University Shambles

A novel by Christopher James Rhodes

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Published by Melrose Books
ISBN: 978 1 906561 39 0
Hardback with dust jacket 234mm x 156mm, 216 pages


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The Cut-throat World of Brave New Academia

"very funny and true to life" "deliciously vicious"

Omnishambles' was named word of the year in 2012 by the Oxford English Dictionary, and refers to a situation which is utterly shambolic from all possible perspectives. Sadly, this is an apt description of the contemporary British Higher Education system, as is satirized in Chris Rhodes' novel "University Shambles", a black comedy but with too many truths to be ignored.

Government cuts, rising tuition fees, graduates debt-ridden and unemployed, FE colleges becoming the new "new universities", the ruthless scramble for dwindling research funding, bankrupt universities laying-off staff and endlessly merging.

Enter Charles Rae, a young, rabidly ambitious particle physicist who is offered a professorship at the newly fledged Evergreen Epstein University (EEU), making him the youngest professor of physics in the world.

His elation chills as he rapidly finds himself drawn into a twilight-zone scenario that appears to have been deliberately engineered for his destruction.

In University Shambles, Chris Rhodes has created a bitingly accurate observational satire which targets the politics of academia, the degradation of the university system and - inescapably - the foolish vanity of academics. The adept combination of character, sharp satire and comedic humour make good reading and he has given us a new and much-needed phase in the evolution of the campus novel, taking-on the hypocrisies and spin of ‘education, education, education’.

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Updated 15 December, 2014