* Middle C by William Gass

The hero of Middle C concocts for himself a more exciting personal narrative that gets him a professorship in a third-rate college, then condemns him to worry. Along the way are many adventures, some hilarious, other dramatic, and, alas, quite a few  excruciatingly boring, as when the author plunges into pages of the hero’s note cards, his resolutely banal lectures, or erudite references to obscure books he has read. Too bad! There are some very funny adventures with women who fall for him, along with a surprisingly tender portrait of his mother, who comes into her own as an older woman who discovers gardening and fits into her adoptive country much better, and more honestly than her son.

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