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Tokyo Cancelled   Comments: 10  Post comment Printer friendly versionMore notes

Tokyo Cancelled
novel, stories, imagination, magic, global
Saturday, February 19, 2005 03:52 GMT

"Only the most gifted writers, like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jonathan Safron-Foer, can hold the surreal and the real in satisfying equilibrium. This elite now welcomes Rana Dasgupta to its ranks. He makes magic realism his own, and his debut novel is superb."
- Andrew Staffell, Time Out (London)

Tokyo Cancelled is a story cycle in the tradition of Chaucer and Boccaccio; an imaginative map of the contemporary world; an extended meditation on storytelling and its consequences in the twenty-first century; a quest through thirteen literary rooms.

"These stories ... ah, they outdo the Arabian Nights for inventiveness ... One closes the book with head spinning."
- Rachel Hore, The Guardian

Here is a Q&A with Guardian Online which gives some background to the book. Here you can find "footnotes" to those of the stories that have been most dependent on research.

"Tokyo Cancelled is mostly concerned with dark stories of transgression and consequence ... The solitary, faceless travellers who briefly come together to tell these stories are adrift and suspended between locations; they alight on the storytelling ritual as a way of passing the time without having to get to know each other in any awkwardly personal way. Their stories reflect this sense of dislocation; the downfalls, tragedies and very occasional triumphs of the characters grow out of their attempts to find a place in the world ... Original and unflinchingly harsh, Tokyo Cancelled is an intriguing debut and with it Dasgupta has created a new set of fairy tales for an increasingly unsettled, transient world."
- Julian Novita, The Dominion Post (New Zealand)

Tokyo Cancelled was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and India’s leading literary award, the Hutch Crossword Book Award. One of the stories, "The Flyover", was shortlisted for the National Short Story Prize in the UK. Another, "The Billionaire's Sleep", is currently being made into a film by Australia-based film writer and director, Robert Hutchinson. His blog of the project can be seen here.

Tokyo Cancelled is currently available in the British Commonwealth (HarperCollins), the USA (Grove Atlantic), Portugal (Bizancio), Germany (Karl Blessing Verlag), Italy (Feltrinelli), Czech Republic (BB/art), France (Buchet Chastel), Russia (AST), Japan (Random House Kodansha), and Spain (Editorial Almuzara).


"Tokyo Cancelled, the brilliantly conceived and jauntily delivered first novel by English-born expatriate Rana Dasgupta, harks back to Boccaccio and Chaucer."
- Alan Cheuse, San Francisco Chronicle

"Tokyo: vol annulé rend un hommage à toutes les formes de littérature, en s'ancrant dans un rapport jouissif, quasi primitif, à la fiction et à ses pouvoirs."
- Raphaëlle Leyris, Les Inrocktibles

"È l’esordio dell’anno, salvo sorprese dell’ultima ora. Ed è dall’uscita di Per alleviare insopportabli impulse, di Nathan Englander, e di Ogni cosa è illuminata, di Jonathan Safran Foer che non si incontrava un’opera prima di forza e orignalità indiscutibili."
- Tiziano Giannotti, La Repubblica

The Observer
The Scotsman
The Sunday Telegraph
San Francisco Chronicle
Sitartmag.com (French)
Le Temps (French)
Think (Malaysia)
The Age (Australia)
Die Zeit (German)
Poetenladen (German)

Radio France Internationale's feature about the book (French) : Real or Windows Media Player (11MB download).
Long interview on The Book Show on ABC Radio National (Australia) about writing, globalization, the self, and death (30MB download).
Deutschlandradio Kultur's feature about the book (German)


"Tokyo Cancelled by Rana Dasgupta is an adult book! Written about adults, for real live adults! I only get to those once every ten books or so, but this one was a good choice. Absolutely fucking gorgeous."
- Parenthetical.net v. 4.0

"Modern fairy-tales, woven together as if by magic. A book of short stories that interconnect with one another well is about the rarest creature in literature and this is a great example."
- finite-jest.blogspot.com

"Tóquio: Voo Cancelado. Recomendo-vos assim que se dirijam à livraria mais próxima e comprem este livro... Com tamanha desmonstração de uma imaginação absolutamente incrível, este será um autor a seguir muito atentamente.
- contraculto.blogspot.com

"This book, it's like if the bastard child of Franz Kafka and Haruki Murakami wrote modern day fables."
- chuchpalahniuk.net

Akhond of Swat
Contra Cultura (Portuguese)