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Sexual attraction between a nameless narrator and his wife, Fizz, provides the through line of this sweeping epic by journalist and editor Tejpal. Written from within the skin of India, The Alchemy of Desire is a novel quite unlike any other, with a power and weight of feeling one almost never encounters in. In turn-of-the-millennium India, a penniless would-be writer halts work on his novel only to feed his ceaseless desire for his beautiful wife. Then a chance.

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A simple recounting of the plot does the novel a serious injustice.

These forms the sections and essence of Tarun Tejpal’s first literary work. He offfers great insight into the modern Indian middle class mentality.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. This is my all time favorite! It a nice buy and is worth every penny And once you start reading it, it’s pretty difficult to put it down. Refresh and try again. The Alchemy of Desire by Tarun J.

Please try to ignore the cover of the Ecco edition, it does not reflect the scope of the book at all. What I think is the biggest drawback of the book is that it is actually two books, one, a story of a young couple from small town India, madly and obsessively in love, come to the big city, and a sort of coming of age of a marriage and it’s dissolution.

It also offers, in searing, lucid prose, a deeply sensual and moving account of the complex chemistry between sex, ambition and love. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. The way the protagonist retraces the past is thrilling.


It understands men will always fall in the shifting chasm between the tug of the moral and the tejpaal of the immoral. Inventive, playful, heartbreaking, brimming with ideas and taru characters, The Alchemy of Desire celebrates the chaotic spirit of a country during a time of great change.

His prose goes a long way towards capturing the hedonism and playfulness of desire – which few writers can successfully weave into their novels. These flowing lines rattle into a mundane list of “demons” and grind to a halt with the bland statement: I am glad that I read this book – a rich introduction to a very promising writer.

The Alchemy of Desire

And then there is the historical semi-thriller in the form of the story of the white woman whose diaries are found buried in a corner of an old house in the hills. It’s rarely that I come across a novel where nothing really happens but the main theme is how someone is feeling.

There was something about the unreliable character of the narrator that really got to me here: The novel’s initial lines “Love is not the greatest glue between two people.

Sep 27, Shikhar rated it liked it. It grants him paradise and the admiration of the gods. Want to Read saving…. The narrator cannot pull himself away from the journals and the woman whose spirit seems to haunt him, and is as a result pulled away from his wife for the first time. This time the music would not fade away, this time, the regimen would last till the final roll of parchment has been inked! But soon the sound writer senses that his writing is unsound, leaving him deeply restless.

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The Alchemy of Desire by Tarun Tejpal

The novel is not polished and you can easily find the seams where he connected these stories. But the great moral thriller also orders us to rage against karma and its despotic dictates. During renovations a chance discovery triggers a strange energy, and the man finds himself irresistibly drawn away from his wife and thrust into another world and time. The butt-jokes flow easily don’t they?


It celebrates the manic spirit of a country in a time of great change; and also offers in searing, lucid prose, a deeply sensual and moving meditation on the nature of desire, history, truth and art. Slowly he begins to uncover dark secrets, until startling truths are laid bare and all certainties are overturned.

Sushi with a gulp of Sake. In Marchhe started Tehelka, a news organisation that has earned a global reputation for its aggressive public interest journalism. Everything is a little bit too much and you end up with a verbal diarrhea. Read a fiction after a long.

It is much greater. And I can say that from my personal experience of being a person who have been in and out of love quite a number of times. This is a major novel by one of the most significant new voices of his generation. It encourages the noblest of men – Yudhishtra, Arjuna, Lord Krishna himself – to lie, so that a greater truth may be served. At first they pursue their deep physical need with a reckless intensity.