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Are You Experienced? by William Sutcliffe

Are You Experienced? by William Sutcliffe

Are You Experienced?

Are You Experienced? by William Sutcliffe

Title:

Are You Experienced?

Author:

William Sutcliffe

ISBN 10:

0-14-027265-8

ISBN 13:

9780140272659

Language:

English

Publisher:

Penguin

Genre/Subject:

Novel

Place of publication:

UK

Year Published:

1998

Binding:

Pocket

Number of Pages:

235

Dimensions (mm):

111 x 16 x 181 mm

Shipping Weight (g):

200

Price (SEK):

50

Other information:

Used but very good shape

Description:

Liz travels to India because she wants to find herself. Dave travels to India because he wants to get Liz into bed. Liz loves India, hugs the beggars, and is well on her way to finding her tantric centre. Dave, however, realizes he hates Liz, and has bad karma toward his fellow travellers: Jeremy, whose spiritual journey is aided by checks from Dad; Jonah, who hasn't worn shoes for a decade; and Fee and Caz, fresh from leper-washing in Udaipur.

For anyone with the slightest curiosity about travelling, or even if you've been, William Sutcliffe's tremendously funny Are You Experienced? will have you in stitches. The protagonist is Dave, a 19-year-old Londoner on a gap year before starting university. He had no intention of leaving Europe, until his best mate James, who's about to go on a trek through the Himalayas, challenges him. "Do you want to learn Fwench David? Something pwactical for your CV?" he taunts when he hears Dave is going to be a waiter at a Swiss ski resort.

Admitting his fears, ("Suffering, danger and poverty are all fine by me, but dirt and disease are two things I happen to hate") Dave is determined to prove he's not a coward and accepts an invitation to go to India with James's girlfriend Liz (in anticipation of consummating their burgeoning relationship). But by the time they get on the plane it all goes downhill. Bickering constantly, their adaption to India couldn't be more different. Liz embraces it--hugging beggars and wearing saris, while Dave's dry-humoured rants, scepticism and fear of the unknown eventually drive her away in search of her "centre".

The characters the pair meet along the way draw upon all the old hippy-traveller stereotypes, but there's also a few new ones in keeping with the times. There's Ranj--a British-born Indian who hates Indians; Jez--a public-school-educated undergraduate whose travels are being funded by daddy; and Caz and Fee who experience the side-effects of "Intimate Yoga".

While this story is ultimately a funny piece of fiction, it also addresses more serious considerations, such as cultural stereotypes, peer pressures and making life-changing decisions.

This book is irresistible and seasoned travellers will empathise with the situations Dave finds himself in, (his graphic description of a bout of Dehli-belly is guaranteed to make you feel sorry for him, and nauseous too). Be prepared to laugh out loud. --Angela Boodoo

About the Author:

William Sutcliffe was born in London in 1971, and was educated at Cambridge. His first novel NEW BOY was published to enthusiastic reviews and a large amount of publicity in spring 1996.

He lives in London, N4.

An alumnus of Haberdashers' Aske's School, Sutcliffe started his career with a novel about school life entitled New Boy (1996), which was followed by his best-known work so far, Are You Experienced? (1997), a pre-university gap year novel, in which a group of young Brits travel to India without really knowing what to expect or what to do there. The Love Hexagon (2000) is about six young Londoners who have difficulty committing themselves to a relationship. Bad Influence (2004), is about Olly, a 10 year old growing up in a North London suburb with his family, and the plot centres around the complex knot of his childhood friendships. Sutcliffe's most recent book, Whatever Makes You Happy (2008), is about interfering mothers and men who refuse to grow up. Sutcliffe's novels could be categorised as humorous. New Boy has much authentic material in it that refers to actual incidents from his life at Haberdashers', although it would be going too far to call it "autobiographical". In 2009, he donated the short story Sandcastles: A Negotiation to Oxfam's 'Ox-Tales' project, four collections of UK stories written by 38 authors. Sutcliffe's story was published in the 'Fire' collection.

Pertinent URL:

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/apr/02/william-sutcliffe-interview-the-wall

 

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Are You Experienced?

William Sutcliffe
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