A big chunk of the reading world is going to have a great time devouring a Home School, new semi erotic, not-very-family values novel by the very author that gave us The Graduate (which was made into that movie with Dustin Hoffman … one of the classics). This is ironic, because the book’s plot, which continues the original story of Benjamin and The Robinson’s, is advanced partly at the expense of the self-same self-righteous Homeschoolers that will be forced, due to a neurotic sense of shame, to ban the book from their own homes.
The Graduate, Webb’s earlier book on which the movie of the same name directed by Mike Nichols was based, was a story about a young man who falls in love with the engaged and indeed ultimately married daughter of the older woman who is trying to seduce him, forcing him to kidnap the young lady and escape in a bus, not necessarily in that order. That happened to me once (well, part of it) … but that’s another story.
On The Film: Few films have defined a generation as The Graduate did. The alienation, the nonconformity, the intergenerational romance, the blissful Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack–they all served to lob a cultural grenade smack into the middle of 1967 America, ultimately making the film the third most profitable up to that time. Seen from a later perspective, its radical chicness has dimmed a bit, yet it’s still a joy to see Dustin Hoffman’s bemused Benjamin and Anne Bancroft’s deliciously decadent, sardonic Mrs. Robinson. The script by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham is still offbeat and dryly funny, and Mike Nichols, who won an Oscar for his direction, has just the right, light touch. –Anne Hurley (Editorial review from the Amazon.com web site)
The Graduate is loaded with classic moments. There is the moment when Hoffman is sitting on the bed in his room in a rooming house, trying to calm down Katherine Ross (the younger woman), when Richard Dreyfuss, in what I believe was his second bit movie part as the manager of the boarding house, throws open the door. Dreyfuss glares into the room, with four or five of the other roomers looking disapprovingly … or perhaps lustfully … at Hoffman and Ross (remember, they are on a bed). Hoffman squeaks out “Oh, here she is having a drink of water” (handing her a glass of water) “… or words to that effect.
(the film)OK, so maybe you had to be there.
The Graduate also includes the line “….plastics…” If you don’t get that, go see the movie, that will be better than me explaining it.
And of course, there are the two key framing moments: Mrs. Robinson literally assuming a position of sexual receptivity as she invites the young Benjamen (Hoffman) to engage in intercourse with her, and Benjamen’s kidnapping of the young nee Miss Robinson from the church, during her marriage ceremony, locking the angry mob inside with a broom.
The Graduate was also Mike Farrell’s first time on film, in a bit part, if you care.
Anyway, according to a recent review, Webb’s sequel to The Graduate has the Hoffman character and the young woman married and in New York, homeschooling their child. Mrs. Robinson (oh, by the way, yes, that’s the same Mrs. Robinson in the Simon and Garfunkel song, which was written for the movie) ends up coming to town where she attempts once again to seduce the now married Benjamin. (Does she succeed?) A key part of the plot is that the homeschooling they are doing is illegal. The local principle forces the kid back into school, but Mrs. Robinson has a solution to that a well, which is apparently where the story gets semi, or perhaps fully, erotic.
If you don’t know the movie The Graduate, you should see it before you even think about reading this book. If you are a Christian Home Schooler, don’t read this book because it violates all the rules you have set for yourself. Unless, of course, you are the self appointed smut-checker, in which case you should read this book to make sure that it really is porn before you ban it.
OK, that’s enough about The Graduate and Home School. I’m going to leave you with just one word….