Monday, December 13, 2010

Book Review: Throttling the Bard

A fellow Uralista, Jay Barry, had recently asked me to read and review his first book: "Throttling the Bard" and post about it here.  Bottom line up front: I found it to be an enjoyable read about two full time denizens of academia who ride their motorcycles through a series of events leading to unexpected conclusions.

From the book's back cover:

Within the pristine halls of academia lurks the unsavory financial aid department and an English professor who has bilked that system in order to redistribute its wealth to students of a lower socioeconomic class. 

When the Great Basin Student Loan Corporation discovers Dr. Don Vendicarsi’s illegal means of obtaining student loans, they demand his presence at their Reno office. Fearing that his teaching career will end prematurely, Vendicarsi must ride to Reno to face the inscrutable loan board. 

Graduate student Quentin Mann goes along for the ride, thinking that the trip is the perfect opportunity to force dissertation comments from Dr. Vendicarsi. Together they embark upon a quixotic motorcycle trip across Nevada where they encounter everyday Americana: a book burning cult, drugs, captivating women, and the Burning Man arts festival. 

Harried by the Great Basin and inspired by a demolitions expert at Burning Man, Vendicarsi ponders the ultimate definition of a teacher’s sacrifice by eradicating all records of student loan debt, while Quentin realizes that spending borrowed money on yet another degree is not what he needs to become a recognized author.

I found this book to be an enjoyable read and flowing well.  Be prepared to have your vocabulary expanded as you track Professor Vendicarsi's highly erudite and long winded way of speaking.  The two travel over quite the mixed set of terrain, not just paved highways and I found their description of such riding to be amusing as I've found myself on the same type of terrain once in a while.

Motorcycles, nude people, riding fast, police chases, explosions, book burnings, scamming bikers at a biker bar....there's something in this book for everyone.  Oh, and if you're like me and never been to the "Burning Man" event in the Nevada desert, this book will either convince you to go or stay away.

You can buy a copy at:  LINK


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

I'm delighted to buy a copy of this book. I know how important book sales are to new authors.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

Gary France said...

It sounds very unusual and interesting. I will drop hints about getting it for Christmas.