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How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship, and Musical Theater | [Marc Acito]

How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship, and Musical Theater

From syndicated humor columnist Marc Acito comes a wildly inventive and hysterically funny novel that is equal parts Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Fame, Risky Business, Dead Poets Society, and The Catcher in the Rye.
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Publisher's Summary

From syndicated humor columnist Marc Acito comes a wildly inventive and hysterically funny novel that is equal parts Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Fame, Risky Business, Dead Poets Society, and The Catcher in the Rye.

It's 1983, and 17-year-old Edward Zanni wants to study acting at Juilliard, but his newly remarried father, who earns too much for Edward to claim scholarship money, refuses to pay. So, Edward enlists the aid of his creative theater pals to swindle the money from his father. Posing as nuns and priests, the troupe concocts embezzlement and money laundering schemes to get Edward his badly needed cash.

How I Paid for College is a hilarious coming-of-age story that rings true with anyone who's ever dared to dream big.

©2004 Marc Acito; (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Acito nails his scenes one after another, from Edward's shifting (but always enthusiastic) sexuality to the silly messes he gets himself into. The result is a thumbs-up winner from a storyteller whose future looks as bright as that of his young hero." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (174 )
5 star
 (61)
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3.8 (50 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (51 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Lee Fresno, CA, USA 10-06-04
    Lee Fresno, CA, USA 10-06-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    277
    ratings
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    27
    5
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    0
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    Overall
    "Funny funny funny"

    Edward, the would-be Juliard-trained actor with a less than perfect body, tries to find his place in the world, his mind, and his body, and---hopefully--in college.

    This book is hilarious and the narrator insures that hearing must be better than reading it. When he is called to sing, he sings, and it is pleasant to hear his voice. His reading has a youthful exhuberance totally suited to the material.

    I too struggled with my seuxality as a teenager, as do most of us, so I was delighted with the author's presentation that is funny but never embarrassing.

    Highly recommended.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James New York, NY, United States 08-24-05
    James New York, NY, United States 08-24-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
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    90
    7
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    0
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    "The Surreal Life ... Sorta"

    Hey, Marc Acito didn't write the most insightful novel about alienated youth attempting to make peace with the big bad world. He leaves that to more prolific scholars. What he did write was a hilarious look at a group of people, young and old, who live life to the extremes. None of the youth in this novel will die wishing they had gone for the heights with more gusto. And, oddly, I was moved by the genuine pathos between children and their parents. The protagonist, Eddie, in the course of ten hours of listening, grew from a silly twit of a lad to an adult with much to offer and high hopes for the future. I loved this comedic take on coming of age and recommend it highly.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa 01-30-05
    Lisa 01-30-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    299
    26
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    6
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    Overall
    "Hilarious"

    I actually laughed out loud on the treadmill at the gym. Extremely funny, but hardly "Catcher in the Rye"; just a well read, well written story about disgruntled suburbia. The characters are multi dimensional and memorable. Extraordinary? No, but highly entertaining. And, FYI, includes a charmingly open and honest exploration of sex and sexuality, so keep your toddlers out of earshot.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Pringle Washington, DC 04-13-06
    E. Pringle Washington, DC 04-13-06 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    117
    14
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    1
    5
    Overall
    "amazing performance"

    I love this narrator. Everything he does is amazing. Every character is unique, consistent, and interesting. The book is fun but the narrator is superb.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jed Decatur, IN, United States 02-16-11
    Jed Decatur, IN, United States 02-16-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    31
    6
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    Overall
    "Good Book. A Must Read!"

    Loved it. It suprised me. It wasn't your typical gay novel. I thought he would have paid for college in a different way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GoryDetails Nashua, NH USA 03-11-05
    GoryDetails Nashua, NH USA 03-11-05 Member Since 2002

    gorydetails

    HELPFUL VOTES
    157
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    449
    11
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    Overall
    "Very funny tale, well told!"

    I loved the book when I read it, and enjoyed it even more through Jeff Woodman's vivacious reading. It's very funny, and sweet without being cloying - and if there are some wildly improbable bits, well, isn't that what fiction is for? Recommended!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Maplewood, NJ, USA 09-08-05
    William Maplewood, NJ, USA 09-08-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    41
    4
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    0
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    "Funny, Insightful, Long"

    It is rare to hear a book that keeps you laughing, and this book does. Acito captures growing up affluent and confused in the burbs and makes enough references to the early 80's to make me miss Bananarama. But beware- this book can be raunchy and many of the hero's situations are "gay friendly'. Homophobes should look elsewhere. And last thing-- an abridged version would have been made more sense. Eleven hours is fine for an important biography, but seems a little drawn out for such a light, fun read (listen).

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melody Longmont, CO, United States 09-08-12
    Melody Longmont, CO, United States 09-08-12 Member Since 2011

    Have a renewed interest in books after falling in love with audio books. I am listening to all different genres and exploring different authors.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    184
    60
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    Story
    "Had to finish it"

    I admit - I did not like this book when I first started it. I left this audio to go listen to other books. When I came back, the story really started to pick up and I was totally hooked. I laughed at all of the adventures and I could not leave until I knew how he was able to pay for college.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Gates Dallas, TX 07-27-08
    R. Gates Dallas, TX 07-27-08 Member Since 2007

    forensicbio

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "If you like David Sedaris you will love this one!!"

    The story was funny, enjoyable, interesting, and funny. Several times I laughed out loud. The story is written in a Sedaris like manner. Although no one can tell a story like Sedaris, but Acito is very close. Try it you will like it. My only disappointment is I could not find anything else Acito. He needs to write more!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan San Diego, CA, United States 01-31-08
    Alan San Diego, CA, United States 01-31-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not for me"

    I rarely find a book I can’t finish but I could only stand this narration for 1.25 hours. The narration is overly dramatic. I laughed twice but the narrator seems to find every sentence extremely funny. Anyway this is not for me and I can’t recommend this book. Maybe a different narration would help but I’m not sure.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 16 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Hope
    Cobham, Surrey, United Kingdom
    4/9/10
    Overall
    "A marvellous sung and spoken rendition"

    Edward Zanni is a (1980s) high school student, all set on going to Juilliard to study theatre, enjoying school plays, dance classes, singing and English classes...when his (divorced but now with new girlfriend) dad announces he will only pay for a business degree. Disaster! How is Edward going to pay for college? Well, this book follows the absurd, larger than life ways that Edward and his friends attempt to raise the money. Along the way we have hijinks, sarcasm, humour, musicals, drama, frivolity, escapism, irreverence, novels, self-discovery, a wonderful circle of friends, a supportive English teacher....

    I thoroughly enjoyed the story and found it very funny. It is larger than life, at times silly and ridiculous, at other times serious and full of strong emotions. The setting and characters are vividly conveyed. I very much enjoyed the wonderful performance by Jeff Woodman - this book is read and sung. The singing was great as I don't always recognise music described in books, and am not very good at "hearing" it from memory, or imagining it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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