If you have ever been an academic called upon to write a letter for recommendation for a student, you will feel deeply for the protagonist of this book, constructed from a series of such missives It amounts to a hilarious look under the covers of the university world, particularly the forgotten departments in the liberal arts It s funny It s sad It will make you glad you didn t go on to do that Ph.
D in Chaucerian literature.
A Best Book Of The Year NPR And Boston Globe Finally A Novel That Puts The Pissed Back Into Epistolary Jason Fitger Is A Beleaguered Professor Of Creative Writing And Literature At Payne University, A Small And Not Very Distinguished Liberal Arts College In The Midwest His Department Is Facing Draconian Cuts And Squalid Quarters, While One Floor Above Them The Economics Department Is Getting Lavishly Remodeled Offices His Once Promising Writing Career Is In The Doldrums, As Is His Romantic Life, In Part As The Result Of His Unwise Use Of His Private Affairs For His Novels His Star He Thinks Student Can T Catch A Break With His Brilliant He Thinks Work Accountant In A Bordello, Based On Melville S Bartleby In Short, His Life Is A Tale Of Woe, And The Vehicle This Droll And Inventive Novel Uses To Tell That Tale Is A Series Of Hilarious Letters Of Recommendation That Fitger Is Endlessly Called Upon By His Students And Colleagues To Produce, Each One Of Which Is A Small Masterpiece Of High Dudgeon, Low Spirits, And Passive Aggressive Strategies We Recommend Dear Committee Members To You In The Strongest Possible Terms Hilarious skewering of academic hypocrisy.
Not interested in reading this book.
Charming novel Funny, witty, and wonderful Wonderful book Incredibly dry, with the personality, attitudes and life of a crusty english academic coming to light through a series of Letters of Recommendation From student recommendations to pointless jobs to nominating colleagues for promotion at the same time as complaining about office plumbing to advocating for students Delightful.
This book was chosen by one of our book group members so I was forced to read it Basically it s half a story because it consists of a series of letters written by one professor and what is missing is the viewpoint of any of his colleagues I was bored by the tedious repetition of the tone of the letters Having said that, the use of language and choice of words was than interesting at times and I enjoyed using my dictionary to discover new meanings The letter writer was also amusing at times but this did not make me want to continue reading it However, for the sake of the book group, I did read it to the bitter end.
This novel is very humorous and poignant in its criticism of the academy.
Although its written in the form of letters of recommendation this style actually enhances the novel In addition, while being funny it has its critical, somber moments that greatly add to it artistic complexity and value I wish people knew about this book.
As an academic myself, I ve recommended this as a stress relieving read for many of my colleagues Too many points close to my own frustrations, but dealt with in such humour.