in the UK
Blair's educational reforms of the 1990s. Where glittering new universities arise from the ashes of mediocre former polytechnics; and where egos don't just run departments - they run rampant. 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 in the name of inclusiveness 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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