A high school teacher begins to question the course of his life after a famous young actress moves into town. In the starlet's shadow, his girlfriend, his mother, his neighbor, and his students take on strange new dimensions. Told in a series of snapshots, Understudies presents a sharp, funny, and heartbreaking study of beauty, celebrity, and everyday needs.
“Funny, moving, perceptive, artful-these are the first words that came to mind when I tried to describe Understudies to a friend. And then, to better capture its spirit, I began reading it aloud and marveled all over again at Ravi Mangla's ability to tell us, with precision and wit, what deserves to be known.” (Joanna Scott)
“Ravi Mangla's delightingly tight, micro-chaptered Understudies is an unassumingly beautiful and moving debut. It's elegantly and hilariously precise about everything it touches, and it touches almost everything human.” (Gary Lutz)
“Ravi Mangla's Understudies is a brilliant meditation on the private cost of celebrity, the longing to transcend the ordinary, and the seductive nature of performance. Darkly funny, sharply-observed, and terrifically moving, Understudies is an essential debut.” (Laura van den Berg)
“With the absurdist realism of A.M. Homes and the perverse randomness of Miranda July, Ravi Mangla's Understudies asks ‘is the unacknowledged life worth living,' and-in a prose as original as the novel itself-answers, definitively, yes.” ( Courtney Maum)
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I received this audiobook for free in order to review, but the opinions are my own. I enjoyed this short and fast paced book. It is written in a different style with lots of short choppy chapters. It took a while to get use to this, but once I did, I liked it and is worked with the story. I liked the characters in this book, flaws and all. Not much happened, but everyone moved forward in their own way. I would not have spent a credit on this book, mainly because it was so short, but if the author wrote something else, I would check it out. It would make a great Audible Daily Deal for less than $5. Narrator did an excellent job.