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The Pauline Conversion by [Camber, Anthony]
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The Pauline Conversion Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 390 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 952 KB
  • Print Length: 390 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0957114974
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: David A Smith; 1 edition (27 Oct. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #950,056 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback
This fourth novel from Anthony Camber is a gem. It demonstrates all of the characteristics of his writing – quirky characters, warm wit, satisfying plot twists and a knowledgeable depiction of the setting – in spades. And, like his previous works, it gently prompts us to consider issues of tolerance and gossip-obsessed society.

‘The Pauline Conversion’ takes us back to St Paul’s College, Cambridge, the fictional college setting of Camber’s earlier novel ‘The Pink and the Grey’ (though the books could be read in either order). Before there were CCTV cameras hanging from the ceilings of St Paul’s there were disco balls (some of which you could sit in), and the college of the 1970s was a sanctuary from the harsh winters and frosty attitudes of the straight-laced world outside its walls. But how welcoming a place is it when faced with a boy who doesn’t fit with its established norms? The author cleverly uses the college setting to invert the heteronormative rules of society and ask questions about how far we’re prepared to go in the pursuit of acceptance.

Intelligent, surprising and funny to the end, this is well worth the read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Launching equally incisive barbs at both traditionalists and reformers without ever succumbing to cruelty or bitterness, Camber's satire of Seventies academia will bring joy to fans of Tom Sharpe. However - while the territory is familiar - Camber is not merely retreading the same ground: the neither-fish-nor-fowl status of homosexuals following legalisation is at the forefront of this novel, shown in its full absurdity but without prurience.

The miner's strike is bringing the nation to its shivering knees. Homosexuality is legal, but publicly hinting you might wish to do more than think about thinking about it is still considered a criminal offence. Tucked away in the quiet streets of Cambridge, permitted yet shunned, stands St Paul's College, founded to provide education and sanctuary to students and academics who might wish to do more than think about it.

A chance, or at least close enough to chance it can't be proved to be assault, throws Dennis, a Fellow of St Paul's, at the feet of Red, a young man more than usually unusual even for St Paul's. When Red turns out to be homeless, Dennis' offer of a cup of tea to his rescuer turns into charity, and then a crusade to leave his mark on college history.

While the disjunction between homosexuality being legal and suggesting homosexual acts still being an obscenity is at the heart of this novel, it is only one thread. Camber gives equal page time to the politics and absurdities of academic life. With a Master who never attends College and a Head Porter who would be happier if the Fellows would act like the dim-witted but socially superior officer-class he believes they are, the college will be instantly recognisable to anyone familiar with collegiate universities or indeed any hierarchical organisation.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was definitely well worth waiting for.

Anthony Camber has a very mischievous sense of humour, which really comes across in his latest work. As usual, he combines the laughs with moments of pathos, and subtly gives the reader a few 'issues' to mull over. It's extremely well written and you will find yourself being drawn into the story very quickly. In fact I was hooked from the very start of chapter one.

There are several surprises in the story, which I won't give away here. Suffice to say there were some "I didn't see THAT coming!" moments.

If you're looking for a fun, interesting and absorbing read, you have to buy this book. You'd be mad not to!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sophisticated, elegant humour. I'm sure I only got half the jokes and will re-read quite a few times over the coming decades.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Academic Intrigue and Sexual Politics at 1970's Cambridge University 18 Oct. 2016
By Byron L. Postma - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A terrific story of academic intrigue, set at the University of Cambridge (UK) in the 70's. Britain is still recovering from the Second World War and dealing with social change. Margaret Thatcher is the PM, and the coal miners are on strike, leading to periodic power outages. Fictional St. Paul's College, one of 31 Colleges at Cambridge, has an all-gay (and all-male) faculty and student body. When the protagonist, Dr. Dennis Sauvage, a Fellow (teacher) at St. Paul's is rescued by a young gay homeless lad named "Red" after a bicycle accident and tries to improve his lot by sponsoring him for enrollment, there are complications. The youth's enrollment is bitterly opposed by some faculty, who attempt to thwart his enrollment through blackmail. I won't give away the surprise, but the University eventually learns a lesson about inclusion and Dennis learns something about himself. For American readers, the frequent British-isms may require reference to Wikipedia to translate. Some, particularly references to old BBC TV shows and personalities of the 70's, are undecipherable to American readers, even after extensive Internet searches. Slightly annoying, but tolerable for the quality of the writing, characters and plot. Everything I have read from this author has been excellent. I probably won't read Disunited because it's about English football, and I don't even understand American football.
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