Saul Bellow – The Dean’s December
An investigative journalist becomes a university professor and dean, but comes under heavy criticism for recent articles about …
A Nobel Prize winner with a number of disturbing character flaws is put in charge of a prestigious sustainable energy project. By chance, he comes into possession of an important discovery made by a younger colleague who has died. He is unable to resist the temptation to present this as his own idea, and thus fulfil the high expectations the world has of him – and he has of himself. But the deceit comes out and plenty more goes wrong in his personal and professional life.
By exaggerating an oversized ego and the chances of achieving success through deception, McEwan provides the reader with a humorous insight into the dilemmas at work on the knife-edge between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in science. Everything is so absurd and unrealistic that it seems to be a made-up story. Which it is, of course, until you start to realize that the plot has disturbing parallels with a number of real cases that have come to light in recent years.
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