A hilarious murder mystery that skewers both publishing and academia with pure "old-fashioned comic storytelling" (Washington Post Book World). "Grudin . . . has . . . taken the genre of the academic satire . . . and run it through the post-structuralist dicer."--New York Times Book Review.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Demented deconstructionist plots to kill gentle humanist and destroy his life's work--in this waggish, intermittently inspired sendup of contemporary academic mores. Washagon College's English department, in thrall to Glanda Gazza, a chair who dreams of seceding, together with a department of literary theory that can dispense with literature altogether, plans to ease out do-nothing Prof. Adam Snell at its May meeting. But the proceedings are disrupted when Snell turns up missing from his home--and all copies of his small-press novel, Sovrana Sostrata, have disappeared too, hunted down by a nemesis who turns out to be crazed rising star Frank Underwood, determined to wipe out every trace of Adam's existence. Adam's few friends find him alive in a nearby corner of the campus (his life preserved by the miraculous qualities of the experimental-growth mucca-grass he's landed in), but Underwood is already practicing with a target pistol for the ultimate act of deconstruction. Can Adam's colleague Hal Emmons and his aspiring republisher Harper Nathan keep him alive long enough for him to finish his new novel, On Wonderment, or will he be marginalized by the profusion of satiric riffs and intertextual jests, by anything from a revolt of footnotes to getting swallowed by his own book? Though first-novelist Grudin (The Grace of Great Things, etc.) never quite pulls his shaggy crime plot, his metatextual bromides, and his satire together, they're all consistently sunny and good-humored. The satiric butts are too familiar and broadly ridiculed to make this as trenchant or funny as David Lodge; it's more likely to remind you of the kinder, gentler academic follies of Jane Langton, or of Michael Malone's Foolscap. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
This skillful satire, set at the University of Washagon, pits "evil" literary theorists against classical scholars: someone is trying to kill English professor Adam Snell and his novel. Grudin's concern about the lack of support for creativity in an academic setting, previously explored in the nonfiction work Grace of Great Things ( LJ 5/15/90), here gets a fairy-tale resolution, with fame, wealth, and love coming to Snell as a result of his truth-telling novel Sovrana Sostrata. Funny and perceptive, Book parodies literary forms (there's a revolt among the footnotes) and the power struggles within university life. This unique, well-constructed blend of truth, humor, and suspense is essential for academics: fun to read, but with real sustenance.
- Rebecca S. Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ., Highland Heights
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Penguin Books, USA, 1993. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. 8vo - over 7 3/4 " - 9 3/4 " tall. A hilarious murder mystery that skewers both publishing and academia with pure "old-fashioned comic storytelling" (Washington Post Book World). "Grudin . . . has . . . taken the genre of the academic satire . . . and run it through the post-structuralist dicer."--New York Times Book Review. Bookseller Inventory # 000429
Book Description Penguin Books, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0140231137
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Book Description Penguin Books, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0140231137
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