Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss
'I loved this beautiful book. It's tender and compassionate, written with exquisite care and verve, and so so SO funny' MARIAN KEYESProfessor Chandra is an expert at complex problems. There's just one he can't crack: the secret of happinessIn 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.

Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss Details

TitleProfessor Chandra Follows His Bliss
Author
ReleaseJan 10th, 2019
PublisherChatto Windus
ISBN-139781784742546
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Adult Fiction, Adult

Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss Review

  • Jaline
    January 1, 1970
    Update: Happy Publication Date today, March 26, 2019Professor P. R. Chandrasekhar has been leading the kind of life he prescribed for himself 45 years earlier when he left India at the age of 24. With a few alterations. He is 69 years old and although he is Professor Emeritus in Economics at a college in Oxford, the big prize, the one he has worked so hard for, has been elusive. His marriage fell apart a few years before when his wife left him for another man. They, and the Professor’s youngest Update: Happy Publication Date today, March 26, 2019Professor P. R. Chandrasekhar has been leading the kind of life he prescribed for himself 45 years earlier when he left India at the age of 24. With a few alterations. He is 69 years old and although he is Professor Emeritus in Economics at a college in Oxford, the big prize, the one he has worked so hard for, has been elusive. His marriage fell apart a few years before when his wife left him for another man. They, and the Professor’s youngest daughter Jaz (Jasmine) live in Colorado which makes it difficult for regular physical contact.His ex-wife calls him Charles, most people call him Chandra (or Professor Chandra), and sometimes Chandu. Chandra’s son, Sunny (Sunil) is in Hong Kong doing some kind of business seminars, and what’s worse, he is very successful at it and doesn’t hesitate to let his father know. Chandra is estranged from his eldest daughter, Rad (Radha), and with Jasmine so far away, Chandra assesses his life and finds it wanting. He works harder and believes that if he can reach his goal of ultimate success, the rest of his life will fall into place as well.Then, he is in an accident. With a bicycle. He ends up in hospital because he also had a “silent” heart attack. His doctor is American and lets him know quite firmly that he is not to return to work for several months. He advises him to take a sabbatical, and cheerily suggests he “follow his bliss”.This story has humour in it but it definitely isn’t comic. The humour is often dry – the kind where you blink and you might miss it, but you have a grin on your face anyway. It is also witty, and sometimes I could envision a winking emoji lurking somewhere in there.For me, this novel is first and foremost about an older professional man who has an epiphany of sorts and begins to look at his life, and himself, with lenses that seem to be a stronger prescription than before.His epiphany isn’t like a big light bulb going on over his head. It is more like a faulty set of Christmas lights with miniature bulbs that light up in a pattern – only the pattern seems to keep changing. The adventures that Chandra experiences in pursuit of the faulty little bulb (or bulbs) in the light string results in one of the most entertaining and engaging books I have read.The author, Rajeev Balasubramanyam, is a hugely talented writer. To write about someone who is at a crossroad of crises in their life is not an easy undertaking. To do so with compassion, humour, deep insight, knowledge and wisdom is a glorious accomplishment.With gratitude to Random House and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of this novel. Its publication date is March 26, 2019.
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  • Angela M
    January 1, 1970
    I read this because I was hoping for a lighter book. I routinely read so many books with heavy subject matter by choice, but I thought this would be a nice reprieve. While there is humor to be found here, it’s not what I would call a light read. There are some real issues to think about here - a broken family, a sad lonely man who has put himself and his career before his family and now feels like a failure in his career as well. I’m an outlier here since there are so many 4 and 5 star reviews. I read this because I was hoping for a lighter book. I routinely read so many books with heavy subject matter by choice, but I thought this would be a nice reprieve. While there is humor to be found here, it’s not what I would call a light read. There are some real issues to think about here - a broken family, a sad lonely man who has put himself and his career before his family and now feels like a failure in his career as well. I’m an outlier here since there are so many 4 and 5 star reviews. I can’t say I loved this story. The main theme - a older man reaches a point in his life where he does some soul searching and has regrets about the man he has been and is seeking to change and perhaps redeem himself for all of the things that he didn’t give his family. I didn’t find it to be original as there are so many stories covering the regrets people feel later in life about lost chances.While there were times when I felt sorry for Professor Chandra, I didn’t like him very much. He tries to figure out how he has failed with his children. Truth be known, they weren’t perfect and I didn’t like them very much either. Chandra has an accident which is the impetus for him to begin thinking about his life. He ends up attending a retreat at the recommendation of his ex wife’s husband called “Being Yourself in the Summer Solstice”. The group sessions where you bare your soul and get advice from others who are having issues of their own and where you actually bare your body sitting naked in the hot tubs having discussions felt contrived . He leaves after three days and is enlightened, but this self-help meditation, group thing just didn’t work for me. A way too predictable ending . As I said, even though the story didn’t feel new to me, there are some real family issues that a lot of readers will relate to. You should read the 4 and 5 star reviews. I received an advanced copy of this book from Random House/The Dial Press through NetGalley.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a sucker for books about cranky individuals, curmudgeons, grumpy souls, if you will. Maybe I feel a kindred spirit. Professor Chandra is a professor emeritus in economics at Cambridge. He's just been passed over for the Novel Prize for the umpteenth time. His life is falling apart. He's wondering whether his life has any meaning. His wife divorced him three years ago and moved to Colorado. He has major differences with two of his three children. After he is injured in an accident it is stron I'm a sucker for books about cranky individuals, curmudgeons, grumpy souls, if you will. Maybe I feel a kindred spirit. Professor Chandra is a professor emeritus in economics at Cambridge. He's just been passed over for the Novel Prize for the umpteenth time. His life is falling apart. He's wondering whether his life has any meaning. His wife divorced him three years ago and moved to Colorado. He has major differences with two of his three children. After he is injured in an accident it is strongly suggested he take a sabbatical. He heads to the US to see his youngest daughter.Because of the title, I was expecting a humorous book. And there is some humor. But in truth, this is a heartfelt novel about losing and finding family, about the mistakes parents make with their children and how hard it can be to let them be themselves.The characters are fully formed. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, though it takes them a while to willingly show their weaknesses. Even those that could be painted a clichés are given redeeming traits.While this wasn't what I expected, I truly enjoyed it. Curmudgeon that I am, it took me by surprise that the author didn't make a stay at Esalen into a punch line.My thanks to netgalley and Random House for an advance copy of this book.
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  • Bianca
    January 1, 1970
    As you can tell from my rating, this was only an okay read for me.I don't know if it's the because of the title and/or the cover, but I was expecting something light, charming and whimsy.I usually like books about changing one's ways, finding one's bliss, although I roll my eyes at some of the pseudo-spiritual stuff some people get up to, while also being in the camp of if it makes them happy and doesn't hurt anyone ... But I don't know, I went with the flow but I always wanted to get out and do As you can tell from my rating, this was only an okay read for me.I don't know if it's the because of the title and/or the cover, but I was expecting something light, charming and whimsy.I usually like books about changing one's ways, finding one's bliss, although I roll my eyes at some of the pseudo-spiritual stuff some people get up to, while also being in the camp of if it makes them happy and doesn't hurt anyone ... But I don't know, I went with the flow but I always wanted to get out and do something else. If you don't care for the characters it's difficult to get invested in what happens to them. That's not to say the novel was bad, I just didn't quite feel it.
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  • Diane Barnes
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThis book was much better than I thought it would be, which is a strange comment, I suppose. I had signed up for it at my library, it came in, so I started reading what I thought would be a light, funny book about a curmudgeon. If it was no good, or too light and fluffy, I could just send It back to the library, no harm, no foul. It turned out to be much more than that, which delighted me; a complex story about a complex man trying to find himself after a lifetime of thinking he was alw 3.5 starsThis book was much better than I thought it would be, which is a strange comment, I suppose. I had signed up for it at my library, it came in, so I started reading what I thought would be a light, funny book about a curmudgeon. If it was no good, or too light and fluffy, I could just send It back to the library, no harm, no foul. It turned out to be much more than that, which delighted me; a complex story about a complex man trying to find himself after a lifetime of thinking he was always the smartest man in the room. A 69 year old Cambridge professor in Economics, an almost Nobelist, with an ex-wife and 3 children, 2 of them grown and estranged, the youngest still a teen-ager trying to find her purpose in the world, he's also a man who has worked hard for what he's achieved, and does not suffer fools gladly. He has an analytical mind and a sharp tongue, which does not bode well for either his students or his family, but gives this book a lot of humor.After being hit by a bike and suffering a heart attack, he is strongly urged to take a sabbatical, which he does by arranging a visiting professorship in California. Hence the bliss. This sets off quite a change of events, as Professor Chandra is forced to come face to face with himself, and doesn't really like what he sees.My biggest problem with this book is its title, which I think gives a potential reader the idea that this book is exactly what I first thought; a light, funny book about a curmudgeon. So those who do indeed want to read that kind of book are going to be disappointed that it goes into much deeper psychological territory. And those who want something more complex are never going to read it at all. Just so you know, this book is not what you think it is. It's better.
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  • Faith
    January 1, 1970
    Chandra is a 69 year old economics professor at Cambridge. He’s been shortlisted for the Nobel Prize several times and his most recent failure to be selected is weighing on him. Other sources of stress are his divorce from ex wife Jean and separation from his children. Seventeen year old Jasmine lives with her mother and step father in Boulder, Colorado. Her older brother Sunny owns a successful business institute in Hong Kong based on the concept of “capitalist mysticism” (basically greed is go Chandra is a 69 year old economics professor at Cambridge. He’s been shortlisted for the Nobel Prize several times and his most recent failure to be selected is weighing on him. Other sources of stress are his divorce from ex wife Jean and separation from his children. Seventeen year old Jasmine lives with her mother and step father in Boulder, Colorado. Her older brother Sunny owns a successful business institute in Hong Kong based on the concept of “capitalist mysticism” (basically greed is good and you can get whatever you want through positive thinking). Eldest daughter Radha is an activist who has been estranged from her father for the last two years. Since his divorce Chandra sees himself as “...an Indian Miss Havisham with an Emeritus Professorship and a takeaway menu.” After a health scare, he is advised by his doctor to take some time off and follow his bliss, so he heads for the warm climate of Los Angeles for a sabbatical.I thought Chandra was a great character, pompous and arrogant but also loving and insecure. There was a little too much navel gazing in this book for me, but I enjoyed reading about Chandra’s search for self knowledge. Although every conversation Chandra had with his ex wife or children seemed to be fraught, the book also had a lot of wit and sharp observations. There is no way I could not love a book that refers to Trump as “the oaf who wouldn’t know a demand curve if it wrapped itself around his pizza-laden stomach“. I liked the author’s writing style and would be happy to read more by him. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
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  • Marjorie
    January 1, 1970
    Professor Chandra was sure he would win the Nobel Prize as an economist, but no, he misses it yet again. Winning this prize has become a necessity for his happiness in his mind. He’ll need to work harder next time. But when he’s the victim of a bicycle hit and run, he begins to re-assess his life and work. He focuses on his relationships with his children and ex-wife. He’s been estranged from his oldest daughter for years. He rarely sees his son who lives in Hong Kong. His youngest daughter live Professor Chandra was sure he would win the Nobel Prize as an economist, but no, he misses it yet again. Winning this prize has become a necessity for his happiness in his mind. He’ll need to work harder next time. But when he’s the victim of a bicycle hit and run, he begins to re-assess his life and work. He focuses on his relationships with his children and ex-wife. He’s been estranged from his oldest daughter for years. He rarely sees his son who lives in Hong Kong. His youngest daughter lives with the professor’s ex-wife Jean and her present husband Steve in Colorado. So Professor Chandra embarks on a self-awareness journey.This is a very humorous, delightful book that takes a look at some quite deep issues. It’s not a laugh-out-loud type of book but rather prompts a chuckle now and then. I found the Professor and his adventures to be very realistic and there were many times throughout the book that I just wanted to give him a hug. For the past couple of years, I’ve been on a spiritual journey myself, leading me to the law of attraction, meditation, Reiki and qi-gong so I was very receptive of this author’s message. Regardless of that, it’s quite an entertaining book.Recommended – take a journey with Professor Chandra to make some uplifting discoveries for yourself.This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.
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  • Janet Newport
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you NetGalley and Random House for this arc.I usually read mysteries / thrillers / action adventure stories..... usually much faster paced books. But I found this to be a very nice slow read. First though, I must comment that the reader have at least fifty years under their belt so they can properly enjoy it. This is an adventure story of sorts. Professor Chandra has reached the acme of his professional life and has to reconcile with himself that he may never attain all of his earlier prof Thank you NetGalley and Random House for this arc.I usually read mysteries / thrillers / action adventure stories..... usually much faster paced books. But I found this to be a very nice slow read. First though, I must comment that the reader have at least fifty years under their belt so they can properly enjoy it. This is an adventure story of sorts. Professor Chandra has reached the acme of his professional life and has to reconcile with himself that he may never attain all of his earlier professional dreams and aspirations (the Nobel Prize). This book is the story of his reassessment of his life, his world, his place in that world, his family and where he fits into all of it. Fortunately, he has opened his mind and his story forward is very engaging.
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  • Ivonne Rovira
    January 1, 1970
    Pity poor Cambridge don P.C. Chandrasekhar — an internationally renowned economist and arrogant curmudgeon shortlisted for the Nobel Prize who goes by Professor Chandra. His wife Jean left him for a shallow child psychologist, whom she followed to Colorado; unfortunately, Jean also took Chandra’s teenaged daughter Jasmine in tow. His workaholic son Sunny has become “the brown face of global corporatism,” while his daughter Radha has become the argumentative comic-book version of a Marxist revolu Pity poor Cambridge don P.C. Chandrasekhar — an internationally renowned economist and arrogant curmudgeon shortlisted for the Nobel Prize who goes by Professor Chandra. His wife Jean left him for a shallow child psychologist, whom she followed to Colorado; unfortunately, Jean also took Chandra’s teenaged daughter Jasmine in tow. His workaholic son Sunny has become “the brown face of global corporatism,” while his daughter Radha has become the argumentative comic-book version of a Marxist revolutionary. Needless to say, Chandra doesn’t have a good relationship with any of them; in fact, Radha has refused to see or even speak to her father in years. But it’s only after he’s hospitalized because of a collision with a cyclist that the 69-year-old Chandra begins to realize that he’s on the wrong track:Sometimes he wondered if it wasn’t all a giant con, the gaggle of letters after his name, the dinners with Angela Merkel and Narendra Modi, the notes from Gordon Brown and Larry Summers. They were like those fake Oscar statues bought at pound shops and given to employees inscribed with “World’s Greatest Photocopier” or “Best Lightbulb Changer in the Galaxy.” When he died only his writing would remain, until it was rendered obsolete when oil and coal ran out and the species established its first settlement on Mars.Professor Chandra was the foremost trade economist in the world, could phone any finance minister in any country at any time and have them take his call. And yet, what if he had only convinced himself that the world envied him? What if, in reality, they felt sorry for him with his swollen ego and his Savile Row suits and his sculpted tri-continental accent?Pushed into attending a New Age seminar on the California seaside, Chandra begins to realize that it’s never too late to change course. This feel-good story, loaded with insight and humor, could easily have felt contrived, twee or manipulative, but author Rajeev Balasubramanyam never makes a false move. I could hardly pull myself away from its pages. The ending was satisfying without ever being hectoring or implausible. I cannot wait to read Balasubramanyam’s earlier work, In Beautiful Disguises.In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from NetGalley, Random House and The Dial Press in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    When Emeritus Professor P.R. Chandrasekhar misses out on the Nobel Prize for Economics (again), it really doesn't improve his mood. Faced with complaints from his students, an unfortunate run-in with a bicycle and a silent heart attack, the Cambridge Don takes heed of his College Master's advice that it might be a good time to take a sabbatical. So he organises a gig as Distinguished Visiting Professor at UC Bella Vista in California. Apart from the health benefits of spending time in the sun, h When Emeritus Professor P.R. Chandrasekhar misses out on the Nobel Prize for Economics (again), it really doesn't improve his mood. Faced with complaints from his students, an unfortunate run-in with a bicycle and a silent heart attack, the Cambridge Don takes heed of his College Master's advice that it might be a good time to take a sabbatical. So he organises a gig as Distinguished Visiting Professor at UC Bella Vista in California. Apart from the health benefits of spending time in the sun, he looks forward to being just a short flight away from his youngest daughter, the teenaged Jasmine, who lives with her mother in Colorado.It all goes well until Chandra visits Boulder for Jasmine's graduation and he finds himself landing an entirely uncharacteristic punch on the nose of his ex-wife's smarmy psychologist husband, Steve. To keep the embarrassing secret from Jean, Chandra allows himself to be coerced into attending a workshop - Being Yourself in the Summer Solstice - at a spiritual retreat in California where Steve has connections. Of course, it's really not his thing, but he goes along and finds himself starting to question and understand his own happiness.This is really just the start of what is essentially a different kind of family dramedy. I loved the character of Chandra. He's clearly from the curmudgeon mould, but he's frighteningly relatable and his desire to improve himself and his relationships makes you just want to cheer him on. He actually has three children in total (2 older than Jasmine) and different problems with each of them, which he slowly but clumsily starts to unravel as his self-awareness grows. This leads to various comic and/or touching moments.In terms of plot, I really liked that Chandra's turning point came from attending a spiritual workshop, because, let's face it, characters like this don't just magically wake up enlightened one day! And although this is nothing like a self-help book masquerading as a novel, there was stuff in that workshop that really made me stop and think - not just about Chandra, but about myself as well. It wasn't groundbreaking, but for me it was certainly thought-provoking. Partly for this reason, as soon as I finished reading this book I thought I'd probably be happy to re-read it at some point in the future.With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy to read and review.
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  • Krista
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 3 starsOh Professor Chandra, I had such high hopes that we’d go on a wonderful, humorous, light-hearted journey together. Alas, it did not turn out that way for me. You made me feel your angst about the disconnectedness you had from your children, and your annual disappointment about not winning the Nobel Prize in Economics. But the journey you embarked on to reach out to the family, and the forks in the road you took along the way turned out to be not all that interesting to me. Sadly, Rating: 3 starsOh Professor Chandra, I had such high hopes that we’d go on a wonderful, humorous, light-hearted journey together. Alas, it did not turn out that way for me. You made me feel your angst about the disconnectedness you had from your children, and your annual disappointment about not winning the Nobel Prize in Economics. But the journey you embarked on to reach out to the family, and the forks in the road you took along the way turned out to be not all that interesting to me. Sadly, I think that I may have been misled by some of the comments on the book blurb, and early reviews. I liked the journey, but I was just not *that* in to it.I met 69-year-old, irascible, Professor Chandra in Oxford, England. He is a renowned Economics professor and author. As we meet, he has yet again gotten his hopes up about winning the Nobel Prize, only to have them come crashing down when some upstart economist wins instead. He’s worked so hard all his life to attain this final pinnacle of his career. He eventually lost his marriage and three his children due to his devotion to his work. He almost lost his life too due to this singular focus. After his accident, his doctor strongly suggests that he change his ways and try to follow ‘his bliss’. He has no idea what that means.So begins Chandra’s journey . First he teaches college for a semester in Los Angeles. He tries to help his 17-year-old daughter in Colorado. In the process, he is challenged by his ex-wife’s rather too smarmy new husband to attend a new-age seminar at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Amazingly, he does go to the Esalen retreat. Then the story moves to Hong Kong to visit with his adult son, and finally on to a monastery in Colorado where he tries to bring all the family together including his adult daughter, Radha, who hasn’t spoken to him in years. I felt like there were too many pages spent on the group workshop at Esalen. Each new experience opens him up to the world, and his children in a different way. But there was too much time devoted to the navel gazing of this group of strangers at Esalen. Maybe there was just too much angst, and family drama, to live up what I believed the book had been billed as.The writing was good, but as I said, some of the segments were just too long for me. I was looking for more humor and levity in this book. For those readers looking for a book about a self-awareness journey with some funny lines and observations sprinkled here and there, this could be the perfect book for you. For me it was a 3 star read. ‘Thank-You’ to NetGalley; the publisher, The Dial Press (Random House Publishing Group); and the author, Rajeev Balasubramanyam; for providing a free e-ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Aga Durka
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a slow moving, character driven, family drama. There is no action, twist and turns, so for all the thriller/suspense/mystery book lovers this may be a monotonous read. But there is a really good message that I have taken away from this book: that no matter how busy and ambitious we are in our lives, we always need to take time for our loved ones. We really need to hear them out, and try to understand their ways, because if we don’t, one day we may find ourselves very much alone. Pro This book is a slow moving, character driven, family drama. There is no action, twist and turns, so for all the thriller/suspense/mystery book lovers this may be a monotonous read. But there is a really good message that I have taken away from this book: that no matter how busy and ambitious we are in our lives, we always need to take time for our loved ones. We really need to hear them out, and try to understand their ways, because if we don’t, one day we may find ourselves very much alone. Professor Chandra is a 69-year old economics professor at Cambridge. He is a workaholic and he has no time for his family. His wife left him for another man and his children barely talk to him. In fact, he’s been estranged from his older daughter for years. He is judgmental, controlling, and he constantly argues with his kids. But then one day an accident happens, and Professor Chandra realizes that perhaps he is the problem and not his kids, and maybe he’s the one that needs to make some changes in his life to regain the love and respect of his children. I wanted to quit reading this novel at 20%. I could not connect with Professor Chandra's character and his story. He is not a likable character, and his eccentric and arrogant personality was getting on my nerves. I did not like the way he treated his children and I was put-off by his narrow-minded thinking. But then I though, why not give him a chance to redeem himself? And good thing I did, because at the end of the story I really enjoyed Professor Chandra’s character, and now I have a special spot for him in my heart :)Thank you Netgalley, Random House Publishing, and the author, Rajeev Balasubramanyam, for giving me an opportunity to read an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    Professor Chandra, soon to be seventy, has once again not won the Pulitzer Prize in Economics. His career was built on theories now unpopular--as unpopular as the Professor himself! His kids won't talk with him, his ex married a male bimbo, his coworkers are sick of him. He has some nagging doubts about his whole life. Has he valued the wrong things? Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss had me laughing out loud through the first half. Chandra's struggles with the world and his family are presente Professor Chandra, soon to be seventy, has once again not won the Pulitzer Prize in Economics. His career was built on theories now unpopular--as unpopular as the Professor himself! His kids won't talk with him, his ex married a male bimbo, his coworkers are sick of him. He has some nagging doubts about his whole life. Has he valued the wrong things? Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss had me laughing out loud through the first half. Chandra's struggles with the world and his family are presented with humor. Chandra takes up the challenge of spending time "seeking his bliss" at Esalen. He takes in stride new experiences like meditation and nude hot tub conversations. He uses what he learns and tries to reconnect with his alienated children. All Chandra's problems don't disappear like magic, but what he learns and absorbs does bring him to a place where healing can begin to happen.I enjoyed the novel and felt invested in Chandra and his family. But...Halfway through the book, I felt like there was a secret agenda. Like the author was proselytizing! Was the novel just one big sales pitch for a certain experience and lifestyle? The author, I discovered, practices Zen meditation. Can we solve our issues with better self-talk, claiming responsibility for myself, opening up about my repressed feelings? Would spending time at a Zen monastery change our life? Do self-help gurus really help? Maybe. I mean, this is all very good advice. Maybe we all need a spiritual journey now and then. Reevaluate our goals and values. So decide for yourself. If you are seeking a role model for change, Chandra might be your guy. I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
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  • Kelly Coyle-Crivelli
    January 1, 1970
    A story about a father that loves his children, even though they sometimes don't see it that way. Chandra is a character to love and in all of his imperfections, he's still gets the important things right- and isn't that what life is all about?
  • SueKich
    January 1, 1970
    Welcome to the Hotel California.Every year, Professor Emeritus P. R. Chandrasekhar is hotly tipped to win the Nobel Prize for Economics. The professor expects it too – and yet each year he is disappointed. He’s now past caring (or so he at least claims). As Chandra recovers after being injured in a traffic accident, he knows it’s time to reassess his life, his career and his relationships with his three children. When his ex-wife’s new partner manipulates him into visiting a Californian retreat, Welcome to the Hotel California.Every year, Professor Emeritus P. R. Chandrasekhar is hotly tipped to win the Nobel Prize for Economics. The professor expects it too – and yet each year he is disappointed. He’s now past caring (or so he at least claims). As Chandra recovers after being injured in a traffic accident, he knows it’s time to reassess his life, his career and his relationships with his three children. When his ex-wife’s new partner manipulates him into visiting a Californian retreat, Chandra reluctantly agrees to give this ‘new-age nonsense’ a go.Rajeev Balasubramanyam explores the dynamics of a distinguished and highly successful man on the rest of his family. The writing is eminently readable and there are moments of insight: “mediocrity was a great leveller” as well as some welcome humour like Chandra’s fall-back economist joke: “the one about the woman whose doctor tells her she has six months to live and advises her to marry an economist and move to Kansas. ‘Why?’ says the woman. ‘Will this cure my illness?’ ‘No,’ says the doctor, ‘but those six months will feel like a lifetime’.”The title and cover art might lead one to expect a frivolous read but in fact this novel has some important things to say even though, sadly, it runs out of steam towards the end. 3.5*My thanks to Chatto & Windus for the review copy via NetGalley.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    I had high hopes for Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss, but I was disappointed. What I thought would be a humorous, relatively light-hearted book was really a satire where author Ravjeev Balasubramanyam mocks American culture and perhaps empirically proves you can't teach an old dog a new trick.Chandra is not a lovable curmudgeon like those found in A Man Called Ove or The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper. He is self-centered and pompous. He alienated his wife and children with his singular foc I had high hopes for Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss, but I was disappointed. What I thought would be a humorous, relatively light-hearted book was really a satire where author Ravjeev Balasubramanyam mocks American culture and perhaps empirically proves you can't teach an old dog a new trick.Chandra is not a lovable curmudgeon like those found in A Man Called Ove or The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper. He is self-centered and pompous. He alienated his wife and children with his singular focus on his aspirations for world recognition of his belief in his brilliance. His ex-wife, Jean, and their children aren’t any more likable. Steve—Jean’s new husband—is the tool through which author Balasubramanyam pokes fun of what he perceives to be modern America. While Steve and his compatriots at the Esalen Institute are accepting and somewhat likable characters, Chandra and his estranged family are a mess of judgment and self-absorption.From the synopsis, I thought this book would be funny, but it wasn’t. I was looking forward to quirky characters and a madcap journey to enlightenment. Instead I got stiff characters and flat "adventures". There were bits that were mildly amusing, but they didn't really grabbed me. Chandra is too pedantic to ever find “his bliss”. Yet the author wants his readers to believe that a few days spent at Esalen in hot tub therapy leads his stereotypical main character to enlightenment. However, Chandra shows little in the way of epiphanic metamorphosis. The inadequate exploration of Chandra’s relationships with his offspring and their continuing discord was dissatisfying.Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss shows off the author’s knowledge--or research--of the study of economics, and the book seemingly reflects the author’s view of Americans. It did present some meaty family issues, but the story fell flat in terms of addressing those familial conflicts. Perhaps that is more realistic, but it wasn’t particularly satisfying. Sadly, unsatisfying is probably the best descriptor for this book.I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Dial Press/Random House Publishing via NetGalley. For more reading recommendations, visit Book Junkie Reviews at www.abookjunkiereviews.wordpress.com
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  • Joel
    January 1, 1970
    DNFing on page 86.I really dislike DNFing ARCs, but this one doesn't seem to live up to its blurb. While there are some amusing parts, the plot drags on and on, and none of the characters are particularly likable. It feels a lot like Johnathan Franzen's The Corrections to me, and I loathed everything about that book. Fortunately, I no longer feel obligated to finish a book I'm not enjoying. I wish the professor the best in his search for bliss, and I am off to seek my own in a different book.
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  • Stephen
    January 1, 1970
    a middle life novel of Chandra who re discovers his life and like the essence of the plot and the writing and the good feel faction
  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would! It starts off a little slowly but then we realize we need the build-up to see Professor Chandra's take on his life and his family which has slowly crumbled a little. His wife has left him for another man, his children have taken different paths in life, and we see his academic life shattered when he doesn't win the prize he hoped for. He's incredibly intelligent, arrogant, and "0ld-school," and yet there's a vulnerability we see from the beginning I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would! It starts off a little slowly but then we realize we need the build-up to see Professor Chandra's take on his life and his family which has slowly crumbled a little. His wife has left him for another man, his children have taken different paths in life, and we see his academic life shattered when he doesn't win the prize he hoped for. He's incredibly intelligent, arrogant, and "0ld-school," and yet there's a vulnerability we see from the beginning that we know he must come to recognize if he's to become a happier man. As a parent, it's both heartbreaking and heartwarming to see that he attempts to reconcile his life as an aging professor with the fact that his children are adults and don't always buy into the concepts that he has ingrained in their lives. Generational differences are always hard to accept. As an aging parent myself, I have always believed that you can never take credit for your kids' successes or take blame for their failures. We can only instill in them the belief that we are all only human and we should strive to be the best we can be--and accept others as they are. So hug your "children" and read this book! It's inspiring!Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    Opinionated and self-important 69-year old professor Chandra, a Nobel prize nominee (who loses yet again) is told to take a sabbatical from his university for calling a student an ‘imbecile’. Estranged from his family, spiraling downward, and recovering from a silent heart attack, his doctor advises Chandra to take it easy and chill for two months. “You gotta follow your bliss, man. That’s all there is to it”, he advises. So Chandra sets off on a journey to do just that, enrolling at a retreat c Opinionated and self-important 69-year old professor Chandra, a Nobel prize nominee (who loses yet again) is told to take a sabbatical from his university for calling a student an ‘imbecile’. Estranged from his family, spiraling downward, and recovering from a silent heart attack, his doctor advises Chandra to take it easy and chill for two months. “You gotta follow your bliss, man. That’s all there is to it”, he advises. So Chandra sets off on a journey to do just that, enrolling at a retreat center to find his bliss. Can he unlock his spirit, refresh and rebuild relationships and find happiness? A slow yet satisfying unconventional odyssey that teaches some lessons about transformation and restoring optimism.
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  • Mayda
    January 1, 1970
    If there were a coming-of-retirement-age genre, this book would undoubtedly be on the short list. Chandra is close to 70 years of age, still teaching and publishing, and still hoping to win a Nobel prize. He is a successful professor, but he doesn’t see himself that way. His personal life is a disappointment, from his failed marriage to his troubled children. But fate - or something -intervenes, and Chandra finds himself at a new-age retreat of sorts. And slowly but most decidedly, Chandra finds If there were a coming-of-retirement-age genre, this book would undoubtedly be on the short list. Chandra is close to 70 years of age, still teaching and publishing, and still hoping to win a Nobel prize. He is a successful professor, but he doesn’t see himself that way. His personal life is a disappointment, from his failed marriage to his troubled children. But fate - or something -intervenes, and Chandra finds himself at a new-age retreat of sorts. And slowly but most decidedly, Chandra finds his bliss without really looking for it. This character-driven tale is novel in its approach that, like old dogs, old curmudgeons can be taught new tricks. Well written with delightful characters, this story is sprinkled with humor and woven together with the inspiring idea that it is never too late to find the bliss that you may be missing.
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for a copy of book. It deals with insight and enlightenment which can change long held beliefs and relationships for the better. It was not the light hearted, amusing book I was expecting. 3.5 stars The story gives us insight into our self image may be a drawback into seeing our true selves and how much more we could be. Professor Chandra’s work has been built around his life as one of the world’s foremost experts in economics. He is e Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for a copy of book. It deals with insight and enlightenment which can change long held beliefs and relationships for the better. It was not the light hearted, amusing book I was expecting. 3.5 stars The story gives us insight into our self image may be a drawback into seeing our true selves and how much more we could be. Professor Chandra’s work has been built around his life as one of the world’s foremost experts in economics. He is egotistical, argumentative and a workaholic. He expects each year to win the Nobel Prize which he feels at age 69 would validate his life and profession. His wife has left him for another man and moved from England to California and he is estranged from his three children. After being upset the Nobel Prize for Economics has again been awarded to others,he pretends he doesn’t care. Following an accident he is in hospital where the doctor tells him he needs to take it easy and ‘follow his bliss.’ Chandra decides to go to California and work as a visiting economics lecturer. He tries to reconnect with his ex-wife,Jean,and their troubled teenaged daughter. Another daughter is traveling and will have no contact with Chandra or let him know where she is. His son is in Hong Kong running a very successful business based on the concept that positive thinking will bring financial rewards. After an altercation with Jean’s second husband he is manipulated to spend time at a New Age self help retreat. He begins to gain a more positive attitude towards himself and change his attitude to how he relates to others. He feels that his own father’s relentless pushing him to succeed has affected his life and work. He believes he has caused his own children to try to keep up with him and as a result they have rebelled against his economic beliefs and lifestyle. He visits his son in Hong Kong, and finally the entire family reconnects at an isolated meditation retreat in the mountains for Christmas. It was pleasing to see the changes in Chandra and how his family now understood his past attitudes and became more accepting of him. The family had also transformed and relationships were better. Chandra could now reassess his life and establish a better future for himself after returning to his home in England. I would have liked more humor between all the economic discussions and arguments and all the self help classes and meditation, but this was a well written book that could cause the reader to reflect on their own attitudes towards themselves, relationships with others and their careers.
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    Professor P.R. Chandrasekhar has once again lost the 2016 Nobel Prize and he succumbs to thinking this is his defining moment. He has planned the party, the speech, the interviews, he takes a nap, he wakes up, he has not won. Professor Chandra has worked hard his whole life, actually work is all he knows. He is an elitist who believes in his work and his rightness. He sometimes wonders if his life’s work being the world’s foremost trade economist isn’t “a giant con”. He has a son, two daughters Professor P.R. Chandrasekhar has once again lost the 2016 Nobel Prize and he succumbs to thinking this is his defining moment. He has planned the party, the speech, the interviews, he takes a nap, he wakes up, he has not won. Professor Chandra has worked hard his whole life, actually work is all he knows. He is an elitist who believes in his work and his rightness. He sometimes wonders if his life’s work being the world’s foremost trade economist isn’t “a giant con”. He has a son, two daughters and an ex-wife who have all taken a back seat to his work in economics and yet he believes that torturing the family patriarch is his family’s tradition and sport. He can be introspective but can also find a reason to disregard his conclusions.Fifty grams of chocolate gummy bears, a distraction and being mowed down by a bicyclist changes everything. Realizing he has failed at happiness, sprained his wrist, bruised his ribs, traumatized his spinal chord and had a silent heart attack he is told to cut back on everything, relax, follow his bliss. Professor is off to UC Bella Vista in Orange County, California to be a Visiting Professor. The move brings him close to his youngest child and his ex-wife and her present husband. The move is fraught with problems, issues, a punch in the nose and Professor Chandra finding himself at a healing spiritual retreat. This book was all about “the state of Family.” The good Professor has had to invent “new memories, snapshots of purely imaginary kindness” to imagine his father as a good and caring parent. Despite being a parent who truly cares for his children Professor Chandra imposes the same strictures and judgments that were passed upon him as a child, the same words and criticisms which made him think he was such a failure to his father. Chandra’s daughter Radha is so similar in temperament that she has broken his heart by asserting a total disappearance and silence for the past two years. His son Sunny, worships at the temple of money equals success, positive thinking, financial karma and has become not a son but a rival. His youngest child Jasmine has been damaged by the divorce and her feelings of unimportance. The emotional wreckage would be devastating if told without the inherent humor in this book. There is brilliance, wit, cleverness, great writing and much love to be found in the pages of this book . Thank you NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for a copy.
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  • Jo Shaw
    January 1, 1970
    I was intrigued by the description of this book, and it really did not disappoint. Professor Chandrasekhar is tipped to win the Nobel prize for Economics again, and is disappointed when he fails to win it yet again. Following an accident which leads him to reassess his lonely life in England, he decides to pursue an opportunity in America, where his youngest daughter, his ex-wife and her husband live. His ex-wife's husband manages to manipulate the professor into agreeing to go to a Californian I was intrigued by the description of this book, and it really did not disappoint. Professor Chandrasekhar is tipped to win the Nobel prize for Economics again, and is disappointed when he fails to win it yet again. Following an accident which leads him to reassess his lonely life in England, he decides to pursue an opportunity in America, where his youngest daughter, his ex-wife and her husband live. His ex-wife's husband manages to manipulate the professor into agreeing to go to a Californian new age retreat, and the fun begins.The dynamic of this story revolves around Professor Chandra and his three children, looking at the way he relates to his children, but also considering the pressure they each individually feel to live up to the success their father had achieved as one of the leading experts on economics in the world. Chandra assesses how he has acted as a father, and considers whether his behaviour as a parent was moulded by his own childhood, together with how his own parenting moulded his three children. The cover would suggest a light-hearted read, and although there is considerable humour throughout, particularly at the retreat, it is a deep and thoughtful book in which a learned septuagenarian looks back at his life, and looks forward to the things he can do differently. It was an enjoyable book, and I loved how my feelings towards Professor Chandra changed the more he begins to understand himself.Thank you to Chatto & Windus for the opportunity to read and review this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • jhanami
    January 1, 1970
    Prof Chandra has a lot to learn once he misses out on the Nobel prize, has a heart attack, turns 70 and realises he’s estranged from all his children. This is a coming of old age story, about making amends and finding redemption - it is very sweet and warm-hearted, quite funny in parts (especially if you are a little interested in economics), but never twee - Chandra doesn’t miraculously change into the perfect father after a make-over, he’s a cantankerous opinionated stubborn man to the end, bu Prof Chandra has a lot to learn once he misses out on the Nobel prize, has a heart attack, turns 70 and realises he’s estranged from all his children. This is a coming of old age story, about making amends and finding redemption - it is very sweet and warm-hearted, quite funny in parts (especially if you are a little interested in economics), but never twee - Chandra doesn’t miraculously change into the perfect father after a make-over, he’s a cantankerous opinionated stubborn man to the end, but he also starts to open his eyes and ears to those around him. His character is well drawn and believable and there’s an interesting mix of side characters to liven up the journey. An easy, enjoyable read!
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of the absolute best books I've read all year! I fell in love with Professor Chandra right away and was immediately swept up into his story. The basic story here revolves around his own inner transformation, from someone who worships the world of work and places his family second because that is all he knows... to someone who realizes what the true meaning of "bliss" is. What I loved most is the way the author infused just the right amount of humor into the story every so often. I al This is one of the absolute best books I've read all year! I fell in love with Professor Chandra right away and was immediately swept up into his story. The basic story here revolves around his own inner transformation, from someone who worships the world of work and places his family second because that is all he knows... to someone who realizes what the true meaning of "bliss" is. What I loved most is the way the author infused just the right amount of humor into the story every so often. I also loved being able to glimpse deep inside Chandra's mind. Every time I had to stop reading (for whatever reason), I was very disappointed and couldn't wait to pick up the book again!
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  • Sadie Newell
    January 1, 1970
    Received an advance copy thanks to my friends at NetGalley! Ok, I read a review that said as long as you push through the first 50 pages you’ll have yourself a good read and I absolutely agree! The main, Chandra, is hard to explain and I think you need the first 50 pages to truly see how miserable and tormented he is. After that, it’s smooth sailing as this beautiful story about a semi-estranged family unfolds in the most perfect way. Needless to say, this novel requires a bit of patience and is Received an advance copy thanks to my friends at NetGalley! Ok, I read a review that said as long as you push through the first 50 pages you’ll have yourself a good read and I absolutely agree! The main, Chandra, is hard to explain and I think you need the first 50 pages to truly see how miserable and tormented he is. After that, it’s smooth sailing as this beautiful story about a semi-estranged family unfolds in the most perfect way. Needless to say, this novel requires a bit of patience and is easy mulled over instead of devoured. Solid 4 stars.
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    Life doesn't pass you by but your work just might if you're not careful.Spinning wheels as you try to get yourself recognized even if only for a NOBEL PRIZE.Follow your dreams, your passions, your heart and never let is skip a beat.What more can one say.I fell in love with this one.
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  • Books, Brews & Booze
    January 1, 1970
    Five million stars! If I could give this book more than five stars, I would! By page 10, I was chuckling at the humor. I found myself frustrated by characters’ actions, almost like they were my own family members, and cheering when Professor Chandra had a win. I LOVE this book and know it’s one I’ll want to reread, which I can’t say for every book I enjoy. I also know, when I go to reach for a pen to underline a passage that resonates, that I’m going to want to keep this book in a prominent plac Five million stars! If I could give this book more than five stars, I would! By page 10, I was chuckling at the humor. I found myself frustrated by characters’ actions, almost like they were my own family members, and cheering when Professor Chandra had a win. I LOVE this book and know it’s one I’ll want to reread, which I can’t say for every book I enjoy. I also know, when I go to reach for a pen to underline a passage that resonates, that I’m going to want to keep this book in a prominent place on my bookshelf. It’s lovely to go on this spiritual and familial journey with Professor Chandra and his family members. Life is complicated and families are complicated, but this book gives so much hope that, to quote Gil Scott-Heron, “no matter how far wrong you’ve gone, you can always turn around.”And the ending? No spoilers, but all I have to say to author Rajeev Balasubramanyam is “thank you, thank you, thank you.”************ I received this as a Goodreads giveaway, with gratitude, and these are my unbiased thoughts.
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  • Sharon May
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to NetGalley, Dial Press, and Rajeev Balasubramanyam for the opportunity to read and review this book - I really liked it. Professor Chandra is an economics professor at Cambridge and has just been passed over yet again for the Nobel Prize. He's divorced and his wife is remarried and living in Colorado with their youngest daughter. His oldest daughter doesn't speak to him or even allow the rest of the family to tell him where she is. Chandra has a somewhat contentious relationship wi Many thanks to NetGalley, Dial Press, and Rajeev Balasubramanyam for the opportunity to read and review this book - I really liked it. Professor Chandra is an economics professor at Cambridge and has just been passed over yet again for the Nobel Prize. He's divorced and his wife is remarried and living in Colorado with their youngest daughter. His oldest daughter doesn't speak to him or even allow the rest of the family to tell him where she is. Chandra has a somewhat contentious relationship with his son as well. When he has a bicycle accident and lands in the hospital, the doctor tells him he needs to take time off to rest. With that in mind, he decides to head to the US. There he is forced to confront himself and his life's decisions.While there is some humor in this book, I think it could be best described as a coming-of-age novel for grown-ups, as you look back on your life and see your mistakes and hope it's not too late to make changes.
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