- Fizzy Thoughts: Life After Genius

Life After Genius

Friday, December 05, 2008


Life After Genius
M. Ann Jacoby
October 2008
400 pages

Theodore "I prefer Mead" Fegley hasn't had the best of childhoods. Taunted by his classmates for his genius (he's skipped a few grades), his name (how do you like the floor, Theodore?) and the family business (his dad is the undertaker), and hounded by his mother, Mead is happy to escape to college at the young age of 15. However, the week before graduation, he escapes college and heads back home. Why did Mead walk away from college?

Life After Genius bounces back and forth between the past and the present in an attempt to answer this question. While the story was enjoyable, the characters were too stereotypical for my taste. Teddy/Mead is the harassed smart kid, always dressed in khakis and button-up shirts. His cousin Percy is the popular jock, beloved by all. Teddy's mom is the domineering mother consumed with image. Herman, Mead's college nemesis, is the uber-rich trust fund kid. Dr. Alexander, Mead's college advisor, the nutty professor. There are a few more, but you get the picture.

As we move back and forth in time Teddy's story unfolds, and his years in college turn out to be not all that different from his childhood. Additionally, now that he's home, he seems to be hallucinating, as people keep popping up in his bedroom to offer advice. By the time I got to the end of the book I wasn't entirely sure that Teddy was sane. In fact, for awhile I was doubtful that the ending scene wasn't a hallucination. And let me just say, I hated the end.

Having said all that, I didn't not like the book...I just had a few issues with it. I have read plenty of positive reviews of this book, though. For example, bethany really liked it (plus she hosted the contest in which I won my copy of the book...thanks!).

Who else has read this one? What did you think of the ending?

6 comment(s):

bermudaonion said...

I liked this book, but I would have preferred a little more closure (for lack of a better word) in the ending.

Veens said...

I have not read it... but i have read some good reviews.

Joanne said...

I've been bouncing back and forth on whether to read this one - I thought it sounded "made-for-tv-movie-ish" with the whole misunderstood child genius going to university. But the idea of him taking an unexpected path in life intrigued me.

Amy said...

I really didn't like the ending at all. In fact, the ending kept it from being a very satisfying read.

Dar said...

Good review. I'm with Joanne though on this one-not sure whether I want to read it or not.

Ladytink_534 said...

I haven't read this but I have seen a TON of reviews for it lol! It doesn't sound like something I would enjoy too much. I read somewhere that the author used her father's story as inspiration for the book.

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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