Monday, 1 October 2012

The Graduate by Charles Webb (3/5)

The back says: Benjamin Braddock wants to be bad. So the college boy with a solid-gold future revolts against his life of Suburban Hell. And when his parents’ friend Mrs Robinson strips naked in front of him and offers to teach him the things he never learnt as school, it seems an affair with an ‘Older Woman’ could give him the adult education he’s been looking for...

I say: I have never seen the film version of this novel, and all I knew about it beforehand was that it was about a young man who sleeps with an older woman. I saw it in a used book store for cheap, and figured I might as well.

Apart from the affair, I simply cannot fathom what all the fuss is about.

So, we have Benjamin who is tired of school and wants to do something, but he doesn’t know what. He refuses a scholarship and stays at home with his parents doing nothing during the day, and sleeping with Mrs Robinson in the evening. During a school break Mr Robinson forces Benjamin to go out with their daughter Elaine, much to Mrs Robinson’s aggravation. When Benjamin breaks up with Mrs Robinson to be with Elaine, she vows to ruin their budding relationship.

What happens after that is all sorts of random tomfoolery that I couldn’t care less about because none of it made any sense.

Now, I know that love can change a person, but I cannot understand why Benjamin gets so obsessed with Elaine. His entire personality changes and he keeps making all these weird implausible decisions. I didn’t believe anything that happened in the second part of the novel. It was just random shenanigans that I read because I wanted to see exactly how far Webb would take it.

And he took it far.

Too far.

That ending has got to be one of the most ridiculous endings I have ever read.

And I have read Twilight.

All of the books.

Supposedly this was meant to be a funny book, and I admit that I did ‘ha’ a few times, but it wasn’t my type of humour. The writing was ok and it was fast paced enough – I just didn’t care for the place Webb took the story.


  1. Dude, this book/story is completely mental and really makes no sense, and ACTUALLY, I think that for once, the film actually provides more kind of meaning and cohesiveness and all those good things than the book does. Cause like, the end's still mental, but they're at least slightly like 'omg, what have we just done' and I feel like you get more of a sense of Benjamin's complete lack of direction in the film.

    Basically I really like the movie, is that clear?! Haha

    1. Wait a minute... are you trying to tell me that you like the film?