Ian Young's Reviews > Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi by Geoff Dyer
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Jul 26, 11


A novel in two parts, with two sections which mirror eachother. The first half is set during the opening of the biennale in Venice, and features a jaded and cynical journalist on a short assignment who has a passionate affair against a background of copious amounts of drugs and alcohol. The second story is set in Varanasi, and features (probably) the same jaded and cynical journalist on another short assignment which takes a very different course. The two halves of the novel mirror eachother in large and small ways (near the start of the Venice section, the protagonist has his hair died; near the end of the Varanasi section his hair is shaved off). Both sections explore the search for meaning in life, and therefore address big issues, but do so in a way which is both amusing and entertaining. This is a book which I will remember and may read again.
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