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How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater Paperback – August 2, 2005
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Did I mention the sex? By the end of the book, the teenage characters are so liberated that they'd probably find an evening at Studio 54 slightly mundane. All kinds of interesting scenarios arise when Ed Zanni, a bisexual high-school drama club star from suburban New Jersey, is denied tuition to Julliard by his well-to-do father and wicked step mother. Fortunately his close friends, Paula (ample of body, unlucky in love), Kelly (Ed's cheerleader girlfriend), Doug (his football player love interest), Natie (a nerd with a gift for white-collar crime) and Ziba, (a regal, Middle Eastern beauty), are very willing to engage in fraud, forgery, and blackmail to help him pay for drama school. Ah, high school.
Despite the naughty bits, How I Paid for College is actually rather sweet. Set in high school as it is, Acito's book is somewhat reminiscent of young adult fiction. Yes, there's a lot more homoerotica than the Sweet Valley High series could have prepared readers for, but still it reminds one of those early days--full of tragedy and disappointment--and yet safely nestled in a time of life before real tragedy and disappointment usually set in. It's easy to forget this is a book for adults... until the three-ways commence. And a fast-moving, light-hearted story with three-ways? Well, entertainment-wise, readers could do a lot worse. --Leah Weathersby --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
It features a fast-paced plot and wonderfully interesting characters. The main character is a bisexual high school senior who loves to act and hates to work. His friends are a drama geek/football player, a guy who loves to break the law, and a beautiful, sweet girl who loves sex. And then there is the evil stepmonster, the handicapped gay drama teacher, Frank Sinatra's minions, and a bunch of other fun folks who make this book a lively, laugh-out-loud success.
The first should concern shockable homophobics with heart disorders. They could be suckered into reading this by the way it starts out as an interesting coming of age romance - "Catcher in the Rye" (to which deliberate reference in made) set in suburban New Jersey in the 1980's with a few innocuous ethnic jibes ("I felt at home there. Jews are like Italians only smarter") and social satiric jabs ("You can tell that sophisticated people live here because all their photographs are black and white."). Then they may need advanced cardiac life support soon after page 99 (where the sex is more or less hetero). A wise precaution might be to test them out with small doses of Augusten Burroughs and Sedaris.
A second warning is for insomniacs like me who read themselves to sleep rather than take Ambien. I finished it at three this morning. Luckily it's Sunday.
The third caveat is about reading it in any place where you might look odd laughing aloud. There's a high laugh aloud risk factor. Maybe the PATH from Christopher Street to Hoboken would be safe because everybody else will be reading it.
The most gratifying quality of `How I Paid for College' isn't, however, the book's comedy but its great sense of the general goodness of mankind. Marc Acito loves and respects his characters very much, even when they are in trouble, and the reader finishes the book with the sense of high good humor usually reserved for the best kind of `feel good' movie. In fact, in order to accurately describe the book to friends, and you will find yourself talking about it with your friends, it's easiest to rely on theatrical or cinematic vocabulary. Part of the reason is the racing, hilarious quality of the story, but mostly it's because the story has a `here and now' quality to them. For example, the scene (see?) of the school's opening night of Godspell perfectly conveys the quiet, awesome roar you feel yourself part of when something really extraordinary is happening on stage or on the screen. Being able to make the reader a part of that is a gift. How I Paid For College is a superb coming-of-age story and it would make a great movie, but it's perfectly fine to read it for the belly laughs, too. In fact, I hope you do buy this madcap book. You're going to love it, and you're going to be glad you did.
This book almost made me miss high school which is saying something considering I've long since put those four years away on the glory days shelf and lived in the here and very now. The way Acito mixes his elements of humor, drama, classic high school angst and hijinks... this is one of the best books I've read all year. There were times I was laughing so hard I was crying and my friend would stop to ask which part I was on and giggle along with me, reminiscing about when they had read it too.
I've already thrust the title on numerous people, indicating that it was a must read and if you're even so much as considering it, then yes! Buy this book, you will not regret it!
-Julie, UGA - History Major
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love Marc Acito's characters and the crazy situations they find themselves in.Published 9 months ago by Kathy Scott
Absolutely my all-time favorite book. Not for those who feel squirmish when dealing with less-than-politically-correct subjects. Fabulous for artists at heart. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Sara Lepley
HOW I PAID FOR COLLEGE, A Novel of SEX, Theft, Friendship and Musical Theater by Marc Acito is simply put, brilliant. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Wooley in PSL
I was a little thrown by the fact that the protagonist self-identified as bisexual - admittedly it wasn't quite what I was expecting. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Rocky Sunico
It reach my address well, according to my expectation, but the package little bit broken. Is it because of the sending or opened by someone?Published 23 months ago by Helmi
I really like a book that has me laughing out loud like I did with this one. Goofy characters and situations make for that.Published on July 19, 2013 by Robert Clever
This really is a high school novel but very open in its acceptance of all sorts of people and lifestyles. It's the love of people and stories and theater that comes through most.Published on July 7, 2013 by Pam
This tells the hilarious story of an aspiring actor/singer securing his place at Juillard, after his father denies him tuition money for anything other than "Business. Read morePublished on May 30, 2013 by Kelley Hickey