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The Graduate (RosettaBooks Into Film) Kindle Edition

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Length: 160 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Numero Zero by Umberto Eco
"Numero Zero" by Umberto Eco
From the best-selling author of The Name of the Rose, a novel about the murky world of media politics, conspiracy, and murder. Learn more | See more

Editorial Reviews


The Plain Dealer (Cleveland): His novel makes you want to laugh and it makes you want to cry.

Chicago Tribune: A highly gifted and accomplished writer.

The New York Times: Brilliant...sardonic, ludicrously funny.

About the Author

Charles Webb is also the author of New Cardiff. He lives with his wife in East Sussex, England.

Product Details

  • File Size: 465 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Publisher: RosettaBooks (January 9, 2014)
  • Publication Date: January 9, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,488 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By David L Rattigan on 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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. Bosiljevac on 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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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 20, 2000
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Book A. Holic on August 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
( My review is worth what you're paying for it. I'm just a regular person)

This book has importance in a cultural manner. Published in 1963 months before the Kennedy assassination, it captures the growing disillusionment of the younger generation in America at the time.
Benjamin can't put a name to his feelings of pointlessness at his planned future, simply because it was a time when it was socially taboo to address the meaning of middle class life.
By the time the famous film had been made in 1967 that disillusionment had reached the stage of a youth rebellion.

The affair with Mrs. Robinson and the following events do seem unbelievable in many ways. But this was a time young adults questioned their parents greater morality. Mrs. Robinson is made a rather unpleasant character to make this more acceptable to the reader. In a time before women worked outside the home in large numbers, little sympathy is given to Mrs Robinson. There is no pity for the Robinsons as a couple either. Trapped in a loveless marriage by the social norms of the time. They both clearly loved their daughter. I always felt they were rather harshly treated by the author. However this was true of the times, parents were harshly judged. Elaine rejects her Mother and the illusion her mother lives. In the end they symbolically reject the convention of even the church.

The parents of that generation had a war to catapult them into a speedy adulthood. The next generation took a good deal longer in some cases to find their way. This book beautifully reflects that time.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 1999
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 By L. Bravim VINE VOICE on June 7, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So faithful was the film version to Charles Webb's novel, that at times I actually heard Dustin Hoffman's voice mouthing lines from The Graduate. The plot is rather simplistic--Benjamin Braddock, a young college graduate from back East, comes home to California unsure of his future. His parents grow concerned when Benjamin passes up a prestigious teaching fellowship for lazing about the pool in the afternoon and drinking to the tube at night.

Neighbor and long-time family friend, Mrs. Robinson takes an unexpected interest in the young graduate and offers herself to him. Benjamin is understandably shocked at the older woman's advances and hardly escapes an awkward run-in with Mr. Robinson. The entire novel takes place in a few months. It is a coming-of-age tale in the backdrop of the early 1960s.

While the book is good, one can't help but make comparisons to the film--which is a rarity in that is exceeded the caliber of the novel. Without the Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack and Dustin Hoffman's comically nervous portrayal, The Graduate becomes another The Catcher in the Rye. Charles Webb is a good writer, but the film adaptation easily exceeds the book.
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