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Publisher's Summary

Follow the eccentric, cantankerous, utterly charming Professor Chandra as he tries to answer the biggest question of all: What makes us happy?

“Searingly funny, uplifting, and wonderful.... Professor Chandra is as unbending a curmudgeon as one could wish to find scowling from the pages of a novel.” (Helen Simonson, New York Times best-selling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and The Summer Before the War

Professor Chandra is an internationally renowned economist, divorced father of three (quite frankly baffling) children, recent victim of a bicycle hit-and-run - but so much more than the sum of his parts. 

In the moments after the accident, Professor Chandra doesn’t see his life flash before his eyes but his life’s work. He’s just narrowly missed 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, he should follow his bliss. Professor Chandra doesn’t know it yet, but he’s about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. 

Praise for Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss

“Professor Chandra is a wonderful character - stodgy, flawed, contentious, contemptuous - yet vulnerable, insecure, lonely, repentant, and ridiculous enough to win our sympathy.... In the end, Balasubramanyam’s novel is a sort of Christmas Carol for a new age.” (NPR

“Impressively, Balasubramanyam...balances satire and self-enlightenment [in] a surprisingly soulful family tale that echoes Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections in its witty exploration of three children trying to free themselves from the influence of their parents.” (The Guardian)  

“Funny from start to finish.... Spending time with Professor Chandra feels like you’ve been in therapy, in a good way.” (Irish Times)  

“Funny, affecting...Chandra is a delightful creation: peevish, intolerant, intellectually exacting, unwittingly eccentric, nerdy, needy yet lovable. The book, like its picaresque hero, is a one-off.” (The Sunday Times)

©2019 Rajeev Balasubramanyam (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Professor Chandra is as acerbic and unbending a curmudgeon as one could wish to find scowling from the pages of a novel. Brilliant, pompous, and baffled by the world outside his Cambridge study, Chandra is forced on a reluctant quest to America to find himself and his family. Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss is searingly funny, uplifting, and wonderful.” (Helen Simonson, New York Times best-selling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and The Summer Before the War)

“There’s a long tradition of trying (and failing) to describe the spiritual search and the ineffable mystery without sounding like a pretentious snob or a sappy Pollyanna. Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss manages to pull it off. The book tackles perennially difficult and deep questions with humor and humanity, beautiful writing, and a page-turning story line. I gave myself over to Professor Chandra’s journey as he opens himself to self-examination, family healing, and a more courageous experience of being alive.” (Elizabeth Lesser, New York Times best-selling author of Broken Open and co-founder, Omega Institute)

“Balasubramanyam sets Chandra on a journey through his hardest feelings, working through the anger and emotional ineptitude that too often conceal his infinite love for his family. At first, Chandra’s children take even his self-blame for selfishness, but subtle changes in his introspection make for a big outward shift. With humor and emotional agility, Balasubramanyam writes a feel-good story that leaves room for feeling bad.” (Booklist)

What listeners say about Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

balanced fun

there are so many of us at a turning point in our lives. this is a fun read that lets you think but not get lost in your deep thoughts. highly recommended

4 people found this helpful

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Not Zen

Less mindfulness than self recognition when time is running out. Interesting, sad, and recognizable in many men.

2 people found this helpful

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the narrator made this a great listen

I enjoyed the book overall. The narrator was extraordinary though, really bringing each character to life.

1 person found this helpful

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Sweet, not sappy

Delightful story. Meaningful without being lecture-y, warm but not scorching, fun without slapstick. If you're in the right mood, it's a wonderful read. Great narrator, too.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Insightful, informative and great fun!

A beautifully written book with wonderful characters and superb wit. A book that embraces living through many lenses.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Nice Listen

Enjoyable story with a good performance. Mainly a light story with an underlying message. Worth a listen.

1 person found this helpful

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liked it. thoughtful!

liked it. thoughtful. interesting family dynamics. the retreate was well done. it was very interesting.

1 person found this helpful

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Narration was fabulous

The story was endearing and I really enjoyed it. I’m glad I listened to it bc the narration helped define the characters I felt. Sometimes the narrator takes away from a book but in this case it was one of the best parts of my experience. Lovely story...

1 person found this helpful

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Jerky economist learns to be less of a jerk

Honestly, I wasn't impressed by this book. The main character is an obnoxious boor who learns to be less of a jerk to his ex-wife and children. I didn't see any "bliss" in it. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen, but it just didn't. Glad to be done with it.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent

This book was amazing. It really touched me and is a wonderful story of finding connection to the people you love and also just how we do have the ability to open up and change at any age. I want to listen to this again this summer. I loved it that much.

1 person found this helpful