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Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi by Geoff Dyer
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Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi

A Novel

$17.96 USD

Retail price (USD): $19.95

Discount: 10%

This title is not eligible for purchase with membership credits. Why?

Narrator Simon Vance
Length 9 hours 23 minutes
Language English
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Every two years the international art world descends on Venice for the opening of the Biennale. Among them is Jeff Atman, a jaded and dissolute 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 the spellbinding 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 suddenly finds 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?

An irrepressible and wildly original novel of erotic fulfillment and spiritual yearning, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi is dead-on in its evocation of place, longing, and the possibility of neurotic enlightenment.

Geoff Dyer is the author of several novels, a critical study of John Berger, and numerous genre-defying books, including Out of Sheer Rage, which was a National Book Critics Circle finalist.

Simon Vance is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over fifty Earphones Awards and thirteen prestigious Audie Awards. He was named Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008 and an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009.

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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.”

“A raucous delight. Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi is truly surprising—very funny, full of nerve, gutsy and delicious. Venice will never be the same again!”

“A sad, funny, lyrical, furious story.”

“Profoundly haunting and fearless…Dyer at his very best.”

“Wonderful observations, pungent and funny.”

“No contemporary writer blends genres better than Geoff Dyer, and his latest novel—a vigorous mash-up of satire, romance, travelogue, and existential treatise—is his best yet…Dyer excels at savage comedy—see his tableau of jaded art critics desperately swilling Bellinis—but he’s even better on the profound pleasures and indignities of the flesh, which are the forces that unite his novel’s two very separate worlds.”

“Dyer’s writerly versatility braids into something madly compelling as the narration becomes comically and tragically unreliable.”

“Intoxicating…A roller-coaster ride.”

“Highly imaginative…sensuous, lyrical prose brimming with colorful detail…Dyer [writes with] intelligence and stylistic grace, and his ability to evoke atmosphere with impressive clarity is magical…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.”

“[Jeff in Venice] is a dirty satire on a decadent scene, but it’s also wise, wistful, funny, and achingly sad.”

“Funny, insightful, and accessible, [Jeff in Venice] allows the reader to move easily between the two cities and connect with the two characters, or two halves of the same person…[Dyer is] an innovative, genre-bending writer.”

“A mere description of the story line only scratches the surface of this funny and mysterious work. Dyer’s witticisms and wordplay, woven into the ongoing commentary of the history, geography, and psychology of Venice and then Varanasi, are brilliant.”

“Geoff Dyer is a True Original—one of those rare voices in contemporary literature that never ceases to surprise, disturb and delight. A must read for our confused and perplexing times.”

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