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The Groves of Academe: A Novel (Transaction Large Print Books) Kindle Edition
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“A brilliant writer with a rare talent for corrosive satire.” —The Atlantic Monthly
“No label can describe her book. It is a product of one of the most stunning talents today.” —Saturday Review
About the Author
- ASIN : B00DZEJRN4
- Publisher : Open Road Media (August 6, 2013)
- Publication date : August 6, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 5874 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 324 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #989,354 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Like Kingsley Amis' "Lucky Jim", a book I found to be absent much appeal, McCarthy offers a highly literate analysis of the travails of a male professor struggling at university after World War II. McCarthy's Henry Mulcahy is strapped by poverty, with a sickly wife and four children, in a temporary teaching position offered, in part, out of a sense of guilt by the college president. Then Mulcahy gets the dreaded and unexpected "non-renewal" letter.
Some aspects of academic life have not changed in fifty years: petty squabbles and politics, the longing for job security, the poor wages of some professors, the need for intrinsic interest in teaching, the complaints about students' habits. But the focus on communism and loyalty oaths as a basis for job insecurity is a distant memory to most people. And Mulcahy's own dishonesty (or grasp of reality) left me confused rather than sympathetic. Rather I found myself attuned to Mulcahy's nemesis, the president.
The story is simple yet the tone of the book put me off. There was more philosophy than conversation, and when academics did speak, they spoke in a fashion most would find hard to expect in conversation. I grew bored. The characters weren't that interesting despite their intelligence, and I found myself speed reading the last thirty pages. And I found myself as displeased with "Groves" as I had been with "Lucky Jim".
Sometimes very literate and well-educated authors don't translate well to my level, to meet my self-admittedly need for a clearer, more linear story and engaging characters.
Despite Henry's unlikelihood--his unhealthy, narcissistic, and mean-spirited personality is constantly in evidence--he turns out to be a star at this game of manipulation. The delight in the book lies in McCarthy's inimitable ability to represent the inner thought processes and psychological maneuverings that lead to the surprising denouement (not to be revealed in this review). One of the first academic novels, this founding member of the genre is not to be missed by anyone interested in this form or fond of McCarthy's biting brilliance.