3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Slick, smart but a little lacking in heart,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Graduate (Essential Penguin) (Paperback)
Having seen neither the film or the play, I was able to read The Graduate without any preconceptions. And I enjoyed it. It is written very much like a play, with minimal description and plenty of snappy dialogue, and the characters' feelings shown exclusively through their actions. This keeps the pace high but also means that there is little introspection which leads to a sense of superficiality. There are some moments of high drama, and a couple of episodes of stomach tingling anticipation, particularly in the first half of the book. However, the second half of the book lacks the zip of the first, and the dialogue driven style of writing gets a little tiring and monotonous. But the main problem I found was that Benjamin is not a sympathetic character, and particularly later on in the story I found myself caring little if he actually got what he wanted or not. In fact, I was hoping he wouldn't, and that he got the come-uppance that his actions deserved. I also found Elaine Robinson's motivation a little difficult to understand. All in all, however, the book was an entertaining account of the loneliness and lack of direction that can pervade adolescence, but lacked the heart and humour of Catcher in the Rye or The Outsiders.