'beautifully drawn...a pleasant read'.
Odysseus AbroadAmit Chaudhuri
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.
'Chaudhuri plunders Ulysses and The Odyssey, joyfully borrowing from both iconic Western texts to create something fresh and new.'
'The story feels quiet and polite but it resonates. Superb.'
'Intelligent and funny'
‘A brilliantly delicate London novel… an absolutely wonderful book’
'Easily followed and lucidly expressed… Amit Chaudhuri is on top form’
‘A beautifully written novel that weaves in Indian history with a fabulously observed portrait of 1980s migrant London’
‘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’
‘Chaudhuri is incisive and humorous on the experience of moving from a former colony to Eighties London… Some small details particularly thrill’
‘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’