Why this book?
I prefer a combination of poignancy and humor over the silly farces that are typical of many campus novels. While there is, indeed, plenty of dysfunction at the university depicted in this amazing novel, there is rich poignancy and hysterical, even farcical humor in the way the protagonist deals with his frustrations (he’s unable to get a departmental budget commitment from upper administration, and his stunts are downright funny), plus intense emotional engagement as these frustrations spill over into his home life. Exactly the kind of novel I enjoy. So many things ring true.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
Hilarious and true-to-life, witty, compassionate, and impossible to put down, Straight Man follows Hank Devereaux through one very bad week in this novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls. Soon to Be an Original Series on AMC Starring Bob Odenkirk.
William Henry Devereaux, Jr., is the reluctant chairman of the English department of a badly underfunded college in the Pennsylvania rust belt. Devereaux's reluctance is partly rooted in his character—he is a born anarchist—and partly in the fact that his department is more savagely divided than the Balkans.
In the course of a single week, Devereaux will have…