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Comment: The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable. Slight water damage may be present.
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My Education Hardcover – July 3, 2013

3.3 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, July 2013: You could say Susan Choi’s My Education is a novel of the academy, in which an impressionable graduate student has an affair with an older, charismatic professor; that’s a fair--if misleading and incomplete--description. My Education is more surprising than that because a) the professor with whom the heroine sleeps is not the one you might expect and b) the book is full of pithy observations you can’t stop nodding at, and writing you can’t help underlining. “You’re twenty-one! Do you know what I’d give to be that age again?” Regina’s older lover cries in exasperation. “Do you know what I’d give if you’d stop saying that?” Regina replies. Or: “We sprang into flight like the arrow released from the bow,” Choi writes, when the lovers are discovered nearly in flagrante. Full of brilliantly drawn supporting characters--Regina’s hippie stoner roommate who goes by his surname is a favorite--this sophisticated book is about sophisticated people who may be brainy about arts and letters but are closer to clueless when it comes to the complex affairs of the heart. --Sara Nelson

From Booklist

In September 1992, 21-year-old Regina Gottlieb begins graduate school at an elite East Coast university. She is immediately intrigued by charismatic literature professor Nicholas Brodeur, whose seductive reputation precedes him. Though she is fascinated by Nicholas, it is Nicholas’ remote, mercurial wife, Martha, who inspires an overwhelming passion in Regina. After sharing a charged kiss at a dinner party, Regina pursues Martha with a dogged relentlessness and throws herself into the affair with all the exuberance of youth. Although Martha tries to conceal the relationship from Nicholas and the nanny who helps care for their son, Joachim, Regina is reckless and angry that Martha won’t plan a future with her. PEN/W. G. Sebald Award winner Choi (A Person of Interest, 2008) eventually moves the story ahead by 15 years, allowing Regina to view the consequences of her actions from a decidedly more mature perspective. With a sharp eye and piercing insights, Choi captures the heady romanticism that infuses a youthful love affair before the responsibilities and realities of adulthood set in. This is a masterful coming-of-age novel. --Kristine Huntley
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; First Edition edition (July 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670024902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670024902
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #823,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Julie A. Smith on July 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
It is 1992, and Regina Gottlieb, our narrator, is entering grad school. She keeps hearing about the notorious Professor Brodeur who is very handsome, but accused by gossip of various sexual crimes. Curious, she takes one of the professor's classes, even though she has never read any of the classics. Eventually she becomes one of the professor's teaching assistants.

Laurence, the other teaching assistant, married with a lovely wife and child, always attired in Brooks Brothers everything, becomes a friend. When the two are invited to the professor's home, Regina finds herself caught in a sexual attraction that turns into an affair with the wrong person.

This novel is a story of a certain coming-of-age; the education involves friendships and misplaced passions. As I read, the novel brought back memories of some of my own youthful passions and indiscretions. Even so, I must admit to not quite liking Regina, even as I identified with some of her feelings and even some of her actions.

Many of us have had that "great passion" - the one that involves obsession and quite pushes aside any moral qualms. Susan Choi so perfectly captures that in this novel - the sexual conflicts and tensions that arise in our youth and the price we usually pay for them.

Smartly written, with deft, clever prose, I can see this one winning an award or two.

QUOTES:

My mother's voice was known to interfere with radio broadcasts and to summon stray dogs; in her late girlhood, when her nuclear grin and her lightning-fast hands had landed her a job as a typist with the U.S. Armed Forces based in Manila, she'd been useful for mustering troops who could otherwise sleep through all bugles and bells.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The story:

It is 1992 and Regina Gottlieb, 20 years old, is starting her graduate degree. From the very first time she sees him at a poetry reading, Regina is mesmerized by Nicholas Brodeur, the seductive English professor with a rather shocking reputation. Although she is well aware that it may not be the smartest thing to do, Regina accepts a job as his assistant and slowly finds herself entering the world Nicholas and his wife, Martha, inhabit. Getting closer to Nicholas and Martha means a distance develops between Regina and her house-mate, friend and occasional lover, Dutra.

While it is Regina's fascination with Nicholas Brodeur and his reputation that entices her into his orbit, he won't be the subject of her fantasies and desires. A passionate affair will follow, but instead of Nicholas it will be the person closest to him who captivates Regina to such an extent that she disregards the consequences her feelings and actions will have, both for herself and for those around her. And it won't be until 15 years later that the conflicts that started in 1992 and their lasting consequences come to the surface and have a chance of being put to rest.

My thoughts:

I am not entirely sure how I feel about this book or what to say about it. This a rather typical coming-of-age story in that it portrays the journey a young woman makes from the innocence and happy-go-lucky lifestyle so typical of teenagers to the very real and harsh consequences that an affair and first deep, but unattainable love can bring. And the gravity of everything Regina encounters and experiences jumps of the page in the form of long and at times seemingly mindless descriptions of everything she sees, feels, does and experiences. And that is where my main issue with this book lies.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Normally I love the (albeit over-explored) premise of student/teacher affair... it's probably why I picked up this book in the first place. But only a few chapters into the book I was praying it would get better (It didn't, really), and I had to force myself to finish it. Choi's writing is overwrought, in love with the sound of itself, exaggerated and pretentious (I got so sick of references to various obscure writers and philosophers, and Brodeurs' stupid baby carseat, which was always referred to as "the Swedish carseat"). The characters weren't very likeable, and I felt like many of them were misrepresented, right from the start. For instance, Regina had heard of the rakish, womanizing, sexual-harassing reputation of Nicholas Brodeur, and for some reason instead of running the other way, she signed up for a class with him to get a little closer. First of all, WHO DOES THIS?! Second, this premise was pretty much abandoned, and when the reader meets Brodeur, there is absolutely no evidence of the sort of sexual magnetism that is hinted about at the beginning of the book. The love scenes were gross and embarrassing (and I'm not typically bothered by an explicit love scene, as long as it's well written), and (spoiler alert) Regina's self-flagellating behavior when she gets dumped made me want to slap her.

The second half of the book, which takes place 14 years after the first, doesn't really seem to make sense, as to how the characters ended where they did. And although I found the ending compelling, there was very little portent of it when I thought back to earlier in the book, which made it seem unlikely.

I rarely regret having read a book, but I'm a bit sorry I wasted my time and money on this one.
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