PDF | On Jan 1, , Krushna Chandra Mishra and others published Upamanyu In book: Contemporary Indian English Writings – Vol. A best-seller when it was first published, in India in , this satiric novel chronicles the reluctant coming of age of a privileged young man who has just entered. In this sequel to Upamanyu Chatterjee's debut novel, English, August, Agastya Sen—older, funnier, more beleaguered, almost endearing—and some of his.
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English August: An Indian Story [EAAIS] is one of the powerful and emerging voices amongst India's Post-Colonial Literary Stalwarts. It was published in A closer study of the novel English, August: An Indian Story reveals that through his antiheroic protagonist, Chatterjee gives the message that today's English. SALMAN Rushdie's Midnight's Children was the first Indian novel to be widely perceived as a vital contribution to literature in English.
The frivolously rude book is written with humor and candor. To me, the book—and this is what I fall for the most and every time—is a story about homelessness. Not Enabled Word Wise: The book is also surprisingly affecting when it describes August's loneliness and disorientation. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Its one of the few Indian novels that I have read that touched upon existentialism, although it does come across as the ramblings o Well, this book was everything I didn't expect it to be.
It never loses that little bit of lurking melancholy, despite all its ironic cynicism, wittiness and repartee.
It is transgressive and soulful. Besides, I also disliked their faces. In another little line about his father: Srivastava embark on a doomed affair. But this is Chatterjee. His craft bears birthmarks of a genius.
He mixes high-brow and functionality. He combines chic and cheek, cynicism and vulnerability, bleakness and bravado like nobody's business. Embellishment goes with nakedness in his sentences. The book oozes exceptional prose, and then some. View 1 comment.
Apr 06, Karan Bajaj rated it it was amazing. My all-time favorite novel. Actually, it's much more than just a book for me, English August inspired me to become a writer. Then, I ran into the wise and wise-guy Agastya Sen.
And suddenly, my world filled up, as I My all-time favorite novel. And suddenly, my world filled up, as I felt truly understood for the first time, making me realize the incredible power of writing in connecting us in this messy, glorious human experience.
This was one that I made my American wife read before we got married, to help her understand parts of my 'coming-of-age' in India that would be otherwise difficult to convey.
Not sure she appreciated it quite as much, but to me it's a classic. Dec 23, Pawan Mishra rated it really liked it. I remember this book as a comic masterpiece. I had read it about 18 years ago - yet remember Madna and the protagonist's hilarious flirt with his own life and the surrounding. Well, this book was everything I didn't expect it to be. I had very little knowledge about the book to begin with other than the fact that it has bern adapted into an acclaimed movie which now I need to watch.
I had no idea it was a stoner novel, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The book gets off to a slow start but shapes up beautifully, and some parts are beautiful. Its one of the few Indian novels that I have read that touched upon existentialism, although it does come across as the ramblings o Well, this book was everything I didn't expect it to be.
Its one of the few Indian novels that I have read that touched upon existentialism, although it does come across as the ramblings of a pothead.
If only the author had made it not seem so, I would have loved it even more. Thats doesnt take away from some of the pretty imaginative and sometimes hilarious observations and thoughts of the protagonist. The overall theme of the book, I would say is about alienation; about the sense of not belonging, about being so far from home, and about being out of the comfort zone.
Overall I would say its a pretty honest look into the human mind and how people atleast some people think in all its naked glory. View 2 comments. The frivolously rude book is written with humor and candor. Cheeky, sarcastic and impregnated with the characters, recognizable to anyone familiar with bureaucracies - sycophant colleagues, overbearing boss, infamous police inspector and unreliable servants makes it convincing and gripping. The book builds around, Agastya, a half-Bengali, half-Goan guy, who procures a bureaucratic post in the Indian civil service and is posted to a rural village for his training.
The protagonist gets his posting in Madna, a place which is a true caricature of any other town in India — oppressive, dusty and being rural devoid of the basic facilities. For most of his stay, he shirks work and feels trapped between the worlds of modernity and tradition, both extremes familiar yet distant at the same time.
He finds himself an absolute misfit and incapable of communicating or connecting to the locals or colleagues. By the way, yes, there is a fair amount vulgarity that runs throughout the book, but somehow it never feels like the author is going all lowest common denominator on you. I would not say that the writing is phenomenal, but some of the descriptions would leave you into splits. The story lacks a strong plot but the author has an uncanny ability to pull it through the characters which seems real and engaging - fantastically farcical!!
I'd recommend this book for anyone looking for engaging comic novel or going through quarter-life crisis, indecision, dissatisfaction with the working world. It is a read that could be finished in rather few chugs granted, I took a little longer to finish it off. Aug 30, Maura Finkelstein rated it liked it.
Don't get me wrong: I truly appreciated the humorous story of a young Bengali man who, after enlisting in the Indian Administrative Service, finds his life directed to a small depressing dusty town km from nowhere.
How better to construct a backdrop for Sen's long hot days of locking himself in his stifling room, smok while possibly the most brilliant book I've encountered about bureaucracy, this novel crashes and burns around page , sadly dragging out it's swan song for another pages. How better to construct a backdrop for Sen's long hot days of locking himself in his stifling room, smoking pot, masturbating, and fantasizing about other men's wives? However, I cursed Upamanyu Chatterjee as I forced myself to finish his novel: Apr 17, Annette mathews added it Shelves: DNF I am not annoyed , but guilty for dragging two of my friends to read this book.
One of them finished it and the other well, let us just say i followed her suit. The story was not going anywhere. I didn't like the language used. It was rude and the lead was just an ordinary guy. There was nothing special about him. Why should i waste my time reading about him when i see the same set of people in my day to day life.
He saw women in a different way. No, this book is not my cup of tea and never DNF I am not annoyed , but guilty for dragging two of my friends to read this book.
No, this book is not my cup of tea and never will be. I was blinded by all the great reviews in Good reads. So much for nothing. Maybe it gets better as it goes. But i don't want to try it. I wont recommend this book for anyone. View all 10 comments. Jun 26, Rishav Agarwal rated it it was amazing. As the title suggests this is a very Indian Story and remains to be so even 30 years after it was first penned.
It is heartening as well as uncanny to find having vile, vulgar and vague thoughts is an integral part of any generation and that existential anxiety runs in vein with the incredible experiences only in Indian can you be shit upon by three different animals while being burnt to a crisp by the midday sun that sum up our lives making us truly Indian. That being said, I find a lot of se As the title suggests this is a very Indian Story and remains to be so even 30 years after it was first penned.
That being said, I find a lot of semblance between me and my friends and the 24 year old August who is clueless about his responsibilities as an civil servant, anxious about wasting his time and yearning to be happy. Jul 12, Sandhya rated it really liked it. I know English, August came a long time ago, and though I remember catching glimpses of the film and being intrigued by it, I never got around to reading the book.
I finally did read it and was amazed at how fresh and timeless this Upamanyu Chatterjee book still feels. The book was written in the late 80s and recounts the author's stint as an IAS Indian Administrative Service officer in a small district town in Madna.
At that time, it got a great cult fo http: At that time, it got a great cult following, not just for the story, but the way it was recounted —with generous use of cuss words, sexually explicit passages and all of that. I dare say, this remains as sharp a read as it possibly was then. Born and bred in metros like Calcutta and Delhi, the book's 24 year old protagonist, Agastya Sen feels completely disoriented to be posted in an underdeveloped, far-flung place in Central India.
The abysmal living conditions unsettle him. And with his habit of smoking marijuana and being stoned most of the time, Agastya finds himself in a perpetual state of daze, even as he listlessly goes about with his job. He's struck by the laidback attitude of the administrative community, trying to battle with the trying conditions of the place. The collector -Mr Srivastava leading a relatively lavish lifestyle - keeps the social scene quite vibrant.
Work takes a back seat for everyone and Agastya, caught in lethargy and inertia, is happy to get away with doing little or nothing. Most of the time his head is spinning, as he wonders what a guy like him could be doing in a place like Madna.
But such is the heaviness he feels all round him, that he cannot gather the will to pull himself together. His stomach contracted with his laughter. He wanted to rebel.
And all this is recounted with a brazen sense of abandon and wry humour that it makes you chuckle and smile. He could slide down in his seat till his neck rested against its back and, without chafing, allow his mind its restlessness.
In a jeep, he would smile and argue with himself, you can do nothing about your mind or your future, not until the journey is over. In a moving jeep he was not vexed by the onus of thought Maybe a second reading will throw some light on that. To sum up, the book feels as fresh to read today as ever. Easily, this has to be one of the most brilliantly written and genuinely edgy reads for me.
Nov 02, Suswagata Mukhaty rated it it was amazing. Okay, I. Apr 19, Rahul Bhaskar rated it it was amazing. My All Time Favorite.
Chatterji tells the story of a young civil servant posted in a nondescript district in the hinterland. His feeling of dislocation and self-pity strikes a chord. And of course, there are the funny encounters. Sathe, the cartoonist, Mandy, the Pseud-American and Dhrubo-the "mother fucker". The time period in which the book is set adds to the mood of it all. Early 80s. The unrest in the society is clearly reflected in t "The mind is indeed restless, Krishna. The unrest in the society is clearly reflected in the author's work.
There are too many layers in this book and I lack the skill to describe them all in a review. But yeah, Renu the Punjaban and Neera come close to being my perfect women. Chatterji does not glorify his protagonist. In fact, he presents him as an everyday person with shallow and flexible morals. Too bad, he could not do an encore. The Last Burden was good, but not close.. Mainly, I guess, because it was a heavy read. And "Mammaries Go buy this one without any second thoughts. Feb 20, Lee Anne rated it it was ok.
He is sent to the remote town of Madna to learn the job. The back cover blurb for this book suggests it is the Indian equivalent of The Catcher in the Rye or A Confederacy of Dunces , but I think it is instead the fictional equivalent of the Indian Administrative Service: Agastya pays no attention to the job, gets stoned a lot, masturbates, calls in sick, lies for no reason, visits other places Agastya "August" Sen is in training with the Indian Administrative Service.
Agastya pays no attention to the job, gets stoned a lot, masturbates, calls in sick, lies for no reason, visits other places while ignoring Madna entirely, talks to old friends he may or may not like. He's meant to be funny in his angst-y confusion, but I was annoyed and bored.
Nothing much happens, and when he decides to quit the IAS, you don't know if he'll stick to it or not. And I didn't care. This was a big hit when it was published in India some twenty years ago, but for me, it was a rare dud from the New York Review of Books imprint. A slap stick comedy with a rude, weird and twisted sense of humor! Abundance of crazy laugh out loud moments thrown around in small chunks here and there In spite of all this, the overall plot and story didn't work out well with me and slowly the protagonist became kinda repulsive!!!
That's a wonderful name. What does it mean? I hate the idea of a book having chapters, without having chapter numbers or sub-headings!
View all 6 comments. Nov 21, Sunil rated it it was amazing Shelves: Actually a revisit; I am reading now with a friend, travelling across India Ah!! Why, The mind is so restless Oh Krishna? What a story! Upamanyu's Chatterjee's novel is an absolute delight, and so is Agastya Sen's terrible aimlessness.
Seldom have I been made to laugh and think so much, and almost never have I read something this seeped in self-mockery.
English, August is nothing short of a modern classic, and I will definitely come back to it again and again for the sheer dark enjoyment it brought me. Jan 13, Ishani rated it liked it. This book keeps you in a trans. Apart from the constant philosophical torments that brewed in the mind of the protagonist, there was unnecessary and not-so-needed sexual and pervert thought injected. Also these thoughts do not in anyway contribute to the course of the story.
The dilemmas are put very realistically in the story. At places the words are actually quite heavy and may be only an English August can read it without dictionary! The description of the rural places, the road side evenings and the lives of villagers around actually make you be a part of the whole narrative.
Disappointment comes when nothing of significance happens so as to end the story but it ends anyways without any acceptable conclusion. With this kind of an ending, the story could have been half of its size. My journey through the book was much better than the end! Oct 05, R K added it. DNF I wasn't being pulled into the story at all. Like a book on drug abuse or something. It merits an accolade that's far harder to earn than "authentic. Agastya Sen is a young Indian civil servant whose imagination is dominated by women, literature and soft drugs.
As the novel opens he has been posted to the small provincial town of Madna.
First published in , English, August , a funny, wryly observed account of Agastya Sen's year in the sticks, is a cult classic. Posted by Parijat at Indian literature , Upamanyu Chatterjee.
Arpit 27 February at Parijat 27 February at Arpit 2 March at The Mammaries of the Welfare State. Upamanyu Chatterjee. The Revenge of the Non-Vegetarian. English, August: The Last Burden.
The Inheritance of Loss. Kiran Desai.
Fairy Tales at Fifty. Product description From The New Yorker A best-seller when it was first published, in India in , this satiric novel chronicles the reluctant coming of age of a privileged young man who has just entered the prestigious Indian Administrative Service.
Posted to a small town deep in the interior, he finds himself a foreigner in his own country, wary of cholera, defenseless against mosquitoes, and shocked by the sight of a tribal woman: He's an avatar of the Western slacker: Still, Chatterjee's story is uniquely Indian, as he plumbs his hero's fear of being "just one more urban Indian bewitched by America's hard sell in the Third World.
He's a writer worth discovering, and English, August is the place to start. A contribution not just to Indian literature but to world literature; highly recommended. Widely considered India's Catcher in the Rye , it also echoes both R. Narayan's Malgudi novels and J. Donleavy's classic portrayal of rampant, unrepentant maleness, The Ginger Man …Excellent stuff. Let's have Chatterjee's other novels, please. Utterly uncompromised, wildly funny, and a revelation of everyday life in modern India.
The irreverent language, the wry humour and the immediately identifiable situations struck a chord with a generation of Indians which was looking for its own voice and found it in Agastya Sen.
See all Product description. Product details Format: Kindle Edition File Size: Unlimited Sold by: English ASIN: Enabled X-Ray: