At the end of Charles Webb's first novel, "The Graduate", Benjamin Braddock rescues his beloved Elaine from a marriage made not in heaven but in California. It is now eleven years and 3,000 miles later, and the couple live in Westchester County, a suburb of New York City, with their two young sons, whom they are educating at home. Through no accident, a continent now stands between them and the boys' surviving grandparent, now known as Nan, but who in former days answered to Mrs. Robinson.As the story opens, the Braddock household is in turmoil as the Westchester School Board attempts to quash the unconventional educational methods the family is practising. Desperate situations call for desperate remedies - even a cry for help to the mother-in-law from hell. She is only too happy to provide her loving services - but at a price far higher than could be expected. Charles Webb has a knack for pinpointing the horrors and absurdities of domestic life, and "Home School" displays all the precision and wit that made "The Graduate" such a long-lasting success.
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(197mm x 129mm x 15mm)
Arrow Books Ltd
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
A long-delayed - though not necessarily eagerly anticipated - sequel to The Graduate.Benjamin and Elaine Braddock are now parents, involved in the first throes of the home-schooling movement in the mid-'70s, when it was far more outre than it is now. Although their sons Jason and Matt have been responding well to the real-world education provided by their folks, the local school authorities (especially Mr. Claymore, a lecherous principal) are eager to break these pedagogical bonds. Fortuitously, at this moment Elaine's mother, the archetypal and legendary Mrs. Robinson, makes the 3,000 mile journey from California to New York (the Braddocks had wisely put some distance between themselves and Mrs. R) and unwittingly gives Benjamin and Elaine some fodder for blackmailing Claymore. (Let's just say the principal loses interest in asserting his academic authority.) Mrs. Robinson, now called "Nan" to avoid the egregious "Granny Robinson," wants to help with the boys' home schooling by having her grandchildren watch General Hospital so they can learn what it means to be a doctor. The novel then shifts into a different mode, when Garth and Goya - unrepentant Ivy League - educated hippies who are home-schooling their own children - also come for a visit. Their son Aaron is strapping but strange, both physique and weirdness attributable to his having breast-fed till the age of nine. (His seven-year-old sister Nefertiti still kindly helps herself.) The convergence of all these visitors creates understandable tension between Benjamin and Elaine. When Elaine takes everyone out for the evening, leaving Benjamin and his mother-in-law home alone, Mrs. Robinson daringly tries to recapture old times. A bit of fluff sure to satisfy those clamoring for a Graduate sequel. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Charles Webb
Charles Webb was born in California. His first novel, The Graduate, was made into the acclaimed film. Six years ago he moved to the UK to write a novel based on a English character, which was published as New Cardiff. He and his wife Fred remained in Great Britain. Currently he is working on a novel entitled Porn Flakes, about a poet who inherits an adult book shop.