Quality Time at St Chinian

95 in stock

  • “An assured and delightful debut which prompted this enchanted reader to echo Oliver Twist's plea: please sir, can we have some more?” ––Madeleine Keane, Irish Independent
  • “Masterson has assembled a cast of beautifully formed, wholly believable characters and he pokes gentle fun at pompous civil servants, ponderous bureaucracy and profligate academics alike. . . . This erudite comedy may have only a glancing relationship with wine (and mostly Pays d'Oc Sauvignon and Merlot at that) but I can guarantee that St-Chinian has never known so much excitement.” ––Tamlyn Curtin, JancisRobinson.com
  • “Quality Time at St Chinian is genuinely funny, and [Masterson’s] sympathies are clear throughout. . . . [the] novel highlights the injustice [academic-manqué bureaucrats] perpetrate – as well as the folly and pomposity of their victims within the groves of academe.” ––Felix M. Larkin, Irish Times
  • “a delightful romp. The humour and irony is gentle, without a hint of malice. And beneath all the fun there is a serious message.” ––J. Anthony Gaughan, Irish Catholic
  • “Paddy Masterson has a keen eye and a sharp wit, as well as a veteran’s understanding of university politics. In this charming debut novel, he serves up a cocktail of academic mischief and misadventure under the languid Languedoc sunshine. The result is tremendous fun.” ––Kathleen MacMahon, author of The Long, Hot Summer

Meet The Author

Professor Patrick Masterson was President and Professor of Philosophy at University College Dublin. He was President of the European University Institute in Florence between 1994 and 2002. His numerous academic publications include Atheism and Alienation, which was translated into Japanese. He is a Chevalier dans la Confrèrie des Chevaliers Vignerons de Saint-Christophe. Patrick has himself chaired several international quality-appraisal committees, so knows whereof he speaks. Quality Time at St Chinian is his first novel.

Life is good at the young University of Saint Chinian in sunlit south-west France. All involved enjoy a happy time: some teaching is required, but research is entirely optional. The students too are a joyful group. For a moderate amount of study, which does not greatly encroach upon their leisure time, they are assured of a fairly decent degree and a job – possibly even a pensionable on – and have plenty of free time to engage in the serious business of hanging around, drinking coffee, playing pinball and fornicating.

However, this blessed state of affairs is under threat. The authorities in Paris have imposed a visit from an external committee of international experts to compile a detailed report on the academic quality of the university. The cold wind of managerial intimidation, so common in other areas of contemporary life, is about to blow through the hallowed halls academia. The serpent is insinuating itself into paradise.

A comic campus novel in the style of Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge, Quality Time at St Chinian is guaranteed to raise a wry smile from anyone who has come into contact with the unusual world of academia, as student, teacher or (whisper it) administrator.

Weight 0.35 kg