Saturday, 2 March 2013

PENELOPE by Rebecca Harrington

This is a book about the Harvard experience by someone recently graduated from Harvard. It begins well; here is the first description of the central character: "Penelope Davis O'Shaunessy, an incoming Harvard freshman of average height and lank hair," which I found entertaining.

Thereafter, it goes down hill. That period of early adulthood has been covered, and covered well (BRIDESHEAD REVISITED, OF HUMAN BONDAGE, etc etc and ETC), so if you're going to do it you better have something new to add. Unfortunately PENELOPE does not. It's such a basic story, with such routinely 'comic' moments, that after a while I started to wonder if there was some much larger joke that I was missing.

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