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The Graduate by Charles Webb

The Graduate (original 1963; edition 1970)

by Charles Webb

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945289,201 (3.29)92
Title:The Graduate
Authors:Charles Webb
Info:Penguin Books Ltd (1970), Paperback
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:Fiction, Coming of age, TBR

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The Graduate by Charles Webb (1963)


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Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
2.5 stars (rounded to 3 for Shelfari)
The Graduate is the story of a young, disillusioned, college graduate whose boredom and lack of direction leads him to have an affair with a married woman. The book explores sexual and social expectations in the 1960s. Life is seen as empty and youth are disillusioned.

Let me start off by saying that I didn’t hate this book. I just don't’ think I really got it. I find reading about directionless people tedious and even more so when they are entitled, young men of privildege. I realize that the style was intended to be humorous, but I just didn’t care what happened to the main character and his actions (bordering on stalking at times) were rather silly (to me). I do think that it captured the notion of a college graduate drifting through his post-graduate life, and it did a nice job reflecting the sense of disillusionment of a specific era. It just felt cartoonish to me. The dialogue was infuriating to me, not funny. I think the topic had merit but it was presented in such a shallow, superficial way that for me it lost its meaning as a social commentary. Character development was minimal. And as for the romance, it was not believable in any way -- perhaps this was supposed to be part of the comedy but as I mentioned earlier, I just didn't get it.

I haven't seen the movie. I actually think the dialogue might work well for a movie. Perhaps I would have found it funnier as a movie. ( )
  JenPrim | Jan 15, 2016 |
The Graduate Charles Webb
2.5 Stars

This is the story of disillusioned graduate student Benjamin Braddock and his ill advised affair with the wife of his fathers business partner.

The book is broken down into 3 parts the first of which was the most enjoyable for me. In part 1 it is possible to relate to Ben a student whose entire life has been building up to this point he has achieved what he set out to achieve and now doesn't think he wants it, he is disillusioned and bored with life and I think this is something that can happen when you reach the point where your life is no longer about goals but about settling down and deciding how to live the rest of it.

Parts 2 and 3 took a severe drop downwards Bens behaviour is bizarre but not as bizarre as that of them women in the novel.

The story is told from Bens point of view so he at least is 3 dimensional everyone else in the novel is a cardboard cut out, I as a reader had no idea what motivated or why they behaved in the totally peculiar ways they did, especially with regard to their feelings toward Ben.

The ending drove me mad because it explained nothing and again a female character behaved totally bizarrely when considering what had happened throughout the rest of the book

Not having seen the film I had no expectations and the book managed to live up to them ( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
I didn't like the film, I didn't like the book much either. ( )
  sashinka | Jan 14, 2016 |
This is even more fun to read than the famous film that is lifted almost entirely from the written dialogue. It’s deceptively short and, as it consists almost entirely of dialogue, very quick to read. It’s deceptive because it manages not only to pack in a great story but also to create some very enduring characters, none more so than Benjamin and the infamous Mrs Robinson.

So Benjamin graduates and everyone else but him is over the moon about the fact that he’s done so well. Everyone else consists entirely of his parents’ peers; Ben seems to have grown up in a youth vacuum.

His lackadaisical approach to life leads him into his illicit relations with his father’s business partner’s wife. Mrs Robinson is a manipulative alcoholic (the word manipulative there, for anyone familiar with alcoholics, is actually a redundancy) and bored with her present existence. She seems to need someone to spice up her sex life but nothing more and when Benjamin realises what he’s got himself into he wants out.

His realisation comes when he is reacquainted with daughter Elaine Robinson, who Mrs Robinson has forbidden him to date. But a date with her arranged by his parents creates a crisis which Mrs Robinson never recovers from.

The novel moves quickly. It has to before it runs into the back cover. But you move quickly with it. This is a novel you can easily finish in one sitting, and it’s very entertaining indeed. ( )
  arukiyomi | Nov 7, 2015 |
So I watched the movie and now, at long long last I've you've read the book! When I finished it I could see why it was so ripe at the time to be made into a film and it's mostly because the book is so short. Short in length short in detail, detail of characters scenes and discriptions there is so much detail missing from the book that when you watch the movie it all comes together but then again if you wanna fly through a book in no time at all then this is one for you. It's reasonably good - not the greatest read ever but readable all the same. ( )
  nikon | May 11, 2015 |
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To Eve
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Benjamin Braddock graduated from a small Eastern college on a day in June.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743456459, Paperback)

The basis for Mike Nichols' acclaimed 1967 film starring Dustin Hoffman -- and for successful stage productions in London and on Broadway -- this classic novel about a naive college graduate adrift in the shifting social and sexual mores of the 1960s captures with hilarity and insight the alienation of youth and the disillusionment of an era.

The Graduate

When Benjamin Braddock graduates from a small Eastern college and moves home to his parents' house, everyone wants to know what he's going to do with his life. Embittered by the emptiness of his college education and indifferent to his grim prospects -- grad school? a career in plastics? -- Benjamin falls haplessly into an affair with Mrs. Robinson, the relentlessly seductive wife of his father's business partner. It's only when beautiful coed Elaine Robinson comes home to visit her parents that Benjamin, now smitten, thinks he might have found some kind of direction in his life. Unfortuately for Benjamin, Mrs. Robinson plays the role of protective mother as well as she does the one of mistress. A wondrously fierce and absurd battle of wills ensues, with love and idealism triumphing over the forces of corruption and conformity.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:45 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A recent college graduate from an affluent family comes of age and finds himself by being led into an affair with the wife and the daughter of his father's business partner.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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Average: (3.29)
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2 18
2.5 13
3 71
3.5 13
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2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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