At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances


3 Stars

Hee hee! What an interesting and strange book. This was one of those short, easy reads, and happens to fall into the generic fiction category (that means it’s kinda weird). The story involves a professor at a German university, engaged in professorial pastimes such as planning the demise of his rivals, and worrying who will try and take over his office during his sabbatical. You know, just a normal day in academia. The professor receives an invitation from the Cuban government to receive an honorary degree, and he naturally jumps at the chance, especially since his arch nemesis is green with envy at the news. Then the fun begins–during his stay in Cuba, the professor inadvertently becomes part of a military coup (which, according to the book, is quite common), and is named leader of the country. Leader in name only, of course, as his position is one with a short life span. He solves his dilemma in his cerebral way and goes on to bigger and better things, such as investigating his suspicion that his best enemy temporarily took up residence in his office.

The book was fun and clever, especially given I work in an academic setting, and the antics of these fictional professors really aren’t all that far off. The writing was crisp and clean, and the slap-stick-yet-dire situations were comical and tense simultaneously. I suggest this as an easy read where you don’t want to think much. It probably won’t stick with you for too long, which is perfect for vacation or bedtime. Enjoy!


Published in: on August 18, 2007 at 11:03 am  Leave a Comment  

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