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The scene is Cambridge in the early 1960s. Ben Birt, an intellectual Brando from a grammar school, sees the University through proud, bawdy and anarchic eyes. Classless but deeply class-conscious. Brought up on Shakespeare and the classics, much influenced by contemporary French and American, he talks a vivid new language. Ben, above all, is alive. He does: and does not apologize for what he does. He gives to life without giving in; and takes from life without being taken in. He ends up on his own, beginning to see Cambridge has more to offer than a three years’ muckabout in a festering fen.
‘Very clever indeed . . . This portrait of la vie de boheme universitaire should raise squeals of outraged delight . . . all along the line from Belgravia to Budleigh Salterton.’ Daily Telegraph
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