A Question of Attraction: A Novel by David Nicholls
The year is 1985. Brian Jackson, a working-class kid on full scholarship, has started his first term at university. The usual freshman anxiety over fitting in is compounded by the gap between his own humble origins and the privileged backgrounds of his better-off classmates.
Brian also has a dark secret—a long-held, burning ambition (stoked by his late father) to appear on the wildly popular TV quiz show University Challenge—and now, finally, it seems the dream is about to become reality. He’s made the school team, and they’ve completed the qualifying rounds and are limbering up for their first televised match. (And, what’s more, he’s fallen head over heels for one of his teammates, the beautiful, brainy, and intimidatingly posh Alice Harbinson.) Life seems perfect and triumph inevitable—but as his world opens up, Brian learns that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
Reminiscent of such classic coming-of-age works as The Graduate and Goodbye, Columbus, A Question of Attraction marks the literary debut of David Nicholls, one of England’s most highly praised television writers. It is an unforgettable story of love, class, finding one’s place in the world, and the all-important difference between knowledge and wisdom.
From the Hardcover edition.