The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel In Two Semesters
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After 15 years of designing more than 1,500 book jackets at Knopf for such authors as Anne Rice and Michael Chrichton, Kidd has crafted an affecting an entertaining novel set at a state university in the late 1950s that is both slap-happily funny and heartbreakingly sad. The Cheese Monkeys is a college novel that takes place over a tightly written two semesters. The book is set in the late 1950s at State U, where the young narrator, has decided to major in art, much to his parents’ dismay. It is an autobiographical, coming-of-age novel which tells universally appealing stories of maturity, finding a calling in life, and being inspired by a loving, demanding, and highly eccentric teacher.
geo-sci class in ten minutes that I really couldn't afford to miss. I said, “Okay.” • • • “I'll have a Linebacker burger with pickles, mustard, ketchup, lettuce, mayo, and french fries. And a large black cow Rah-Rah. Thick.” She handed the unopened menu back to the waiter. “Then coffee and a Touch-Down sticky bun— toasted, extra goo.” “I'll have a regular hamburger and a lemon Coke.” I had to be careful. Off-campus food expenses weren't exactly in my budget. She took a cigarette from her
the classroom—I recognized Treat Dempsey and two other guys from North Halls. Himillsy was seated, her shiny black helmet of hair and raccoon mascara glowering over a sundress she'd made in Textiles 202. The fabric was covered with a pattern of oranges and bananas that would have seemed perfectly benign on anyone else. She was talking to a very tall boyish man with terrible skin. The door to 207 wasn't locked, but a sign, ink on horizontal notebook paper, was taped to it: INTRODUCTION TO
me. IF I WANT YOUR OBLIVION, I'LL DRIVE IT INTO YOU! Fate was playing pinball with me, but so what. It felt good —whoops! Wrong word. It felt better than that, it— “Jew baller yet?” Almost swerved into a ditch. “P-pardon?” Eyes shut, not moving. But awake. “The pixie. Jew baller?” Good heavens. “No.” “I did.” Somehow, I kept my eyes on the road; my hands obeyed me—despite their better judgment—and clutched the wheel instead of his throat. Jealousy hot and crippling. Jealous of whom,
we'd never have tried it. Winter would have wanted me to tell it this way: The first day, the hard realities are just theory—the deadline is still abstract and you're not in a rush. You laugh, you're at ease, you work slowly—as if extra time can be delivered on demand at some point, like a pizza. You stay calm. And later you will regret it, deeply. But for now, one day turns into the next, and you don't notice too much out of the ordinary. You've got a job to do, and the weight of the
which had not yet been classified by the AMA? Certainly her drawing didn't depend on his nakedness one way or the other. Back at my seat. Maybelle had recovered from the shock of Mr. Peppie in the altogether, and with the cavalier spirit of a Confederate captain interrogating a Yankee prisoner, she proceeded with her drawing as if nothing had happened. When she got to his genitals (I just had to look), she imposed a seersucker fig leaf with the proportions of a lunch bag. At the end of the