It's 1983, and 17-year-old Edward Zanni wants to study acting at Juilliard, but his newly remarried father, who earns too much for Edward to claim scholarship money, refuses to pay. So, Edward enlists the aid of his creative theater pals to swindle the money from his father. Posing as nuns and priests, the troupe concocts embezzlement and money laundering schemes to get Edward his badly needed cash.
How I Paid for College is a hilarious coming-of-age story that rings true with anyone who's ever dared to dream big.
©2004 Marc Acito; (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC
"Acito nails his scenes one after another, from Edward's shifting (but always enthusiastic) sexuality to the silly messes he gets himself into. The result is a thumbs-up winner from a storyteller whose future looks as bright as that of his young hero." (Publishers Weekly)
"A witty high school romp....Acito's characters are a self-consciously eccentric crew, but their haphazard friendships and over-the-top scheming are thoroughly believable. The ease with which Acito has choreographed their crazy capers makes you hope there's lots more where all this came from." (The New York Times Book Review)
Edward Zanni is a (1980s) high school student, all set on going to Juilliard to study theatre, enjoying school plays, dance classes, singing and English classes...when his (divorced but now with new girlfriend) dad announces he will only pay for a business degree. Disaster! How is Edward going to pay for college? Well, this book follows the absurd, larger than life ways that Edward and his friends attempt to raise the money. Along the way we have hijinks, sarcasm, humour, musicals, drama, frivolity, escapism, irreverence, novels, self-discovery, a wonderful circle of friends, a supportive English teacher....
I thoroughly enjoyed the story and found it very funny. It is larger than life, at times silly and ridiculous, at other times serious and full of strong emotions. The setting and characters are vividly conveyed. I very much enjoyed the wonderful performance by Jeff Woodman - this book is read and sung. The singing was great as I don't always recognise music described in books, and am not very good at "hearing" it from memory, or imagining it.
"Funny funny funny"
Edward, the would-be Juliard-trained actor with a less than perfect body, tries to find his place in the world, his mind, and his body, and---hopefully--in college.
This book is hilarious and the narrator insures that hearing must be better than reading it. When he is called to sing, he sings, and it is pleasant to hear his voice. His reading has a youthful exhuberance totally suited to the material.
I too struggled with my seuxality as a teenager, as do most of us, so I was delighted with the author's presentation that is funny but never embarrassing.
"The Surreal Life ... Sorta"
Hey, Marc Acito didn't write the most insightful novel about alienated youth attempting to make peace with the big bad world. He leaves that to more prolific scholars. What he did write was a hilarious look at a group of people, young and old, who live life to the extremes. None of the youth in this novel will die wishing they had gone for the heights with more gusto. And, oddly, I was moved by the genuine pathos between children and their parents. The protagonist, Eddie, in the course of ten hours of listening, grew from a silly twit of a lad to an adult with much to offer and high hopes for the future. I loved this comedic take on coming of age and recommend it highly.
I actually laughed out loud on the treadmill at the gym. Extremely funny, but hardly "Catcher in the Rye"; just a well read, well written story about disgruntled suburbia. The characters are multi dimensional and memorable. Extraordinary? No, but highly entertaining. And, FYI, includes a charmingly open and honest exploration of sex and sexuality, so keep your toddlers out of earshot.
I love this narrator. Everything he does is amazing. Every character is unique, consistent, and interesting. The book is fun but the narrator is superb.
"Had to finish it"
I admit - I did not like this book when I first started it. I left this audio to go listen to other books. When I came back, the story really started to pick up and I was totally hooked. I laughed at all of the adventures and I could not leave until I knew how he was able to pay for college.
"Good Book. A Must Read!"
Loved it. It suprised me. It wasn't your typical gay novel. I thought he would have paid for college in a different way.
"If you like David Sedaris you will love this one!!"
The story was funny, enjoyable, interesting, and funny. Several times I laughed out loud. The story is written in a Sedaris like manner. Although no one can tell a story like Sedaris, but Acito is very close. Try it you will like it. My only disappointment is I could not find anything else Acito. He needs to write more!!
"Very funny tale, well told!"
I loved the book when I read it, and enjoyed it even more through Jeff Woodman's vivacious reading. It's very funny, and sweet without being cloying - and if there are some wildly improbable bits, well, isn't that what fiction is for? Recommended!
"Funny, Insightful, Long"
It is rare to hear a book that keeps you laughing, and this book does. Acito captures growing up affluent and confused in the burbs and makes enough references to the early 80's to make me miss Bananarama. But beware- this book can be raunchy and many of the hero's situations are "gay friendly'. Homophobes should look elsewhere. And last thing-- an abridged version would have been made more sense. Eleven hours is fine for an important biography, but seems a little drawn out for such a light, fun read (listen).
“How I Paid for College” is a funny (if sometimes awkward) coming of age story. The characters are ridiculous and ridiculously fun. The plot is ridiculous, sometimes funny and sometimes heartfelt. Looking at the story as a whole I thought it was a lot of fun. If you read Tim Dorsey or Carl Hiaasen, I think you’ll really like this story. Well written and interesting I’m sure all read more from this author if it’s like this.
Mr. Woodman does a wonderful job from the characters to the pacing he really brings the story to life. If there is a story set in Jersey and he doesn't do the narration its not being done right.
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