0514 | The Graduate | Charles Webb


This is even more fun to read than the famous film that is lifted almost entirely from the written dialogue. It’s deceptively short and, as it consists almost entirely of dialogue, very quick to read. It’s deceptive because it manages not only to pack in a great story but also to create some very enduring characters, none more so than Benjamin and the infamous Mrs Robinson.

So Benjamin graduates and everyone else but him is over the moon about the fact that he’s done so well. Everyone else consists entirely of his parents’ peers; Ben seems to have grown up in a youth vacuum.

His lackadaisical approach to life leads him into his illicit relations with his father’s business partner’s wife. Mrs Robinson is a manipulative alcoholic (the word manipulative there, for anyone familiar with alcoholics, is actually a redundancy) and bored with her present existence. She seems to need someone to spice up her sex life but nothing more and when Benjamin realises what he’s got himself into he wants out.

His realisation comes when he is reacquainted with daughter Elaine Robinson, who Mrs Robinson has forbidden him to date. But a date with her arranged by his parents creates a crisis which Mrs Robinson never recovers from.

The novel moves quickly. It has to before it runs into the back cover. But you move quickly with it. This is a novel you can easily finish in one sitting, and it’s very entertaining indeed.


Benjamin Braddock graduated from a small Eastern college on a day in June.


This might reveal the ending. If you want to see the quote, click show

PROGRESS  graduatep
RATING graduater
Key: Legacy | Plot / toPic | Characterisation / faCts | Readability | Achievement | Style

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