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English, August: An Indian Story (New York…

English, August: An Indian Story (New York Review Books Classics) (original 1988; edition 2006)

by Upamanyu Chatterjee, Akhil Sharma (Introduction)

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461922,528 (3.73)21
Title:English, August: An Indian Story (New York Review Books Classics)
Authors:Upamanyu Chatterjee
Other authors:Akhil Sharma (Introduction)
Info:NYRB Classics (2006), Edition: 2nd, Paperback, 326 pages
Collections:Your library

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English, August: An Indian Story by Upamanyu Chatterjee (1988)

  1. 00
    The Civil Servant's Notebook by Wang Xiaofang (wandering_star)
    wandering_star: Both satires of bureaucracy, one focused on corruption (in China), the other on inertia (in India).

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  pawanmishra | Nov 9, 2016 |
for humor 5/5.....but there were many pages which bored me... some places were too dragging.. when humor was there it was too good ... i couldn't control my laugh.... overall 3/5 :) ( )
  PallaviSharma | May 9, 2016 |
Hard to give a star rating for this book. Just because it's not for me, doesn't mean it is not a good book. I tried. I really did to finish this book, but found I needed far more background in Indian history and life to understand this book. There’s a lot of detail, and it’s clear that the author really knows his subject. But it is a book for people who have previously been immersed in Indian literature, not popular novels. ( )
  brangwinn | Jan 14, 2015 |
I am surprised that 'English, August' is not better known. It is well-written and is refreshingly funny. While the most outstanding aspect of this novel is its humor, what I like the best about it is that the story is told in such a genuine voice. For once this is not an NRI author trying to bring forth the truth about "real" India. Chatterjee draws heavily from his own experiences in the Indian administrative service to paint a picture of life in rural India, working of Government offices and bureaucracy in India of 1983. The story centers around a westernized city-boy Augustya who is stranded in a small village with a job he isn't interested in at all. The western influence on young generation and vast difference between urban and rural lives form a part of the theme as well.
There were many instances where I could easily picture the scenes in the book because it was all so familiar, it is a very Indian story.

Plot-wise not a lot seems to happen. But I guess this is a reflection of the situation at hand - just the way things don't seem to progress in government offices responsible for development and nothing seems to change from day-to-day in small villages and towns.

"Most novels progress, but this one simply chronicles an ongoing anomie and spiritual restlessness."-Washington Post.

Chatterjee doesn't let the narrative get dull at all. He presents a satirical and humorous view of the way things function. He introduces us to an array of characters who are not too far from the kind of people one could encounter in real life. And each of them is entertaining in his or her own way. Even if the situation is dull, he effortlessly evokes humor with his wit and play of words. The language perfectly complements the mood of the novel. It can be read multiple times and it still won't grow stale.

Without any doubt, Chatterjee's writing is way ahead of the likes of Adiga, Swarup or Bhagat. I am glad I came across this novel. Way to go Mr. Chatterjee!
I wanted to post some of the funny excerpts from the novel. But there are so many of them, I don't know how to pick. Just read the book... ( )
  HearTheWindSing | Mar 31, 2013 |
The only thing I liked about this was Rahul Bose. ( )
  milti | Dec 14, 2011 |
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