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answerjill's avatar

Can you give me some good fictional representations of college/university life?

Asked by answerjill (5654 points ) August 22nd, 2010

I’d love to hear your examples of books (fiction), movies, songs, etc. in which a college or university is the main setting or the world around which most of the action revolves. Thanks!

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22 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

“Moo” by Jane Smiley. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moo_(novel)

I loved this book: “Moo is a 1995 novel by Jane Smiley. It is set in the American Midwest on the fictional campus of Moo University during the 1989–1990 academic year. The novel is a comedy that uses a sprawling narrative style, encompassing the lives of dozens of characters.”

Changing Places by David Lodge. Another really funny novel about an American and a British professor who exchange campuses and lives.

muppetish's avatar

Wow, this has the potential of being an extremely long list. The most recent books that I read that involved university students were Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger and The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. The characters are definitely at the forefront of those stories moreso than the school setting itself, though.

Regarding movies… I’ll need to look through my ratings system to remember them.

You didn’t mention television, but I love the show Community.

Mephistopheles's avatar

Van Wilder. Not exactly family friendly though…

kevbo's avatar

Donna Tartt’s The Secret History

and

The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis

GeorgeGee's avatar

Animal House is set at the fictional Faber College in 1962, centered on the Omega Theta Pi fraternity. Written by Chris Miller and published in National Lampoon magazine based on Miller’s experiences in the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity at Dartmouth College, Harold Ramis’ experiences in the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at Washington University in St. Louis, and producer Ivan Reitman’s experiences at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Outer Banks by Anne Rivers Siddons. It’s a good female beach-read.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

There are lots of great book and movie suggestions above, so here’s a song which is set on a college campus.

gailcalled's avatar

I forgot Pnin by Vladmir Nabokov.

Here’s a list of 26 campus novels novels, many of which I have read and can recommend, such as Kingsley Amis” Lucky Jim.

The film, The Mona Lisa Smile is purported to be about my alma mater in the late 50’s. Other than having been filmed on that gorgeous campus, it is a load of pretty and inaccurate hogwash. None of my professors looked like Julia Roberts, and no one at the health center ever gave out contraceptives.

muppetish's avatar

A Beautiful Mind (7 stars)
Starter For Ten (6 stars)
Horse Feathers (7 stars)

I thought I would find more. I either haven’t rated them or have forgotten them. I’m also saddened by the lack of diversity, but that’s the film industry in general for you.

answerjill's avatar

@muppetish – Ooh, thanks for including TV! I like Community a lot, too!

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe. The university the novel is set at is fictional but modelled closely after a number of elite institutions Wolfe visited.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Animal House It’s a classic.
Where were you in ‘62?

ipso's avatar

The Freshman (1925)
The Paper Chase (1973) “robot pimp”
Animal House (1978)
Real Genius (1985)
Old School (2003)

bob_'s avatar

Asher Roth’s I love college.

fundevogel's avatar

It’s eerie how closely this mirrors my college experience.

ipso's avatar

Not mentioned yet, but how could we have forgotten. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966).

What a dump!

To my mind Elizabeth Taylor’s best effort. Genius.

I’m also starting White Noise by Don DeLillo. It’s taking place in a college town, and about professors.

I’ve only just started it, but so far his writing chops are astounding.

keobooks's avatar

The Big U by Neal Stephenson is a black comedy about a ridiculously huge megaversity. But much of it rings true.

http://www.amazon.com/Big-U-Neal-Stephenson/dp/0380816032/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282767537&sr=8-1

answerjill's avatar

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

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