by Mary McCarthy
About the book: A college instructor embarks on a fanatical quest to save his job—and enact righteous revenge—in this brilliantly acerbic satire of university politics during the early Cold War years Henry Mulcahy’s future is in question. An instructor of literature at Jocelyn College, an institute of higher learning renowned for its progressive approach to education, he has just received word that he will not be teaching next semester. He strongly suspects that his dismissal has been engineered by his nemesis, the college president, who Henry believes resents his superior skills as an educator. Or perhaps he is being targeted by the government in this Cold War era, now that Senator Joseph McCarthy’s communist witch hunt is in full swing, especially since Henry’s dedication to independent thinking is, he believes, renowned. Whatever the case, Henry Mulcahy wants justice—and vengeance—and he will not go quietly without a fight. But the battle might expose too much of Henry’s true nature . . . Witty and biting, Mary McCarthy’s The Groves of Academe is a deliciously pointed satire of the world of higher education and its petty despots, tiny wars, and internal politics. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Mary McCarthy including rare images from the author’s estate.
by David Nicholls
About the book: The debut bestseller from the author of the phenomenally successfully ONE DAY and Man Booker longlisted US. STARTER FOR TEN is a comedy about love, class, growing-up and the all-important difference between knowledge and wisdom. It's 1985 and Brian Jackson has arrived at university with a burning ambition - to make it onto TV's foremost general knowledge quiz. But no sooner has he embarked on 'The Challenge' than he finds himself falling hopelessly in love with his teammate, the beautiful and charismatic would-be actress, Alice Harbinson. When Alice fails to fall for his slightly over-eager charms, Brian comes up with a foolproof plan to capture her heart once and for all. He's going to win the game, at any cost, because - after all - everyone knows that what a woman really wants from a man is a comprehensive grasp of general knowledge . . . STARTER FOR TEN is a comedy about love, class, growing-up and the all-important difference between knowledge and wisdom. Are you up to the challenge of the funniest novel in years?
by Donna Tartt
About the book: Truly deserving of the accolade 'modern classic', Donna Tartt's novel is a remarkable achievement - compelling and elegant, dramatic and playful. Under the influence of their charismatic Classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality, their lives are changed profoundly and for ever.
by Bret Easton Ellis
About the book: Incisive, controversial and startlingly funny, The Rules of Attraction examines a group of affluent students at a small, self-consciously bohemian, liberal-arts college on America’s East Coast. Lauren, who changes the man in her bed even more often than she changes course, is dating Victor but sleeping with Sean. Sean – cool, ambivalent and deeply cynical – might be in love with Lauren, but he’s not going to let that stop him from bedding Paul. Paul, as shrewd as he is passionate, is Lauren’s ex-lover and the final point in this curious triangle. This is a breathtaking tale of sex, expectation, desire and frustration. ‘A tour of the heart of darkness, a moral armageddon’ The Times ‘Compelling . . . sympathetic to his “lost generation” the way only Fitzgerald was about his’ Vanity Fair ‘One of the primary inside sources in upper-middle-class America’s continuing investigation of what has happened to its children’ New York Times ‘Inspired. A wonderfully comic novel’ Gore Vidal
by Kingsley Amis
About the book: Penguin Decades bring you the novels that helped shape modern Britain. When they were published, some were bestsellers, some were considered scandalous, and others were simply misunderstood. All represent their time and helped define their generation, while today each is considered a landmark work of storytelling. Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim was published in 1954, and is a hilarious satire of British university life. Jim Dixon is bored by his job as a medieval history lecturer. His days are only improved by pulling faces behind the backs of his superiors as he tries desperately to survive provincial bourgeois society, an unbearable 'girlfriend' and petty humiliation at the hands of Professor Welch. Lucky Jim is one of the most famous and influential of all British post-War novels.
by Max Beerbohm
About the book: Zuleika Dobson is a conjurer by trade and a femme fatale by nature. She visits her uncle at Oxford University and all the young men studying there fall in love with her. She is unable to love any man who is not impervious to her charm, and her frustrated suitors are driven to suicide. The novel is a wicked, funny look inside Edwardian Oxford.
by Haruki Murakami
About the book: When he hears her favourite Beatles song, Toru Watanabe recalls his first love Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend Kizuki. Immediately he is transported back almost twenty years to his student days in Tokyo, adrift in a world of uneasy friendships, casual sex, passion, loss and desire - to a time when an impetuous young woman called Midori marches into his life and he has to choose between the future and the past. ** Murakami’s new novel is coming ** COLORLESS TSUKURU TAZAKI AND HIS YEARS OF PILGRIMAGE 'The reason why death had such a hold on Tsukuru Tazaki was clear. One day his four closest friends, the friends he’d known for a long time, announced that they did not want to see him, or talk with him, ever again'
by Helen Hardt
About the book: Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once a literary detective novel and a captivating love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars investigating the lives of two Victorian poets. Following a trail of letters, journals and poems they uncover a web of passion, deceit and tragedy, and their quest becomes a battle against time.
by Joyce Carol Oates
About the book: A major historical novel from "one of the great artistic forces of our time" (The Nation)—an eerie, unforgettable story of possession, power, and loss in early-twentieth-century Princeton, a cultural crossroads of the powerful and the damned Princeton, New Jersey, at the turn of the twentieth century: a tranquil place to raise a family, a genteel town for genteel souls. But something dark and dangerous lurks at the edges of the town, corrupting and infecting its residents. Vampires and ghosts haunt the dreams of the innocent. A powerful curse besets the elite families of Princeton; their daughters begin disappearing. A young bride on the verge of the altar is seduced and abducted by a dangerously compelling man–a shape-shifting, vaguely European prince who might just be the devil, and who spreads his curse upon a richly deserving community of white Anglo-Saxon privilege. And in the Pine Barrens that border the town, a lush and terrifying underworld opens up. When the bride's brother sets out against all odds to find her, his path will cross those of Princeton's most formidable people, from Grover Cleveland, fresh out of his second term in the White House and retired to town for a quieter life, to soon-to-be commander in chief Woodrow Wilson, president of the university and a complex individual obsessed to the point of madness with his need to retain power; from the young Socialist idealist Upton Sinclair to his charismatic comrade Jack London, and the most famous writer of the era, Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain–all plagued by "accursed" visions. An utterly fresh work from Oates, The Accursed marks new territory for the masterful writer. Narrated with her unmistakable psychological insight, it combines beautifully transporting historical detail with chilling supernatural elements to stunning effect.
by Jane Smiley
About the book: "DELECTABLY ENTERTAINING. . . . An uproariously funny and at the same time hauntingly melancholy portrait of a college community in the Midwest." --The New York Times Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, amid cow pastures and waving fields of grain, lies Moo University, a distinguished institution devoted to the art and science of agriculture. Here, among an atmosphere rife with devious plots, mischievous intrigue, lusty liaisons, and academic one-upmanship, Chairman X of the Horticulture Department harbors a secret fantasy to kill the dean; Mrs. Walker, the provost's right hand and campus information queen, knows where all the bodies are buried; Timothy Nonahan, associate professor of English, advocates eavesdropping for his creative writing assignments; and Bob Carlson, a sophomore, feeds and maintains his only friend: a hog named Earl Butz. In this wonderfully written and masterfully plotted novel, Jane Smiley, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres, offers us a wickedly funny comedy that is also a darkly poignant slice of life. "FAST, HILARIOUS, AND HEARTBREAKING . . . Not for a minute does Moo lose its perfect satiric pitch or its pacing. . . . Don't skip a page, don't skip a paragraph. It's going to be on the final." --People "SMART, IRREVERENT, AND WICKEDLY TENDER . . . Moo suggests a mix of Tom Wolfe's wit and John Updike's satiny reach . . . Engaging." --The Boston Globe "ENTERTAINING . . . Displays a wicked wit and an unerring eye for American foibles . . . Stuffed with memorable characters, sparkling with deliciously acid humor, Moo is a rare bird in today's literary menagerie: a great read that also makes you think." --Chicago Sun-Times From the Trade Paperback edition.
by Richard Farina
About the book: A witty, psychedelic, and telling novel of the 1960s Richard Fariña evokes the Sixties as precisely, wittily, and poignantly as F. Scott Fitzgerald captured the Jazz Age. The hero, Gnossus Pappadopoulis, weaves his way through the psychedelic landscape, encountering-among other things-mescaline, women, art, gluttony, falsehood, science, prayer, and, occasionally, truth. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators. From the Trade Paperback edition.
by C.P. Snow
About the book: The fourth in the Strangers and Brothers series begins with the dying Master of a Cambridge college. His imminent demise causes intense rivalry and jealousy amongst the other fellows. Former friends become enemies as the election looms.
by Neal Stephenson
About the book: The New York Times Book Review called Neal Stephenson's most recent novel "electrifying" and "hilarious". but if you want to know Stephenson was doing twenty years before he wrote the epic Cryptonomicon, it's back-to-school time. Back to The Big U, that is, a hilarious send-up of American college life starring after years our of print, The Big U is required reading for anyone interested in the early work of this singular writer.
by Alison Lurie
About the book: When a wife reaches her breaking point and her husband begins an ill-advised affair, civil war breaks out within their family Erica Tate wouldn’t mind getting up in the morning if she enjoyed her children more. Until puberty struck, Jeffrey and Matilda were absolute darlings, but in the last year, they have become sullen, insufferable little monsters. Erica’s husband, Brian, is so deeply immersed in university life—and the legs of a half-literate flower child named Wendy—that he either doesn’t notice his wife’s misery or simply doesn’t care. Worst of all, their pleasant little neighborhood is transforming into a subdivision. And with each new ranch house that springs up around their lot, Erica’s marriage inches closer to disaster. Admitting she is sick of her family is only the first step. When the Tate household tips into full-scale emotional combat, Erica must do her best to ensure that she comes out on top. In this darkly comic tale, there is nothing more important than having a good exit strategy. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Alison Lurie including rare images from the author’s collection.
by Tom Wolfe
About the book: Dupont University - the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America's youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition... Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from Sparta, North Carolina, who has come here on a full scholarship. But Charlotte soon learns that for the upper-crust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time. As Charlotte encounters Dupont's elite - her roommate, Beverly, a fleshy, privileged Brahmin in lusty pursuit of lacrosse players; Jojo Johanssen, the only white starting player on Dupont's godlike basketball team; the Young Turk of Saint Ray fraternity, Hoyt Thorpe, whose heady sense of entitlement and social domination is clinched by his accidental brawl with a bodyguard for the governor of California; and Adam Gellin, one of the Millennium Mutants who run the university's 'independent' newspaper and who consider themselves the last bastion of intellectual endeavour on campus - she gains a new, revelatory sense of her own power, that of her difference and of her very innocence. But little does she realize that she will act as a catalyst in all of their lives.