Jeff Atman, a journalist, is in Venice to cover the opening of the Biennale. He’s expecting to see a load of art, go to a lot of parties and drink too many bellinis. He’s not expecting to meet the spell-binding Laura, who will completely transform his few days in the city.
Another city, another assignment: this time on the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi. Amid the crowds, ghats and chaos of India’s holiest Hindu city, a different kind of transformation lies in wait.
A beautifully told story of erotic love and spiritual yearning, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi is playful, stylish, sensual, comic, ingenious and utterly captivating. It confirms Geoff Dyer as one of the most exciting authors writing in English today.
‘A raucous delight. Jeff in Venice is truly surprising—very funny, full of nerve, gutsy and delicious. Venice will never be the same again!’Michael Ondaatje
‘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.’Zadie Smith
‘Geoff Dyer is one of my favourite of all contemporary writers. I love his sense of the absurd, his pessimism mixed with robust good cheer, his beautifully crafted sentences, his jokes and his intelligence. …Jeff in Venice…[is] a sad, funny, lyrical, furious story of an ordinary man’s momentary redemption and decline. Please take the time to read it and fall under Dyer’s spell.’Alain de Botton
‘A career-best performance from one of England’s greatest (if most reluctant) novelists.’Sunday Telegraph
‘[Dyer is] a smart, witty writer…extraordinarily reflective, perceptive and funny…as well as a fine prose stylist. He’s a keen commentator on the ironies of contemporary life from the very first page.’Lionel Shriver, Financial Times
‘An amusing and intelligent exploration of some of life’s big questions.’Observer
‘It laughs in the face of genre and downgrades plot and character…It’s impossible not to warm to [this] book.’Sunday Herald
‘Gripping…raw and descriptive – this is a truly original piece of writing.’Tatler
‘One of my favourite books of the year was Geoff Dyer’s Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi. It’s as enjoyable as it is formally inventive, and everything about it—the art, the drugs, the sex, the bananas, and finally the oblique and moving spiritual renunciation—was compelling and ingenious. It’s a rare book that takes its comedy as seriously as its philosophy—or vice versa—but in Dyer’s best novel yet, he has done just that.’Guardian