Academy X: A Novel

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Overview

Welcome to Academy X, an ethical wonderland in which up is down, right is wrong, and parents and students will stop at nothing (including lying, plagiarizing, and even seduction to name a few) in orderto get into the Ivy League. Caught in the middle is John Spencer, a bumbling but loveable English teacher struggling through the final weeks of his spring semester. But keeping focused on a Jane Austen seminar proves problematic when a His crush on the sexy school librarian andas well as a pending promotion threaten...

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Academy X: A Novel

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Overview

Welcome to Academy X, an ethical wonderland in which up is down, right is wrong, and parents and students will stop at nothing (including lying, plagiarizing, and even seduction to name a few) in orderto get into the Ivy League. Caught in the middle is John Spencer, a bumbling but loveable English teacher struggling through the final weeks of his spring semester. But keeping focused on a Jane Austen seminar proves problematic when a His crush on the sexy school librarian andas well as a pending promotion threaten to divert his attentionare threatening to sink him in a sea of academic intrigue. Things become even more complicated when the college counseler asks John to lie (or at least exaggerate) in a recommendation letter for the very student who he's just discovered is a plagiarizer!And things are only about to get worse for John, who discovers that no price is too high to achieve a coveted admission to Harvard, Yale, or Princeton—even if that includes his own disgrace. Witty and rollicking, Academy X is a priceless peek into New York City's top private schools—indeed into elite schools all over the country.where parents risk all for their child's academic.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Not since Primary Colors have we come across an anonymously penned novel that so thoroughly captivated us with its clever writing and spot-on satire. Authored by a prep school insider, this sly send-up of "education" among the elite tells the story of an idealistic teacher named John Spencer (dubbed "Candide" by one of his knowing students), who becomes mired in a morass of social and academic intrigue at a prestigious Manhattan private school. Whether or not it's a true roman à clef, Academy X is smart, funny, and shrewdly observed. Speculation about the author's identity only adds to its appeal.
From the Publisher
Praise for Academy X:

"Mr. Trees demonstrates a Kingsley Amis-like ability to extract humor from the travails of his hapless hero."New York Times

"A hilarious upstairs-downstairs story set in the absurd world of Manhattan's most elite private schools. I couldn't put it down."—Karen Quinn, author of The Ivy Chronicles

Jonathan Yardley
Academy X may be minor stuff, a literary bauble, but it is also smart, on-target and very funny. It just about defines "beach book," and that's meant as a compliment.
— The Washington Post
Kirkus Reviews
A conspiracy to get a rich man's daughter into Princeton ensnares an idealistic prep-school teacher. A few weeks before summer is not the easiest time to keep the students of Academy X focused on the book in front of them, which, for John Spencer's senior lit class, is Emma. Half his time is spent reminding students to refer to the titular character as Jane Austen dubbed her and not as Hollywood cast her (Gwyneth Paltrow). The rest is spent quelling class wars between the wealthy and the ultra-wealthy and more primitive fights between brains and brawn. Par for the course, John thinks, for end-of-school-year antics . . . until his most comely, most scantily clad student, Caitlyn Brie, approaches him for help. She was accepted at Wellesley, but only wait-listed at Princeton. Wellesley won't do. Pressure to write Caitlyn a second, stronger letter of recommendation rises when the head of the College Counseling Department reminds John that Caitlyn's father is a big Academy X donor. Two tickets for floor seats at a Knicks playoff game appear anonymously in John's mailbox, and since he is trying to woo Amy, a new assistant librarian, he yields. Shortly thereafter, everything unhinges: Amy may not be as innocent as John imagines . . . and neither is Caitlyn: She committed plagiarism. Determined to expose the crime, John finds himself charged with sexual harassment and bribery. He enlists a motley group to help him clear his name: a handful of loyal students, an art teacher who won't admit her boyfriend is gay and a science teacher who thinks evolutionary biology will help him find a date. Can this band take on the trustees' bank accounts, their lawyers and the shamelessly competitive Englishfaculty, who all covet the post of department head, which rightly belongs to John?Anonymously written by a Manhattan prep-school teacher, this debut aspires to social satire, but much of the humor is canned. Stick with the original, Lucky Jim.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596911789
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 7.88 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Trees teaches at a private high school in New York City. He is the author of a work of nonfiction, The Founding Fathers and the Politics of Character. This is his first novel.

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Read an Excerpt

My world is a place where a powerful Wall Street broker is willing to manipulate the stock market on behalf of people still using sippy cups, so I think it is safe to say that it is a world where things have gone awry. I am part of an elaborate system designed to ensure that children end up in the right nursery school so that they can attend the right elementary schools so that they can gain entrance to the high school Ivy League so that they can win admission to the actual Ivy League. What happens after that seems to be superfluous.

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Customer Reviews

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( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    I take great offense to the author using the name of my family m

    I take great offense to the author using the name of my family member and depicting the character pejoratively.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2007

    I Really Enjoyed This Book.

    I purchased this book looking for a change of pace in my reading and I ended up really enjoying it. Give it a try you'll like it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2007

    Priceless and also very helpful

    I thought the book was extremely funny but at the same time, also served as a terrifying reminder of how quickly someone's life can be turned upside-down. I'm a 30-something banker and have always thought about moving into teaching. I graduated from a boarding school and my mother-in-law teaches at a private school. I am all too familiar with this stuff. It's an accurate portrayal of the 'entitled generation' as I like to call it. Well done! Also scary how one little brat can destroy you're life because they don't want to get in trouble!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2006

    Enjoyable satire

    Funny Satire of a teacher caught up in a scandal at an exlusive NY prep school. Sort of a 'chick lit' for guys I guess. The plot gets a little over the top and the character of Gunther didn't seem necessary but overall, well written and enjoyable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2006

    shock value

    i thought this book had no substance and none of the characters except gunter were memorable. it seems as if the author wrote it just for its 'shock value'. it was one of those books you struggle to finish--i would have given up after the 3rd chapter if my son did not go to the school in which the author teaches.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2006

    Very Entertaining!

    I usually don't read this type of book, but after reading the Washington Post Review, I decided to should give it a chance. And I'm glad I did. This book made me laugh and laugh! My wife finally made me leave the bedroom because i kept waking her up. Fun stuff.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2006

    Amusing

    I recently graduated from a so-called elite high school, and I think Dr. Trees' book is right on the money. I couldn't believe the stuff that some parents did for their kids. I wish I had read this book before applying to colleges. At least then I could have laughed more about all of it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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