The “What We’re Reading Now” section of a recent library newsletter listed library director Pam’s most recent read, Dear Committee Members, as “a hysterical novel told through meandering letters of recommendation written by an academic who has passed his prime in every way.” I don’t always enjoy the same books Pam does, but it sounded worth checking out.
It is indeed a funny book. I didn’t find it laughing-out-loud funny, but then there is little that really makes me laugh out loud. (Humorous lists like this and this, as well as more than a few minutes of reading Damn You Autocorrect, do sometimes actually accomplish that.) What I find laugh-out-loud funny, though, rarely has any purpose beyond making me laugh.
Julie Schumacher’s novel, however, does have a serious side to it. Jason Fitger, the cranky professor of creative writing and literature who pens the dozens of letters of recommendation that make up this novel, voices the frustrations of many professors at real-world colleges.