A black comedy for a sunburned country, Superfluous Men treats early retirement and the literary bureaucracy with the same sparkling wit, incisive analysis, and inside information that characterized Michael Wilding’s portrayal of the university in his best-selling Academia Nuts.
Henry, Pawley and Dr Bee of Academia Nuts have taken early retirement. But what awaits them? Does anything? Pawley buys a dacha high in the Valley of the Weed. Dr Bee cruises the shopping malls. Henry is lured by the Director of the Writers’ Centre to be her Chair. Vistas of arts bureaucracies lie all before them.
Michael Wilding has been a milkman, a publisher, a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, a Cosmopolitan bachelor of the month, an apple-picker, a newspaper columnist and a professor of English.
‘The story of a maverick’ Dictionary of Literary Biography
‘Wilding at his absolute satirical best.’
David Williamson, on Academia Nuts
‘Very clever, in the grand tradition of Lucky Jim.’
‘A witty campus novel? In 2004? It seemed as likely as a holiday romance set amid the tropical delights of Guantanamo Bay… But it is very funny. So funny that I had to stop reading it in bed in case my roars of laughter were disturbing the neighbours: so funny that it deserves to be the final great campus novel. It is unlikely to be challenged. For what Wilding’s aged unreconstructed dons are playing with such absurd brio is unmistakably the last waltz.’
Laurie Taylor, Times Higher Educational Supplement
‘Darkly hilarious … wickedly funny … read it and laugh out loud. Then look on it again and weep.’
Suzy Baldwin, Sydney Morning Herald