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The Graduate (RosettaBooks Into Film) [Kindle Edition]

Charles Webb
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Published in 1963, Charles Webb's The Graduate was a sly and provocative first novel that is often overshadowed by the success of Mike Nichol's sensational 1967 film.

The Graduate is a novel that speaks to its time: a time when young Americans were beginning to question, for perhaps the first time, the materialistic values that the postwar culture had taught them. Its hero is at once worldly and naive, a dichotomy that won't last for very long as Benjamin Braddock, the appealing young man of great promise who seems to have everything going for him, sets out to explore his world.

After returning to his parent's home after graduation, Braddock ponders his future and finds himself in a state of confusion and depression. It seems the only thing that really rallies him is the attention of Mrs. Robinson, the bored attractive wife of his father's law partner, who makes a play for Benjamin who responds in kind. What the affair lacks in passion, it makes up for in intensity.

The affair with Mrs. Robinson continues until Benjamin discovers the Robinsons' beautiful daughter Elaine, with whom he falls promptly in love. Driven to a fit of jealousy, Mrs. Robinson will have none of it, and she tells her daughter of her affair with Benjamin in an attempt to separate the two. Undeterred however, Benjamin pursues Elaine, even though she becomes involved with somebody else. He pursues her all the way to the altar, in fact.

The Graduate takes a hard look at contemporary society and social mores, and while it does so with panache and humor, the underlying message is not lost on the reader. It is a scathing look at how vacuous and materialistic middle-class American life had become in the mid-20th century. The Chicago Sunday Review wrote that The Graduate "moves with the speed and drive of a runaway locomotive."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Charles Webb seems to have taken the message of his book very seriously and has spent his adult life avoiding the sort of traps that materialism lays for people. Since the success of The Graduate, has shunned the limelight. Both he and his wife have sought to avoid the celebrity and the expectations that success could have brought them. Webb gave away most of the money he made from the novel and reportedly sold the film rights to the book for a mere $20,000.

SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

From classic book to classic film, RosettaBooks has gathered some of most memorable books into film available. The selection is broad ranging and far reaching, with books from classic genre to cult classic to science fiction and horror and a blend of the two creating whole new genres like Richard Matheson's The Shrinking Man. Classic works from Vonnegut, one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, meet with E.M. Forrester's A Passage to India. Whether the work is centered in the here and now, in the past, or in some distant and almost unimaginable future, each work is lasting and memorable and award-winning.


Editorial Reviews

Review

Brilliant...sardonic, ludicrously funny. --New York Times

His novel makes you want to laugh and it makes you want to cry. --Cleveland Plain Dealer

A highly gifted and accomplished writer. --Chicago Tribune

About the Author

CHARLES WEBB is the author of nine novels including a sequel to The Graduate called Home School. He lives in England.

Product Details

  • File Size: 299 KB
  • Print Length: 220 pages
  • Publisher: RosettaBooks (January 9, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003XRELYS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,977 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining July 24, 2001
Format:Hardcover
This little novel really is quite good entertainment. Most of the book is just dialogue, reading much like a screenplay, so it is hardly going to rank up there as an all-time great novel. The conversations between Ben and his parents, Ben and Mrs Robinson etc. are tremendously witty, and I found myself laughing out loud on a number of occasions. Ben is a considerably darker character than he appears in the (perhaps superior) film version, being a cynical and disillusioned graduate going through a depression during which he loses interest in just about everything and resigns himself to a life of 'bumming around'. I think I would agree with Douglas Brode, the film critic who wrote of the movie that it was not a story about the generation gap, but rather about a young man who feels as alienated from his own peers as from his parents' generation. This comes across much more strongly in the book, and we also get a very strong sense of WHY he feels so distanced from the rest of his culture - the superficiality and hypocrisy of middle-class America (this is very much a book of its time) is evident, and the reader finds himself disgusted with the shallow attitudes of the milieu in which Benjamin finds himself.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to separate from the movie August 30, 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As other reviewers have said, this book is only a classic because the movie is. THE GRADUATE is one of my favorite movies, and when I read this book I see Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft. Still, this is probably the closest novel/movie adaptation I know of. The book reads like a screenplay. It's heavy on dialogue, most of which was used verbatim in the movie, and there's very little exposition. I found this a great model for writing dialogue, as well as saying a lot in the subtle reaction of a character. But if I hadn't seen the movie, I'm not sure what I'd think.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An American Classic July 20, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
As for all those extremely negative Swiss reviews, I guess this book and the white suburban upper middle class American sub-culture it so accurately portrays do not come across as funny and as true to people from other cultures. That's understandable; I may not be able to fully relate to an accurate tale of European life. This apparent lack of universality is a valid complaint. But the book sure rings true to me. Benjamin's frustration and rebellion are all part of the normal search for meaning and self-fulfillment that many people go through. It's a classic American coming-of-age story complete with a profound identity crisis. And the discussion between Ben and his father about fighting fires and sleeping with prostitutes in frozen fields -- well, it wasn't in the movie and it makes me laugh out loud each time I read it. That part alone makes the book worthwhile.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you loved the movie, you'll love the book! July 28, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found this book at a used bookstore and because the movie by Mike Nichols is my favorite I bought it. I thought the movies witty dialogue came from the pen of Buck Henry, so I was really amazed to find that much of it was written by Charles Webb. The book reads much like a screenplay and it's a cool way to "watch" a movie while you're on the bus or wherever you're reading. Good luck finding a copy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars LOUSY TRANSCRIPTION OF GREAT NOVEL April 18, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Badly transcibed into Kindle edition. MANY omissions of words, and many lines of dialogue have been run together so you think the wrong person is talking. Frequently, I had to stop reading the story and piece together what was SUPPOSED to be on the page. The Graduate is an important piece of literature and deserves better than this shoddy transcription. I am not impressed with RosettaBooks. I want my money back.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you saw the movie... March 25, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Then, you have read the book. The book is very dialogue heavy, a little too heavy. I gained no insight into a movie that I love, outside of the fact that in this book, Benjamin is more insufferable, Mrs. Robinson is more evil, Elaine is more naive, and Carl is actually more of a victim of choosing the wrong girl. If you have a choice between the book and movie, stick to the movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading August 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved the movie of "The Graduate" so it was just a matter of time before I read the book. It's definitely worth reading, though from today's perspective it lacks the shock value of the 60s. Mrs. Robinson is coldly calculating, so not as likable as in the movie and Benjamin Braddock, the graduate, is much too gullible. The book is mostly dialogue and "What?" is used way too often. On the other hand, this is an interesting, must-read classic. Note: There are some typos and formatting errors in the eBook version, but those can be overlooked.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Numerous Annoying Typos January 18, 2013
By Skippy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having seen the movie several times, I was impressed by how similar the book was in narrative and tone. It is a tribute to Mike Nichols that he so faithfully captured Charles Webb's quirky, entertaining style. The book was filled with obvious typos that detracted somewhat from the story. It was $5.99 — somewhat high for a Kindle book — and I expected a little better quality.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars The story is great, the Kindle edition less so.
While I enjoy this novel, the Kindle digital edition is deeply flawed. I found many instances of missing lines, words characters, etc. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Auton
4.0 out of 5 stars I originally bought this book because it was mentioned in ...
I originally bought this book because it was mentioned in Doctor Who, now I wish I had know about it before hand.
Published 2 months ago by Teresa Thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars Book vs FIlm
The premise is different from the film. The film was about an outsider wanting in while the book is about an insider wanting out which I think is more powerful in today's world. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Wendel Meldrum
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny
Okay, engaging and funny romantic theme. But expected more storyline from the Graduate. Worth a try if you have to time to kill.
Published 6 months ago by Reddy
3.0 out of 5 stars Some books age better than others
Read today, the main character comes across as a winy, self absorbed spoiled rich kid. But the book gives a snapshot into that difficult transition from the Eisenhower years to the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars classic
if you have seen the movie, the book and movie are almost exactly the same, word for word...but still a good little read.
Published 10 months ago by andrew whittaker
3.0 out of 5 stars OBSESSION
Story of graduate Ben who returns from a college in the East who has realized that the meaning of everything is nothing. There is a party for him he is uninterested in attending. Read more
Published 15 months ago by ellison
1.0 out of 5 stars WORST BOOK EVER
Trite and pretend avant-garde!

The author really needs to learn English or at least try to use a thesaurus instead of using variations of the word 'frown' and... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Chloe
2.0 out of 5 stars The Graduate review
The writing was poor, plot feeble, and characters unlikeable. After reading the book, I had the opportunity to re-see the movie. The adaptation is better than the book. Read more
Published 18 months ago by StevenAS
4.0 out of 5 stars The inspiration for a classic movie.
This is one of the few cases where the movie is probably better than the book.

It is an extremely quick read because it is largely dialogue driven. Read more
Published 18 months ago by TomS
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