The Dilettantes

By Michael Hingston (Freehand)

Remember in undergrad when you worked on the school newspaper? Doesn’t matter. When you read this, you’ll relive those days whether you lived them in the first place or not---that’s how familiar Michael Hingston’s The Dilettantes, set on the campus of Simon Fraser, feels. It’s a funny, fast read and its portrait of university life will leave you both cringing and laughing. The characters---again, really familiar---are charming and full of that recognizable undergrad self-doubt, cynicism and, sometimes, wit. Still---and this may be because this is Hingston’s first novel---the whole thing is a little thin. So much so that some of the characters seem like thoughtless jerks, and it’s not clear whether Hingston intended this or whether it’s just because they haven’t been fully developed. But this slight wispiness to the characters and the story doesn’t lessen the enjoyment of the funny dialogue, the well-paced plot and the overall entertainment of the whole thing.

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