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The Graduate [Paperback]

Charles Webb
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 7.41 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

30 April 1981
'For twenty- one years I have been shuffling back and forth between classrooms and libraries. Now you tell me what the hell it's got me.' That's how Benjamin Braddock talked when he came down from university. Somehow it didn't seem to be what his father expected from a college education, and everyone was really appalled when Ben raped Mrs Robinson (that was her story anyway) and ran off with her daughter in the middle of her wedding to someone else... a brilliantly sordid tale of a young man's search for identity and a portrayal of the worst-behaved yet most sympathetic anti-hero of the day.

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The Graduate + The Graduate: Collector's Edition [DVD] [1967]
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Impression edition (30 April 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140026932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140026931
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 12.5 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Charles Webb was born in 1939 in San Francisco. He was educated at Williams College, Massachusetts, where he graduated in American history and literature. The Graduate was his first novel, and was made in to a hugely successful film. His other novels include Love, Roger, The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker (also filmed), The Abolitionist of Clark Gable Place and Elsinor.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Benjamin Braddock graduated from a small Eastern college on a day in June. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight! 12 Sep 2011
I recently picked this book up from one of my local library's 'quick read' tables. I'm ashamed to say that I wasn't expecting much. But - what an absolute delight! I read it in one sitting, I simply couldn't put it down. I was amazed. A child of the 60s, I've seen the film many times and "sung" along to 'Mrs Robinson' more times than I care to think about. Sad to say, I'd never read the book. And I missed out. It is just SO well written. It's witty and snappy and there's a lot of dialogue, which I don't usually like in my novels. However, in this novel, it's easy to read and it's so well done. It's also easy to love Benjamin, and to empathise with his situation. I always loved the part at the end of the film where he rushes off to find Elaine before she's married and the film is true to the book. They are both excellent and I'm so pleased that I picked the book up that day. Absolutely fantastic! Read it. NOW!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criminally Underrated 19 April 2009
By Jonathan Posner VINE VOICE
Here are two things to get out of the way; one, I haven't seen the film, and two, I enjoyed this novel much more than 'Revolutionary Road' and is, in my opinion, in every way its equal.

Of the first, it has to be said that however good a film 'The Graduate' made (yes, I know all the words to the song, the poster has been etched into my mind, I even have an Alfa Romeo myself) it has been unkind to the book by so completely eclipsing it. For this is an outstanding American novel, breathtaking in its sheer verve and audacity. And with regards the comparison with 'Revolutionary Road' - published just two years previously - given the choice between Richard Yates's full-frontal approach to disintegrating relationships I'd choose Webb's almost peripheral-vision tactics any day of the week. For unlike Yates Webb gets the sensationalism out of the way early. The deftly-portrayed affair between Benjamin Braddock and Mrs Robinson is fascinating, of course, but for me it's only the precursor to the main event: the consequent hurt and tragedy, the veritable car-crash of wrecked relationships, the coolly observed internal collapse of previously ordered and rational lives.

Throughout all this Webb has the bravery to write infuriating dialogue, often banal in its perfunctoriness. But this is his brilliance, the sign of a writer that knows exactly what he's doing and precisely the effect it's going to have on the reader. The cumulative effect is riveting, as is the heart-pounding plot that ends, perfectly, with all the air sucked out of it. And if, for me, the best opening line in modern fiction is Paul Theroux's 'Saint Jack', then 'The Graduate' surely has the best last line.

On the strength of 'The Graduate', Charles Webb is a criminally underrated writer. This is a glorious, clever novel. Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman and Simon & Garfunkel have a lot to answer for.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic film 17 Jun 2014
By yonbell
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So naughty at the time it was first released, but now 2014 it is harmless and taken in good fun. Good music throughout.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 1 Oct 2013
By Anthony
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After seeing the film you'll love the book. Its remarkably close to the original movie but has more of the story
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So disappointed ... 13 Mar 2012
By Satago
Oh dear, I have clearly missed the plot! A `masterpiece'? Everything bar that description.
Whilst the start of the story has a hint of promise, it was down (a steep) hill from there on. I had to force myself to finish the book, expecting some improvement which never materialised. I found the story implausible, somewhat predictable and not at all `witty'. The characters were extremely shallow and I didn't get to know them at all. The language is boring, endlessly repetitive (how many times is the word `What' uttered??!), and the dialogues ... well, I wouldn't call them `dialogues', perhaps `aimless exchanges', filling page after page. My advice: don't bother or be prepared to be disappointed.
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