Jeff in Venice Death in Varanasi

Atman, a close homophone to a character’s last name, in Sankrit means inner-self or soul. The first half of this book is nearly perfect. It flows smoothly. I loved reading it. The second half is only slightly less successful, only because the forward momentum is less clear. Together, these two parts weave an engrossing story about characters we know little about, but ruminations on life that are universal and intersting. There are lots of themes in these two parts about spirtuality, morality, self-reflection, travel, intimacy, being alone vs loneliness, and the like.

I loved Geoff Dyer’s But Beautiful. His White Sands didn’t quite work for me. This book landed somewhere in the middle.