It has been years since Swenson, a professor in a New England creative writing program, has published a novel. It’s been even longer since any of his students have shown promise. Enter Angela Argo, a pierced, tattooed student with a rare talent for writing. Angela is just the thing Swenson needs. And, better yet, she wants his help. But, as we all know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. . . .

Deliciously risqué, Blue Angel is a withering take on today’s academic mores and a scathing tale that vividly shows what can happen when academic politics collides with political correctness.

Blue Angel is the novel I wanted to love. I even started out loving it – Swenson was this quirky professor that practically tripped over his own shoes when he walked, the result of his constantly racing mind. The first fifty pages or so were the substance of a very charming novel. And then… not so much.

Swenson did start out as this likable guy, a man who loved his wife, a man who didn’t necessarily love his students but tried, he was trying. But eventually, he began to change. He turned. Into a hypocrite, a liar. To himself and to everyone around him. And I eventually just got annoyed by him and his two-faced existence, the two lives he was living.

And then you get to the moment when you ask yourself, why did she do that? She, being Francine Prose, the creator behind this charming-turned-annoying novel. And you just want to put it down because this novel is not what you thought it would be, in a bad way. So I don’t spoil it for anyone who wants to read it, let’s just say that I did stick with it, and it turned out okay. The ending had its moments where the writer took what she had already done and made it interesting, but “an okay read” was the best case scenario with this book. I wanted to love it, but just didn’t.

Published by Mark Brassington

Father and Husband. Works in Corporate Banking. Loves Books, Comics, Cycling, Music, Games, going to the Gym and Writing.

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2 Comments

  1. Is this the book where there’s a cracked tooth/filling that figures in somewhere? Somewhere intimate? I totally agree with you, though. My thought was that Prose handled Swenson with such cliched heavy-handedness as to render him a caricature rather than a character. Like, could he have been a more stereotypically white male university creative writing professor?

    1. Yes, the cracked tooth does come into play.

      Very well said. I couldn’t agree with you more.

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