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The Tragedy of [Paperback]

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Item description for The Tragedy of by Elliot McGucken...

As the first novel of the WWW Renaissance, The Tragedy of takes the reader on a "heart of darkness odyssey" into the swirling postmodern fog on the Princeton University campus. The distinguished chair of the English department, Walter Gimgoul, has been murdered, and the famous feminist scholar, Elizabeth Sycorax, has replaced him at the helm of the English/Creative Writing department. Drake Raft, a popular Princeton senior, has feigned suicide and set up a website at while investigating Uncle Walt's supposed suicide and contemplating revenge. Timber, the best friend of Drake's younger brother Cliff, narrates the novel, which begins in Chapel Hill as he and Cliff hop a Princeton-bound train so as to investigate the macabre events and follow a treasure map which they found at

The novel is written in a rich classical context, and it marries the timeless truths to the internet age, while exalting the reader on an exhilarating and entertaining voyage. This is a book written for the community of eternal souls, and the epic tome shall satisfy anyone seeking to read a contemporary work with all the traditional features of a classic.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   352
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.03" Width: 6.03" Height: 1.03"
Weight:   1.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 4, 1999
Publisher   Classicals & LLC
ISBN  1930151012  
ISBN13  9781930151017  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
3Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Tragedy of

loved the unheralded tome  Jun 25, 2006
this is the exact kind of quality lit, rooted in the classical context, the conglomerates are forgetting to promote.

ha! sycorax kills the traditional head of the Princeton english department,and drake must avenge. hamlet! &twain too!
Finally Someone's Living up to The Hype  Nov 15, 2003
Well, surpassing it actually, as there isn't all that much hype for this book in the literary world, but I fell in love with The Tragedy of

And you're either going to love it or hate it.

If you're a pomo hipster novelist or creative writing workshop pupil sitting in Starbucks, studying David Foster Wallace's and Eggers' random, putrid, ramblings, working on your homework for your MFA, sitting quietly and passively while literature dies, you're going to hate the book, as well as the Renaissance.

But if you're a fan of Moby Dick, Heart of Darkness, The Odyssey, and Hamlet, as I am, then the book will rock your world as it did mine.

The plot is borrowed from Hamlet, only the evil king is played by an evil feminist deconstructionist at Princeton--Professor Sycorax. She murders the last classical scholar and assumes his post as the chairman of the English department. And Drake Raft is called upon to avenge the hideous crime.

The book is chock full with deep and profound insights into the nature of popular culture--it sinks one deeper than the mediocre pomo intellectual will feel comfortable with, but the MFA's reign of terror is about over. From high-school shootings, to Guns'n'Roses, to teh Founding Fathers, to Shakespeare, to Rush Limbaugh, this book covers it all.

On with the renaissance boys!

Blowhard from Killdevilhill  Nov 13, 2003
Having read this book with an eye towards perhaps learning some profound Princetonian insights, all that actually occurs is rampent agita and the strange void that pervades the mind when all too familiar claptrap riles (sic) the day. I have tried to enjoy this pap but it is purely filler paper and signifies less than nothing...must have been a 'vanity press' affair since I have grave doubts that a publisher of rank would dish out front money for this tripe. Ivy League indulgence with a small "i" and precious little else...also the sonnets are terrible too...if this is the Rennaisance then let Armageddon begin...
Cool Book, Timely, Timeless, Time & Time Again  May 8, 2002
I started this book over spring break and just finished it--it's a great book for anyone interested in majoring in English, or Philosophy, or pursuing a career in any academic subject. Dr. Elliot touches upon just about everything under the sun, while entertaining the reader with a cool story.

Timber, a high-school Senior, narrates it, thus bringing the ironies of our age to life through the naive perspective of a simple, honest seventeen-year old. This is not your typical drugged-out-loser makes good book, but rather Timber's unique perspective rises above all contemporary cliches regarding today's youth, and gives us a thinker.

There's as much action as there is satire contained within the robust plot, which includes a murdered professor, a hidden treasure, a rock benefit concert organized as a prank, a Princeton seceret society, and a cool sword fight at the end. And all the while, Drake Raft is lurking in the background.

But most of all what sets this book apart is the moral, classical perspective presented by a teenager, which rebels against all the marketing ploys of the aging generation of cultural bureaucrats and MBAs who somehow yet consider themselves rebels. This book gave me hope and made me pick up a novel I had started awhile back. And that's the greatest kind of writing there is--the kind that exhorts you to follow in its footsteps. Thanks Dr. E!

Great Read--Classic for Our Times  Nov 1, 2001
Perhaps it only deserves four and a half stars, as it needs some editing. But I gave it five because the story is funny, deep, and profound.

It is a modern day Hamlet, wherein Drake Raft's classical mentor has been murdered by a vindictive feminist, and Drake must seek revenge. Try getting that sentence past anyone in the herd of contemporary postmodern critics, literary agents, directors, and editors.

The moral vantage point presented in the book places it alongside the rest of the classics. It stands in stark contrast to so many contemporary books, centered about child abuse, doom and gloom, and the usual ironical suspects. It pokes fun at the contemporary literary establishment, which puts it ahead of its time. We'll have to wait for the blockade of contemporary "in" critics and editors to find real jobs, before the book gains the popular following it deserves.

But with eternity on his side, I imagine McGucken will write more, and I look forward to them.


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