LESS THAN MEETS THE EYE by David Berlinski


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 ``Just keep me deniable on this,'' intones the president of the unnamed Bay Area university threatened with headlines after the medical examiner refuses to sign a death certificate for philosophy professor Richard Montague. A hunting expedition through the university's books shows that Montague illegally diverted thousands in research funds to a privately held corporation; Montague's research assistant and motorcycle buddy Bulton Limbish is arrested for dealing; the president gets a blackmail demand threatening to release to the press a graphic video of Montague's last, X-rated moments; and millionaire Odo Omo, whose ranch is being used by the university chapter of NOMAS (the National Organization of Men Against Sexism), is implicated in a scheme to smuggle illegal immigrants into the country. Not the least of the university's problems is the dean's anointed investigator, Aaron Asherfeld (A Clean Sweep, 1993), the resourceful pipsqueak whose don't-tread-on- me attitude is equally offensive to gays, lesbians, people of color, frat rats, sensitivity trainers, politically incorrect hired goons, the police, and of course his frantic, hilariously venal employers. Don't expect too much of the comic rage Asherfeld's certainly entitled to (which flashes out only intermittently, at such indiscriminately chosen targets as the protestors chanting, ``Dead men don't rape''); instead, relax and enjoy his rollicking, toothless satire of the easy marks of academe.

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 1994
ISBN: 0-312-11298-X
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1994


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