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Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss  By  cover art

Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss

By: Rajeev Balasubramanyam
Narrated by: Ramon Tikaram
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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

Average customer ratings
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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

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4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

the narrator made this a great listen

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

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Nice Listen

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

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

3.5 stars for a decent story about older life

Firstly.

Ramon Tikaram always does a good job.
This book sadly was t for me though.
It has a nice arc for Chandra but it’s mostly a depressive slog about an elderly man and his family issues.

Maybe older people will enjoy this but me (29) Have yet to go through a midlife crisis enough to relate.

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2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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...

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not Zen

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

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Insightful, informative and great fun!

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

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1 person found this helpful

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