Thursday, October 05, 2006

Academics R Us

My favorite academic novel of all time is Straight Man by Richard Russo. I recently read Intuition by Allegra Goodman, but I don't think it qualifies since the action mostly takes place in a lab only loosely affiliated with a university. So.. what do you think?

Which is your favorite academic novel? (published in last decade)
Straight Man by Richard Russo
Moo by Jane Smiley
The Lecturer's Tale by James Hynes
Small World by David Lodge
Thinks.. by David Lodge
Publish and Perish by James Hynes
Other? (leave a comment)
Free polls from


Anonymous said...

Ha, I was the first vote, so right now it's 100% Moo. :D

I really liked Straight Man too, actually. Haven't read any of the rest, so I'm looking forward to seeing what others have to say.

Sean Carroll said...

I would definitely vote for Nice Work by David Lodge. The third of a loose "trilogy" with Trading Places and Small World (both of which I liked). Nice Work is a little bit better, as it manages to contrast the world of a young post-modern lit professor with that of a respectable no-nonsense businessman. (I didn't think much of Thinks, to be honest.)

-seth said...

haven't read any of them but Straight Man, but that was a great novel.

Sour Duck said...

I found Thinks... a dire read; too much of the author's ego getting in the way, as I recall.

Anonymous said...

other: anything by Rebecca Goldstein - she gives me a woman's perspective to identify with (or contrast myself with); I don't like Lodge's protagonists much, they're either cocky or neurotic or both and the women are mostly peripheral wives.

Ms.PhD said...

The only one I've read of those is Moo, which I liked.

I'm trying to think of other relevant books, but I'm drawing a blank. Hmm.

Thanks for the recommended reading.

Unknown said...

What, no Da Vinci Code?

Anonymous said...

The Rebel Angels by Robertson Davies is great, with a female protagonist, too.