Book review: Professor Chandra Follows his Bliss

By Rajeev Balasubramanyam
Published by Chatto & Windus

Synopsis: In the moments after the bicycle accident, Professor Chandra doesn’t see his life flash before his eyes, but his life’s work.

He’s just narrowly missed out on the Nobel Prize (again) and even though he knows he should get straight back to his pie charts, his doctor has other ideas.

All this work. All this success. All this stress. It’s killing him. He needs to take a break, start enjoying himself. In short, says his doctor (who is from California), Professor Chandra should just follow his bliss.

He doesn’t know it yet, but Professor Chandra is about to embark on the trip of a lifetime.

How did this book end up in my hands? I read its serialisation on The Pigeonhole a few months ago.

Was it a page-turner? Like most books where I grow attached to the characters, I was curious to know more. I was however happy to go at a steady pace and didn’t feel the need to rush.

Having read the synopsis, did the book meet my expectations? In hindsight, the synopsis describes the book pretty accurately but – being that way inclined – I was expecting more hippie-ish adventures. I am not disappointed though. I realise now that – not a parody of a yoga retreat – this novel is much more nuanced and it is exactly what it was meant to be.

Did I like the ending? [no spoilers] Yes, it had the right balance between ‘happily ever after’ and ‘not everything can be perfect’.

Three words to describe it. Insightful. Sombre. Witty.

Do I like the cover? Yes, it makes it look like a self-help book and – in a way – it is!

Have I read any other books by the same author? No, but I’d love to read In Beautiful Disguises.

Will I be recommending this book? Yes. This book explores the relationships and complications of modern families and, whilst written in a humorous way, it is a thought-provoking read.

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