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Five Recent Campus Novels You Need To Read

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The Incendiaies by R.O.Kwon follows three Korean-Americans who meet at a prestigious liberal arts college.

Will is a shy, formerly devout evangelical.  He falls in love with Phoebe, a party girl with a traumatic past she struggles to repress.

They fall under the spell of John Leal, an eccentric, messianic figure who inspires a cult of fervently gullible undergraduates. This is a story about religious fanaticism, the perversion of faith into something more dangerous.

All the characters deceive one other about their past and present lives, echoing the malevolent arrogance captured so well by Donna Tartt in her campus novel, The Secret History. Kwon’s style is spare, the narration jumps across time and characters, but this debut novel is a powerful examination of the madness of extremism.

 

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