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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

An Academic Question by Barbara Pym

An Academic Question

This book was a download from Open Library. 

Like my previous read which poked fun at the British police, this poked fun at the stiff slightly pompous academia. This was throughout the book and made this book a humourous one;

We have Caro and Alan a young couple. Caro is a stay at home Mum with an au pair to handle their little daughter. Alan is a Professor of African Studies whose main focus to have as many articles published as possible, preferably something more important and which will have more effect in the academic world than his senior. Caro is bored. She looks for something to occupy her time and chances upon a reading assignment at the elders home.  Here she comes across a very old retiree who is incidentally a former very prominent figure in the world of African Studies. Alan sees this as an advantage for himself and persuades Caro to steal a manuscript from the old man which he uses in his publications. This gives him an advantage over the others in his field and especially his senior Professor. 

Trying to return the document however becomes a problem for Caro as the old man dies and his effects are packed away. The story of the relationship between Alan and Caro after this incident is nicely handled and shows our author's skill with handling relationships of every kind.

Nicely written and quite soothing!


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Working in an academic environment I think I'd like this one. The cover is very pretty as well. Thanks for reviewing it.

Darlene said...

I've heard that this author is a good writer although I've never read anything by her. I may have to one of these days. Like Diane, I like the cover too. It's different.

Blodeuedd said...

I must say that the cover is very dull

Helen said...

I've only read one Barbara Pym novel, Less Than Angels, but I enjoyed it and want to read more of her books. This one sounds interesting.

Lisa said...

I really must read some Barbara Pym one day soon.