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Geoff Dyer: Hopelessly Transient, Perpetually Readable

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Photo by Briggate.com
Photo by Briggate.com

Geoff Dyer seems to write his way out of his obsessions. Whether it’s jazz, the Battle of the Somme, or John Berger, Dyer is unconcerned with standard exposition. He appears to type until he’s figured out why he can’t help writing on his chosen subject matter. For the reader, the journey is sometimes manic, but always coherent and engaging.

Here are three by Dyer worth stashing in your rucksack.

Paris Trance: A Romance. Luke and Nicole. Alex and Sahra. Paris movie houses, football, Ecstasy-saturated discotheques, and sex. In the only novel on our short list, Dyer manages to craft a languid, Lost Generation-style narrative.

Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling with D.H. Lawrence. Geoff Dyer is writing a sober, academic paper on D.H. Lawrence. Or is he? In this globetrotting narrative, Dyer captures the prosaic spirit of Lawrence through languorously avoiding him.

Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It. Geoff Dyer invites the reader into his “homes”—all of them. From Asia to Europe, Europe to America, and back and forth a few times, Dyer heads inexorably towards a breakdown at an international techno festival.

About the author

TJ developed a taste for travel while living (and ostensibly) studying in Rome. He soon began catching bargain-basement Ryanair flights to various European destinations, where he would immediately scope out the dodgiest bar upon arrival. (He also saw some art along the way.) After returning to SUNY Albany, he developed an independent study in travel writing, which was mostly an excuse to drive cross-country. The 7200 mile trip, made in 11 days with two friends in a very small red car, culminated in a collection of essays called MOVE!, which he describes as incredibly self-indulgent and quite un-publishable. After moving to Manhattan, he found his way to EuroCheapo and has spent most of his time writing reviews for the New York City listings.

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