I dropped out of my first university and when I re-started elsewhere I made the economic decision to save money by staying at home and commuting to university. This coincided with a period of absorbing anti-socialness, as I decided to concentrate on studying at the expense of the student experience. This allowed me to grow out my eyebrows and if I ever needed to live a little vicariously, the following novels were pretty good vessels…
‘Penelope’ – Rebecca Harrington
One of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time, Penelope follows the eponymous character as she battles to find her feet at Harvard. Harrington’s dry sense of humour zones in on universal ‘new-girl’ weak spots covering everything from dorm posters to casual sex. Awkward but incredibly identifiable.
‘The Secret History’ – Donna Tartt
Set in a New England college, the novel follows a group of Classics students who, under the liberal supervision of their professor, create a lifestyle that sets them apart from their mainstream contemporaries. It gets really fun when one of their group goes missing… A dark and decadent story and an absolute must-read.
‘Rules of Attraction’ – Bret Easton Ellis
A group of students in the 1980s as envisioned by Bret Easton Ellis. The novel is told via a mix of view points, one of those belonging to Sean Bateman (with his delightful brother Patrick making a surprise appearance at some point) and another in French. It starts with a mid-way sentence and ends the same way. A bootlick being run over like a steamroller, but in a good way.
Related To Be Read…
- ‘On Beauty’ – Zadie Smith
- ‘The Art of Fielding’ – Chad Harbach