Review: Freshman by Michael Gerber

Gerber, Michael. Freshman. Hyperion, 2006. 340 p. $9.99 CND. ISBN 078683850-7.

VOYA Review Code: 4P. Recommended.

Readers can be comforted by the fact that
no matter how bad their first year at university was, it wasn’t as bad as Hart
Fox’s. He has to keep the rich, mean and stupid Burlington ‘Trip’ Darling the
Third, the Fifth, out of trouble as well as taking his tests for him; the
award-winning young editor of the school paper steals his work; his girlfriend
is a vampire who’s been an undergrad thirty-eight times; and the frat of Rich
Drunken Jerks on campus is trying to kill him. In between all of this Hart
needs to revive the old school humour newspaper and make enough money to pay
his tuition. Oh yeah, and pass all of his classes. Thank goodness for help from
his friends, as weird as they are.

From Michael Gerber, author of the Barry Trotter parodies and The Chronicles of Blarnia, contributor
to SNL, comes a story both hilarious
and relatable to anyone who has had to decipher the murky world of freshman
year at university. This book is recommended for young adult readers who enjoy
satire and an oddball sense of humour. Younger readers may not be able to
connect as deeply with the representation of university life, while people who
have previously or currently attend post-secondary education may be better able
to recognize from their own experiences majors like Study of Things, being ‘rusticated’
or exiled from campus and sent to live in town, and teachers who refuse to
acknowledge that not everyone is as passionately interested in their research
as they are. There is graphic language, limited sexuality, and violence
presented in a comical form. The numerous asides placed in footnotes are
entertaining, but the format may not appeal to all readers. This book will not
appeal to everyone, but those who like it will like it a lot.

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