(It’s worth noting here that this novel, a satire of undergraduate life at Oxford, is included in Modern Library’s List of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century in the English Language (it’s number 59). At the time of the list’s publication, I recall many critics remarking that for this type of academic satire, Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis or The Groves of Academe by Mary McCarthy would have been better choices.
“I do not think it would interest us. The author is more highly esteemed by himself than by anyone else, and has never reached any high standard in his literary work.”
Excerpted from: Barnard, Andre, and Bill Henderson, eds. Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews and Rejections. Wainscott, NY: Pushcart Press, 1998.