DEAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Schumacher manages a considerable feat in this epistolary novel told through a series of inter-office communications and hilarious, often wildly unhelpful, recommendation letters: making an oddly endearing hero out of a genuinely unlikable curmudgeon. Jason Fitger’s correspondences, his screeds against technology and his egotistical defenses provide a terrifically cathartic reading experience. Academics will find much in this book painfully true — and achingly funny — and the arch humor, cynicism and utter absurdity will appeal to legions of readers.
Forced to monitor his own department’s budgetary problems while the economics department upstairs is lavishly remodeled and constantly called upon to write an unending stream of recommendation letters, creative writing professor Jason Fitger often has little choice but to vent his frustration through his correspondence. Whether it is about his prized pupil who cannot seem to get any help with his (supposedly) brilliant novel, or in regard to his nearly hopeless love life, Fitger puts his heart, his spleen and his ire into each and every letter he pens. (DOUBLEDAY, Aug., 192 pp., $22.95)