Jeff Atman, a journalist, is in Venice to cover the opening of the Venice Art 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 spellbinding 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 Britain's most exciting and original writers.
Geoff Dyer is the author of Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi and three previous novels, as well as nine non-fiction books. Dyer has won the Somerset Maugham Prize, the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction, a Lannan Literary Award, the International Center of Photography's 2006 Infinity Award for writing on photography and the American Academy of Arts and Letters' E.M. Forster Award. In 2009 he was named GQ's Writer of the Year. He won a National Book Critics Circle Award in 2012 and was a finalist in 1998. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives in London.
* Dazzling and peculiar ... A prodigious display of virtuosity. -- Jan Morris Guardian * Engaging and funny ... Dyer is a witty and concise observer of landscapes: social, geographical and emotional ... [his] eccentric charm and barbed perceptiveness will hook you to the end. -- Tim Teeman The Times * Delivered with laconic wit and an evocative sense of place, Dyer's effortlessly readable prose is shot through with psychological insight, truth and an eye for travelogue detail. -- Alan Chadwick Metro * Dyer is more than a cult writer; he's a virus, invading your system. You look at things differently, embracing the idiosyncratic, keeping the obvious at bay ... vintage Dyer, painfully funny, slyly observant, brilliant, full of wild misery. -- Lee Langley Spectator * 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 Shiver Financial Times * Geoff Dyer is a true original -- one of those rare voices in contemporary literature that never ceases to surprise, disturb and delight. Risky, breathtakingly candid, intellectual, cool, outrageous, laconic and sometimes shocking, Geoff Dyer is a must-read for our confused and perplexing times -- William Boyd * Jeff in Venice is a love song to the pleasures of the phenomenal world, very fast and very funny ... [Death in Varanasi] is Dyer at his very best: philosophical, astute, unstructured, oscillating between surface and depth, between the casual and the universal. -- Jonathan Gibbs Independent * Jeff in Venice is serious fiction; learned travelogue; funny, arch and sad; a cynic's ascent into redemptive love and a stoner's descent into 'Gone-Native' madness. It drips with Geoff Dyer's derelict luminosity. -- David Mitchell * 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 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 * A haunting, if frequently hilarious, meditation on love and art, life and music, death and bananas, all reflected and refracted in the twinned mirror pools of Venice and Varanasi. I loved this book. -- Joshua Ferris * Riveting. I love this book. Moments of wit, humanity, and intelligence are to be found on every page here. Dyer can write as beautifully as Lawrence and Proust. I don't ever want to be without his brilliant mind to turn to. -- Nadeem Aslam * Dyer's ingenious linking of these contrasting narratives is indicative of his intelligence and stylistic grace, and his ability to evoke atmosphere with impressive clarity is magical. Both novellas ask trenchant philosophical questions, include moments of irresistible humor and offer arresting observations about art and human nature... A work of exceptional resonance. Publishers Weekly * A riddle of a novel wrapped in a two part travelogue about losing oneself ... the writing is discursive and full of bleak, often funny observations about the more jaded intersections of art and life. -- Jennifer Higgie Frieze * Entrancing ... [Dyer] is a writer who resists categorization, who is constantly morphing from one thing to another...it takes talent to pull off a career like that, and Dyer has plenty of talent. His work is illusory yet real, funny but serious ... [Jeff in Venice] is a haunted - and haunting - book. -- Alex Bilmes GQ * Raw and descriptive - this is a truly original piece of writing. Tatler * A haunted - and haunting - book. GQ * Cleverly-penned ... affirms Dyer's place as one of Britain's most witty and original writers; the lively prose, colourful characters and at times extremely poignant descriptions making for both a riveting and really quite brilliant read. -- Camilla Pia List * Smart, provocative, often very funny, but ultimately deeply sobering, Jeff in Venice is an early contender for the most original, and the cleverest, novel of the year. -- Mick Brown Daiy Telegraph * Dyer's prose always has a hint of intimacy...Memory, language and writing aare all intricately and emotionally woven. -- Mark Crees Times Literary Supplement * You'll be hooked by a playful, fictive intelligence that flickers over every page. -- David Lovely Waterstone's Books Quarterly