

'Rhadesh's attempts to assimilate into English culture are funny and he clearly enjoys strange English customs... Like Homer and Joyce, Chaudhuri is good at writing about food'
Herald

'very elegant... Amit Chaudhuri is a master of the slow-moving meditation, laced with precise exasperation... very funny... For all the jokes about literature this is a most literary novel. Yet it is witty, effortlessly fluid... a pleasure to read... sustained by a fierce intelligence'
Irish Times

'Chaudhuri is incisive and humorous on the experience of moving from a former colony to Eighties London... Some small details particularly thrill'
Daily Telegraph

'Richly allusive... It is not the novel's plot, but its rhythmic prose, interwoven with musical and poetical references, that most engages... a witty narrative filled with wandering and wondering'
Observer

'Gentle, restrained'
Prospect

'A beautifully written novel that weaves in Indian history with a fabulously observed portrait of 1980s migrant London'
Metro

'Easily followed and lucidly expressed... Amit Chaudhuri is on top form'
The Lady

'A brilliantly delicate London novel... an absolutely wonderful book'
The Idler

'very funny'
New Humanist

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781780747446
Publication date: 06/08/2015
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781780746210
Publication date: 05/02/2015
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781780747446
Publication date: 6th August 2015
Author: Amit Chaudhuri
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 256 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About 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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