Author: Peter Green (Pembroke 1958)
'Exams tend to corrupt; final exams corrupt finally.' This novel is about exams, literature, sex, cancer and time. Part 1: 1961: Examining a mind. Pembroke College, Cambridge. Peter Green and his friends Jack (big, dangerous) and Casey (small, sinister) face final examinations in English. Keen, they discuss their literary ideas. Peter, whose main study-aid is sexual pleasure, discards lissom Arabella, one of his two girlfriends. Competitive exams apparently subvert left-wing ideals. He alienates a don, Haggerty. Discoverer of literary 'covert plotting', Peter overlooks real-life covert plots. Part 2: 1969: Examining a campus. Sussex University. Jack, tricked by Haggerty, lectures there. Peter quarrels with radical students. Part 3: 2011: Examining a body. Hospitals in and around London. Peter undergoes intimate examinations. Death makes incursions. Now what use is the study of literature?