Tuesday, 10 November 2009

New Title: Bottom of the List by Steve Attridge

Paranoid recluse Adam Bittermouth’s Roebuck University makes a fortune. But as a seat of learning it gets bottom marks when money-grubbing bean counters replace professors and students become craftily manipulated cash cows.

From his opulent high-tech hermitage in a tower 500 feet above the campus, Bittermouth monitors every eccentric move of staff and students via hidden cameras ... and dreams of the day when his money-spinning institution will be free of both.

Meanwhile, far below, political corruption, monstrous egos, existential terror, corporate bullying and murder head the curriculum, along with romantic angst, constipation problems, sanity issues and bad plumbing.

In an hilarious riot of a tale that echoes an imploding real world, author Steve Attridge introduces scary security guards Baz and Dave; sex-mad failed poet Damion Dimmuck; Dr Duff with his paranoid terror of sick people; Mercedes Blonk, seducer of young men and radical theorist; and psychopathic dwarf, General Spinelli, a bloodstained South American dictator who enrols (at a price) to read (but misunderstand) classic literature.

Unlikely champions of human values are a befuddled academic whose only friends are literary characters, a weedy fantasist student addicted to list-making, and his secret love, the Rubenesque, silent and unsmiling girl with poetry in her soul and a huge cache of illicit chocolate bars under her bed.

At stake are all future generations in the western world ... will they be educated or programmed?