No contemporary writer blends genres better than Geoff Dyer, and his latest novel a vigorous mash-up of satire, romance, travelogue and existential treatise is his best yet. The first half trails a hack British journalist around the Venice Biennale, where he interviews a reclusive artist's muse and falls in lust (possibly love) with a comely American. In the second half, a British journalist the same guy? We can't be sure travels to the holy city of Varanasi, India, where he falls in lust (possibly love) with the idea of detachment. Dyer excels at savage comedy see his tableau of jaded art critics desperately swilling Bellinis but he's even better on the profound pleasures and indignities of the flesh, which are the forces that unite his novel's two very separate worlds.