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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But where does he belong? But I suppose one has to live. Do Indian authors—those still living in Indiathat is, versus those holed up at Columbia University or Oxford—have an axe to grind?

English, August – Wikipedia

I am Agastya Sen. Preview — English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee.

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!!

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 is a generation that is not entirely disaffected or alienated, but that is unsure of its future, its goals, and its ambitions — Agastya, often affable but generally choosing to remain an outsider too, more than most.

On the plus side with effort one can see a plus sideAgastya Sen, an Indian Administrative Service IAS officer in training, describes the bureaucracy in large villages to intermediate towns and small tribal villages, exposing all of the non-governmental motives for IAS activities in the more remote reaches of the Indian government.

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. Agastya Sen’s sense of dislocation is only compounded by his extreme lack of interest in the bizarre ways of government and administration. An Indian Story by Upamanyu Chatterjee. For once this is not an NRI author trying to bring forth the truth about “real” India.


His reflections and mental dialog in times of solitude at points was so engrossing to me personally that I could not discern where my thoughts ended and the character’s thoughts began! The tale makes you feel an almost overpowering feel of dislocation for not one of the main characters are where they wanted to be in life. One such instance is August Sen’s observations of M. The language perfectly complements the mood of the novel.

To me, the book—and this is what I fall for the most and every time—is a story about homelessness. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. 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.

One of them finished it and the other well, let us just say i followed her suit. To sum up, the book feels as fresh to read today as ever.

You look like a porn film actor, thin and kinky, the kind who wears a bra. He wanted to rebel. My All Time Favorite.

Quick Review: English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee

The mind is restless, Krishna. Want to Read saving…. Mainly, I guess, because it was a heavy read.

I wanted to post some of the funny excerpts from the novel. The book engllish extremely hilarious and at many a point had me collapsing in laughter. For the film adaptation, see English, August film. June Learn how and when to remove this template message.

English, August: An Indian Story by Upamanyu Chatterjee

By using so called ‘sarcasm’ and all derogatory remarks the inefficiency of bureaucratic and govt serveries as a whole is tried to be shown. 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 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.


Agastya Sen meanders through his first deployment in Madna, but his upamayu leads us through his adventures with the steady hand of a surveyor. The language is consistently top-class 2. Still, little of the comedy comes across as too forced — and much of it is very funny indeed.

‘English, August’ is getting a special 30-year edition. But does it still hold up in 2018?

Imagine the same sort of writing being applied to statues of George Washington. However, it eventually becomes one long philosophical journey and a process of self discovery.

Agastya’s second cousin, Tonic, the publisher, who “functions as though he’s paid to be a leaking balloon, emit hot air”, though repeatedly skewered, is easily deflated in a single exchange, for example: She’s English, anyway, but she’s gone there for a cancer operation.

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.

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. But there are so many of them, I don’t know how to pick. Skip to main content. Madna is a place on the newspaper margins—insignificant and generic on one hand but allegorical and somewhat of a metonym, on the other.

That a second life, or at least a second wind, could only have happened outside our comfort zones. It never loses that little bit of lurking melancholy, despite all its ironic cynicism, wittiness and repartee.

Peripheral centres, central peripheries: