English, August: An Indian Story (New York Review Books Classics) [Upamanyu Chatterjee, Akhil Sharma] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying. It was the blurb on the back of this book that initially attracted me. The synopsis likens this Indian novel to a synthesis of John Kennedy Toole’s. A review, and links to other information about and reviews of English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee.

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Agastya August is an Indian Administrative Service officer in training, who has left the bustling energy of Calcutta for a forlorn existence in Madna, buffeted from one official to the next and trying to conserve some sense of self. We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

Thirty years of Upamanyu Chatterjee’s ‘English, August’: Does the novel still hold up in ?

Retrieved from ” https: Agastya has chosen to join the enormous bureaucracy that hcatterjee India, the IAS. In a sometimes horrifying episode near the end of the book, Agastya Sen learns that he will be posted to a tribal area and have responsibility for its development. I’ve finally decided on the latter.

Of top importance here is genuine concern of our protagonist’s capability in being an efficient administrator. His mind wanders, restless, and during sleepless evenings he engages in nightly runs to tire his body and force it to remember what life should feel like.

The functioning of our bureaucracy in rural areas is laid bare underlining some of our preconceived notions about our system.

Quick Review: English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee

Agastya never knew why, ‘How old are you, sir? What administrative overhaul can he bring to this town far beyond its expiry date?

The novel is helmed by a cast of eclectic characters: There was nothing special about him. His private, secret life is one of ennui, soft-drugs and reveries of sex. View all 18 comments. But it would be so dnglish, thought Agastya, it would provide no repose, would instead only salt his restlessness.


Still, little of the comedy comes across as too forced — and much of it is very funny indeed. He decides to quit and return to where he belongs. At several places, we find an increasingly frustrated Agastya describe the genesis of his name to gullible listeners through a englsh elaborations. The English Faber and Faber edition also helpfully supplies a glossary of some sixty terms at the end. To me, the book—and this is what I fall for the most and every time—is a story about homelessness.

Agastya begins to have some sense of what is important and what is of interest to him. Besides, the issue of ego tussle among the bureaucrats themselves and with politicians is smartly woven around the plot. Afternoons, he spends time with exiles such as himself, drinking whiskey, smoking marijuana and voicing desultory thoughts.

If this upwmanyu indeed the burden that English, August had borne since when it was first published, the IIT campus novel Five Point Someonewhich arrived inuamanyu have helped displace the weight. Underlying his day-to-day activities is the nagging question of what to do with himself: 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.

He feels like a foreigner, but must survive. He is quite happy to let the world pass him by and will perhaps wave at the world halfheartedly if pressed to do so.

Should he apply for another job in the big city? Nov 21, Sunil rated it it was amazing Shelves: My reasons for placing it where I have are below: There is a lot of deforestation.


Did he make the right decision to skip the university? Written by a civil servant, the novel manages to capture the essence of an entire generation of Indians, whose urban realities jar in sharp contrast to that of rural India.

View all 10 comments. Published by New York Review of Books first published To me, this is the essence of English, August. This film ignited the next generation of Indian cinema and is acknowledged as a landmark in contemporary Indian cinema.

Besides, I also disliked their faces. And suddenly, my world filled up, as I felt truly understood for the first time, making me chatterjde the incredible power of writing in connecting us in this messy, glorious human experience.

English, August: An Indian Story

If you are disgruntled with your jobs please read on: Actually, it’s much more than just upwmanyu book for me, English August inspired me to become a writer. The novel portrays the struggle of a civil servant who is posted in a rural area and is considered to be a very authentic portrayal of the state of Indian youth in the s. In spite of all this, the overall plot and story didn’t work out well with me and slowly the protagonist became kinda repulsive!!!

It was rude and the lead was just an ordinary guy.

English, August: An Indian Story by Upamanyu Chatterjee

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. It can be read multiple times and it still won’t grow stale. A steady hand Chatteejee is no cause to lament.