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Publish and Perish: Three Tales of Tenure and Terror Paperback – April 15, 1998
"Grace & Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It"
Read the new book by bestselling author Grace Helbig. More by Grace Helbig.
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The influence of HP Lovecraft on the author is obvious, even before he drops a reference to Miskatonic University. The plots and execution of the tales, however, are disappointingly and distractingly clumsy, compared to those of Lovecraft and other writers of academe.
All three stories are told from the third person in roughly the same voice, they are predictable, and there are strange inconsistencies that an editor should have caught. In the first story there is a "teaching assistant" who is later referred to as a "postdoc." Which is he?
Overall, I'd have to recommend giving this book a pass, unless you are tolerant of thin plots, clumsy foreshadowing, and cardboard characters. Go re-read The Dunwich Horror, instead.
This is a fast read, perfect for the chilly nights of late fall when the wind howls `round the window frames and your motivation to grade those midterm finals is waning. And unless someone at work is actively planning your death, it'll make you feel better about your own department politics, whatever they may be.
I've recommended this book to dozens of people - one of whom seems to have borrowed my copy and taken it with him to a post-doc position... I don't have the heart to ask for it back, as I think he'll need it, so I'm ordering a new one for myself. And I can't wait until "The Lecturer's Tale" comes out in paperback.
Other reviewers have mentioned that Hyne's work isn't very realistic; that's true, and I see this as a strength. This is fiction of the absurd. In each novella, unscrupulous wielders of some measure of academic power meet very strange, and strangely apt, retribution. If you've ever suffered at the hands of academia, these oddly appropriate, dark fantasias of justice may be as appealing (and healing) to you as they are to me.
I do think that the "terror" of the tales may be dependent on the reader having academic experience; maybe even, more specifically, academic experience in the era of postmodernism and in a field that takes postmodernism seriously. Chemists at land-grant universities, for instance, may not find them as chillingly germane as literature theorists in the Ivy league, although I'd guess that all of the above and more will enjoy them.
I'd have to agree with other reviewers that the plots are fairly transparent. The middle story, in particular, is predictable. But I think the appeal here is not that you can't guess what's going to happen, but rather that you *can*, and that you just can't wait.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Picked this up for a few cents so I thought why not. It's mainly a collection of 3 short stories that detail the friction between unfaithful spouses with teaching positions who... Read morePublished 4 months ago by v4vendetta
I was referred to Publish & Perish as an example of the more recent `campus novels'. Although the three stories that comprise this work have university lecturers or professors as... Read morePublished on October 1, 2013 by Hector
This is a pretty amazing book. The stories are the perfect length for reading while waiting for a connecting flight, or on lunch break. Read morePublished on July 14, 2013 by Fae
Is that even a genre? I guess it is now! If David Lodge had added the paranormal, it might have come out something like this. "Queen of the Night" stayed with me for years.Published on July 11, 2013 by booklover
I love a good spoof on academia, so I picked this up and starting reading the first story (Queen of the Jungle) late one night and stayed up all night finishing it! Read morePublished on February 27, 2013 by sylvia goldwasser
The first two novellas are certainly accomplished on a technical level, and the satire on postmodernist academia is often remarkably apt and on target, but the novellas are... Read morePublished on December 17, 2011 by Tacitus
I read this book years ago, but was just thinking about it. The stories, especially the first, "Queen of the Jungle" have stayed with me through the years. Read morePublished on March 9, 2011 by Marion Stein
The book is entertaining, especially if you are familiar with academia at all. It is definitely a good beach book.Published on September 12, 2010 by Book Club Gal
Brilliant! I started this book with zero preconceptions. In fact, I couldn't even remember how it ended up on my bookshelf. But I thought it was terrific. Read morePublished on February 10, 2010 by A. C. Seligman