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The Collected Works Volume One - Rates of Exchange The History Man and Stepping Westward - cover

The Collected Works Volume One - Rates of Exchange The History Man and Stepping Westward

Malcolm Bradbury

Publisher: Open Road Media

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Summary

Three satires of academia by the beloved British critic, teacher, and novelist—including his “outstanding” comic masterpiece, The History Man (The Guardian).   “A satirist of great assurance and accomplishment,” Malcolm Bradbury remains one of the sharpest comic novelists of the twentieth century (The Observer). In Rates of Exchange and Stepping Westward, as “in almost all of Bradbury’s novels, the most frequently recurring theme is that of the slightly naïve, liberal innocent, usually an academic, hilariously abroad in an unfamiliar, and occasionally slightly threatening, context” (The Guardian). In The History Man, the tables are turned, and the professor himself is the threat, resulting in “grim wit, chill comedy and a fictional energy which is as imaginative as the tale is shocking” (A. S. Byatt).  Rates of Exchange: University lecturer and seasoned international traveler Angus Petworth is unprepared for the oddities of culture and circumstance that await him on the other side of the iron curtain—in the eastern European nation of Slaka. In two eventful weeks, the professor gives an incendiary interview, is seduced by a femme fatale, and becomes embroiled in a plot of international intrigue. Satirizing everything from critics and diplomats to Marxism and academia, Rates of Exchange is a witty and lighthearted novel of cultural interchange at the height of the Cold War, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.   “Explosively funny.” —The Daily Telegraph  The History Man: Bradbury’s classic skewering of 1970s academia and ideological hypocrisy centers around Professor Howard Kirk, who prides himself on being the most highly evolved teacher on campus. But beneath Kirk’s scholarly bohemianism and studied cool is a ruthless, self-serving Machiavellian streak. Kirk is vain and bigoted, dismissing female students and colleagues while releasing vitriol against those who contradict him, particularly his clever, wayward wife, Barbara, the long-suffering mother of his two children. Someone needs to teach him a lesson . . .   “[A] genuinely comic novel.” —The New York Times  Stepping Westward: At the height of the swinging sixties, mediocre British writer James Walker accepts an academic post in America for a year he’ll never forget. As Benedict Arnold University’s writer in residence, he finds himself something of a celebrity—his work, though met with shrugs at home, is the subject of vibrant scholarly criticism among American academics. But the buttoned-up professor is about to take a crash course in culture shock taught by spirited advocates of free love and aggressively ambitious colleagues.   “Highly entertaining.” —Margaret Drabble, The Sunday Times

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