Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi
A Best Book of the Year: The Economist, The New Yorker, San Francisco Chronicle, Slate.com, and Time
In Venice, at the Biennale,a jaded, bellini-swigging journalist named Jeff Atmanmeets a beautiful woman and they embark on a passionate affair.
In Varanasi, an unnamed journalist (who may or may not be Jeff) joins thousands of pilgrims on the ban ...more
At first, Dyer’s prose didn't stick to my ribs, it stuck in my throat.
In the end, I find Dyer's style a bit too pleased with its own cuteness (are middle-aged men called twee?). If Martin Amis, or even Hornby, wrote himself into a travel diary (in the vein of 'Under the Tuscan Sun'), this is what it would be.
“Jeff” is a writer who hates writing, a Londoner who hates London, an art aficionado professionally bored with the art world. You would think it’s right up my alley.
The good: Prose with g ...more
The book is really two separate novellas: the first is the story of Jeff Atman, an aimless middle rung journalist in London who is assigned to cover the Venice Binneale to a ‘scoop’ interview around a story of prized nude photograph of a singer?
The action moves to very ‘otter’ than ever before Venice. Jeff, portrayed as somewhat of an outsider at the international art scene, trudges ...more
The first story is about journalists and artists attendi ...more
Anyway, this book c ...more
Some of my favorite lines include:
"Dying is an art like everything else. We do it exceptionally well. We do it so it looks real." and that is how the author covers his grey-like Sylvia Plath
Also after much waiting for so many things, "At what point would the longing for things to be over be over so that he could res ...more
Jeff in Venice is a love story about a writer (Jeff, Geoff?) enjoying the Venice Biennial who has a love afair, the love of his life? Maybe. His description of Venice, the global art scene and the arty people who enjoy the finer things in life (in othe ...more
A play on Thomas Mann's novella Death in Venice (1912), about a middle-aged male writer who seeks spiritual enlightenment in Venice but instead finds carnal doom in a young boy, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi is many things at once: a detailed, entertaining, travelogue; a philosophical treatise on mortality, materialism, and spirituality; and an inquiry into the nature of self. Dyer's "deceptively straightforward tale" (Oregonian)óinfluenced by Nietzsche, Roland Barthes, John Berger, and othe...more
Things slow down (or are less racy, at least) as we head to India for some travel writing about dirt, poverty, disease, and Hin ...more
If I compare this funny novel to, say, the one I’m reading right now, Marina Lewycka’s We Are All Made of Glue, I can’t say I was laughing as loudly.
The book is divided into two sections, and they can be so disparate that you can take them as two novellas. The first has the main character Jeff travelling to Venice to d ...more