It's academic, or, win a book!
Levison's chief target is his co-protagonist Elias White, an ambitious schemer who has calculated that his road to academic stardom lies in being seen as a Nazi apologist:
"Elias also wanted the article to be posted on White Supremacist websites, so he could argue furiously against its misinterpretation by evil people with a harmful agenda. This kind of conflict usually resulted in the most prized of all commodities, news coverage."But Elias was nothing compared with his father, a feckless fraud whose "God-given ability to slither around unnoticed was rewarded each year with a fatter paycheck and a slimmer workload, until, after forty years of teaching, he found himself collecting nearly $100,000 for teaching one class a semester."
I'd say Levison is even harder on academia than that other acid-tongued crime writer/professor, Amanda Cross. You can win a copy of Dog Eats Dog and find out for yourself if you are the first with the right answer to this academic question: What was Amanda Cross' real name, and at which American university did she receive tenure?
Send your answers along with a postal address to detectivesbeyondborders (at) earthlink (dot) net.
As much as I love Bitter Lemon Press, and as much as I enjoy Levison's accurate digs at the psychic toll of being overworked and underutilized in a dead-end, initiative-crushing job (at least, a friend tells me the digs are accurate. I wouldn't know from personal experience), where were the copy editors?
Page 96 contains this mismatch of number: "And he always handed the good ones off to her, rather than finish it." A few pages later, a sentence uses the word attribute when asset was called for: " ... her gender was more of a career detriment that her charm, personality, and positive attitude were attributes."
© Peter Rozovsky 2008