Bill Smith Goes to College
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Press: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 11, 2012)
Author Name:Stag, David
Those who have attended college know that it is a life-changing event.
The university experience is an adventure, one that embodies the summit of our highest hopes and the pit of our deepest fears.
This strange tale is a fantasy about one young man’s college experience.
His convoluted quest weaves a path through unforeseen challenges and surprising test scores.
Oh, and the characters! Who could be more enticing in a novel than droning teachers and paper-shuffling administrative bureaucrats? Yes.
Now you get the picture.
Enduring endless lectures in crowded classrooms can be just as exciting as alien space battles on distant planets.
I wouldn’t kid you.
This is more than just a cute little novel.
It is a search for the real graduate in all of us.
It will change your life as no book has done before.
Scared yet? Just keep telling yourself: it’s only a story – it’s not real life.
Or is it? This book is about 55,000 words long (a short novel).
It may be suitable for the oldest teenagers, though most will not know what the story is really talking about.
It is intended for adults who want their paradigms challenged.
Literature & Fiction,Genre Fiction,Satire,Humor & Entertainment,Humor,Humor & Satire
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Comment List (Total:10)
- Bill Smith is a young man from Iowa whose family saved money to send him to college, where he hopes to fulfill his dream of studying Engineering.
- Bill Smith Goes to College is an entertaining book that points out the decline of the higher education system in the US and its collusion with the US government to the detriment...
- Quite funny. Excellent use of puns and 'plays on words'. Characters lived up to their names. Haven't laughed that much in quite a while.
- Quite enjoyed the author's second novel, so different from his first. A satirical look at college life that had me grinning and often laughing out loud as I read.
- Title: Bill Smith Goes to CollegeAuthor: David StagGenre: fictionReview:If a comedy tv show was to be turned into a book, than Bill Smith Goes to College, written by David Stag, hits the nail on the head. This novel describes the journey the main character faces during his freshman year at college. Although many of the issues Bill (the main character of this book) faces in the story are over dramatized, they are actually realistic. I guess the best sentence to describe this novel is: a parody to the system used by most colleges and why students are no longer receiving quality education at colleges.The story opens up with Bill exploring his dorm room. One word to sum up his room: crappy. It doesn't even have a door. As the day progresses, meets a mysterious stranger named Clyde. Although Clyde isn't technically a student, he still hangs around the University. What confuses Bill the most about Clyde is the "test" Clyde keeps on telling Bill about. Clyde keeps on mentioning everyone having to pass a test some point in their life that will determine what type of person they will be when they grow up.Bill isn't off to a great start. First of all, although he wants to study engineering, most of his classes aren't even related to engineering. Instead, he's required to take an excessive amount of electives that he must pass or else he won't be able to get his degree. What makes it worse is that he can't flunk out of a class. basically this means he would have to take the class over and over again until he passes (which could take a while and it's not that Bill is a bad student--the professors truly are terrible and don't seem interested in answering any "good" questions the students have.) Also, it seems as if the entire University is against him. He has trouble finding the classrooms, he is partnered up with a girl who likes to eat strange chemicals in science class and has a counselor who takes great pleasure in insulting him.Probably the only good thing about college is meeting two other students named Sunir and Clay. The three boys quickly become good friends and discuss many interesting topics. Sunir is a study abroad student and although he want to learn very badly, it seems as if the professors aren't interested in helping him at all. Also, Sunir often misunderstands concepts being taught in class. I suppose he is like the "innocent" kid of the trio. Clay is more realistic and similar to Bill. They are both studious but just can't seem to succeed to college.The book is also filled with excellent quotes:Here's one that talks about the student loan system and how it can be somewhat misleading to students. "'That's not the right way to do it,' said Sunir. 'We learned this last year. You must borrow the money, I am sure of that. There was no talk of this saving you speak of. When you need the money, you borrow it. When you borrow it, you promise to pay it back. Then you wait for them to tell you that you don't have to pay it back. This is quite exciting. If you just wait long enough, they will say it is no longer necessary to pay the money back. It makes it much easier that way. It's a very good system.'"And here's another quote I liked: "'Facts are not the truth. Facts are essential to the truth, but there is something else required. To tell the truth, you must want to reveal the situation as it really exists.""We live in an age when image is more important [than] actual deeds."Also, there is a lot of play on words in the book. For example, Dr. Conwell is a professor who teaches philosophy but constantly twists the quotes he uses to fit his own needs--therefore he "cons well". Or when Bill gets lost on campus because all the buildings confuse him, he has to locate a building called Moira D. Same Building (more of the same building). Okay, one last play on words with name used in this novel (I have an affinity for puns and such). The name of the main administration building is the Ian Quisition Center.Overall, I found Bill Smith Goes to College a very thought provoking book. I would recommend this to anyone interested in an insightful but fast paced read.Likes: *deals with a somewhat controversial topic in a humorous way *memorable characters *filled with punsDislikes: *sometimes the lectures the professors give get a tad tedious reading them***free copy was received in exchange for an honest review***
- We all know that going to college is a major life event. Everything changes in a student's daily life - new place to live, new routines, new friends, new responsibilities and, of...
- The book starts with a kid arriving to college for his first classes as a freshman, he quickly gets shock after shock of strange and curious things that are the college life.
- The title of this novel suggests it was inspired by the movie, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, in which an idealistic freshman congressman discovers that Washington is a den of...
- When Bill Smith arrives at his college, fresh from Hicksville, Iowa, things are not as he is expecting. His room is strange and the showers in his dorm are mixed sex, but there are apparently draconian penalties for various, unspecified sexual harassment offences. Once he starts his course things become difficult as he has been allocated courses which have nothing to do with his major in engineering. The lecturers all seem to have their personal agendas, the most extreme of which being the chemistry lab professor who wants to lecture his class on renaissance art.Bill is soon embroiled in the seemingly impenetrable bureaucracy of the college and gradually begins to learn how the college works, what motivates the lecturers and in particular that education comes way down on the mission statement. When he decides that opting out is the best course of action, he finds that this is not a route which is encouraged and everything is put in his path to dissuade him.This is a very clever parody which firstly calls into question the motivation of students in embarking on pointless higher education courses and taking on huge amounts of debt in the process. Often this is the result of little reasoning and an assumption, particularly among parents, that it is the `right thing to do', despite the fact that in 2009 over 17m Americans with degrees were working at jobs which do not require such a qualification. The motivation of educational institutions is called into question and naturally has much to do with finance and funding rather than educational objectives.This is a tale which I enjoyed increasingly as I read through it. The enigmatic Clyde is particularly interesting and he almost appears to be Bill's alter ego, asking pertinent questions along the way. Clearly the points are overstated, but there are elements in Bill's experience which most fresher students will identify with. At the heart of this satire the whole foundation of much of our higher education system is being questioned. Whilst this will not be for everyone I would rate this a short but excellent and intelligently written book.
- Having recently sent two young men off to college, I jumped at the chance when author David Stag asked me to review his new book.
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