good college fiction

<p>Marite, when I said I loved it, I meant it! I think the contest has evolved beyond writing something truly bad into writing really good parody.
Here are some recent winners:<br>

She resolved to end the love affair with Ramon tonight . . . summarily, like Martha Stewart ripping the sand vein out of a shrimp's tail . . . though the term "love affair" now struck her as a ridiculous euphemism . . . not unlike "sand vein," which is after all an intestine, not a vein . . . and that tarry substance inside certainly isn't sand . . . and that brought her back to Ramon.
Dave Zobel, Manhattan Beach, CA (2004 Winner)</p>

<pre><code>As he stared at her ample bosom, he daydreamed of the dual Stromberg carburetors in his vintage Triumph Spitfire, highly functional yet pleasingly formed, perched prominently on top of the intake manifold, aching for experienced hands, the small knurled caps of the oil dampeners begging to be inspected and adjusted as described in chapter seven of the shop manual.
Dan McKay, Fargo, ND (2005 Winner)




<p>I'm sorry, I meant the opening line of Love Story. </p>

<p>I also like the Bulwer-Lytton contest. I grew up on parodies of authors on the French high school curriculum and these were real gems (they also highlighted the stylistic quirks of those authors in a very helpful way). The ones I recall were by Raymond Queneau.</p>

<p>I've heard that Erich Segal said he modelled the Oliver character on Gore and Tommy Lee Jones (who thus got to play his own roommate in the movie!), but that never seemed spot-on to me -- maybe the attitude and voice, but not much else. Jones was the athlete and tough guy, so what was Gore? A preppy with father issues? (And there was a whole dust-up years ago about whether Tipper was the model for Jenny, which she wasn't.) At the time, my various Harvard-grad cousins (I had one in each of the classes 1966-1969) were saying that the basic story was based on another, older friend of Segal's, who married against his parents' wishes and then had his young wife die.</p>

<p>See how great college fiction is made? A little from here, a little from there, and NO COPYING!</p>

<p>I do remember when Gore re-floated this story.</p>

<p>I was in college when the film was made, and the director sent flyers to area colleges asking students to play extras at a baseball game. I had zippo interest in baseball and the weather wasn't great. I missed my chance for movie immortality!</p>

<p>I have to say, between Erich Segal and Donna Tartt, classics have beeing given a bad press!</p>

<p>Terrific suggestions all. Two more to add:</p>

<p>On Beauty, the new book by Zadie Smith
Publish and Perish: Three Tales of Tenure and Terror by James Hynes</p>

<p>Title- In the Midst Of
Author- C. M. Barons
Format- trade paperback
Size- 274 pgs
Publisher- New Age World Publishing
ISBN- 978-1-59405-098-5
Genre- Fiction, Adult, college-setting, 1970s </p>

“Reality,” he once told me, “is the invention of memory.” The enigma of Daniel Hollis: he survived childhood huddled in an imaginary world; his adolescence, sleepwalking. After two decades of abstinence, he was hungry. No point going back; nothing substantive remained. He had fortified a deception. There was only illusion. </p>

Sticker price on a 1975 Corvette was $6,550. A bag of Columbian: $30. In the Midst Of features a barefaced ensemble of true-to-age characters. Brian connects with an offbeat mentor cum older brother named Hollis in a lopsided relationship. Hollis moves on, but Brian will not let go. He clings to a myth perpetuated by dependency and self-denial. The 1970s was an era of global hang-time; the 60s pendulum had swung as far as the silent majority would allow. Poised to back swing, the repercussions were unclear. The shock value of the previous decade had been commercialized. Like pre-faded jeans: off-the-rack and ready-to-wear. “How’s your love life?” “Try it... You’ll like it!” ...Couldn’t raise the eyebrows of the Tidy-Bowl man. The nation was in transition, post Watergate-pre AIDS. The war was over, and Disco was an urban anomaly. Americans shimmied into hip-huggers, submitted to analysis and shucked inhibitions. Suburban cool: Naugahyde living room set, Tiki-lit backyard and coveting the neighbor’s spouse. ...Cocaine for your groove and a doobie to unwind. What distinguishes In the Midst Of? Barons’ characters are not trite icons typically enlisted to resemble the 70s. Brian, et al, leap beyond stereotypes; video verite, spurred by downright, gut-metered dialogue. The backdrop is unaffected, a Kodacolor © snapshot- definitive 70s. The era pretends to be a character, à la Grand Central Terminal, too epic for the label: train station. Brian and his friends’ lives play out, guided by elements more onerous than the clockworks of society and politics. They are ensconced on a college campus. Co-ed dorms, liberal drinking, open drugs and casual sex. Edge-lurking has always been fashionable. Hollis dangles by his fingertips. Beneath his public facade lies a disturbing void. His multiple secrets are protected by an ambiguity that passes for cool. His inner sanctum is Brian’s obsession; a fixation that yields a mirror with a chilling reflection. Hollis is the aim- as clear as the bull’s eye emblazoned on any Zen-archer’s target. </p>

“That’s not my parlance; for lack of better term, yes, I have one.” He led me into the hall, digging in his pocket for a key ring. I wasn’t eager; I’d rather postpone disassembly of the person I thought I knew.
He removed his shoes, importing I do likewise. “I keep it locked because the floor is white. …Don’t want dirt tracked in.” The lights came on; it was exactly as Angie described it. </p>

<p>Related Links </p>

<p>author’s website In</a> the Midst Of
publisher’s website New</a> Age World Publishing</p>

<p>Geoffrey Wolff, The Final Club (Princeton in the late 1950s)</p>

<p>Has anyone read "The Rule of Four"?</p>

<p>One of my favorite college stories is The Masters by C.P. Snow. It's about the election of a new master for a fictional (Cambridge) college. It's full of internal politics.</p>

<p>Another faculty novel is William Stegner's Crossing to Safety, though it's more about relationships and friendships than the college itself.</p>

<p>I don't remember them too well, but Jon Hassler's Rookery Blues and *The Dean's List *are both set in a fictional midwest college. He's one of my favorite contemporary novelists. Sadly he died this spring.</p>

<p>I love the entire CP Snow series --Strangers and Brothers--the Masters is part of. Many of them are set in the university world. The Light and the Dark is my favorite. I can't recall the title of the last one--written much more recently. It follows the children of two of the main characters in the earlier books during the student strikes of the 60s. Very, very poignant, especially if you've read the earlier books. </p>

<p>A high school book in a very different vein: Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. It's about a Columbine-type incident at a high school.</p>

<p>^I didn't know that, Mathmom. I like Hassler too.</p>

<p>I'm in the middle of a new hilarious college satire by Roger Rosenblatt called "Beet." Really clever, a little over the top, but some good points to make.</p>

<p>Epiphany--I read The Rule of Four when it first came out. I rmember it being pretty good, but didn't entirely hang together for me. Can't remember specifics, though.</p>

<p>TONS of murder mysteries are set on college campuses. The Kate Fansler series by Amanda Cross (a pseudonym for the late Columbia English professor Carolyn Heilbrun) are good.</p>

<p>How could I forget Amanda Cross? I really enjoy her books! There's a fun one of hers that takes place in a Manhattan Prep school too.</p>

<p>This is going back a few decades, but a real charmer of a book set in college is The Paper Chase by John Jay Osborn Jr. Also made into a movie and short run TV series. Well worth checking out.</p>