Tuesday, July 1, 2008
I raced through a book yesterday, and it was a fun, easy read. Academy X: A Novel is written from the perspective of a male English teacher at an elite private prep school in New York, and while I couldn't exactly relate, a lot of the themes - academic politics, grade-grubbing students, sex-obsessed teenage students who wear skimpy clothing - sounded very familiar. Some of the classroom descriptions sounded a lot like the groups I encountered at my last teaching job, and the academic politics, while a bit more sinister that most of what I encountered, were pretty amusing. It's a short, fun read, and there were a lot of allusions, to Jane Austen and Charles Dickens novels as well as others, that made things fun for me. I have a bit of a weakness for postmodern novels that recycle and/or reimagine classic novels, and while this wasn't the finest of that genre, the way that the central character taught his students Emma while simultaneously using it to question the events in his life, to see if there were parallels, was a neat device. On the whole, I recommend it to anyone with a passing interest in any of the themes I've mentioned.