The year is 1985. Brian Jackson, a working-class kid on full scholarship, has started his ?rst term at university. The usual freshman anxiety over ?tting in is compounded by the gap between his own humble origins and the privileged backgrounds of his better-off classmates.
Brian also has a dark secret—a long-held, burning ambition (stoked by his late father) to appear on the wildly popular TV quiz show University Challeng e—and now, ?nally, it seems the dream is about to become reality. He’s made the school team, and they’ve completed the qualifying rounds and are limbering up for their ?rst televised match. (And, what’s more, he’s fallen head over heels for one of his teammates, the beautiful, brainy, and intimidatingly posh Alice Harbinson.) Life seems perfect and triumph inevitable—but as his world opens up, Brian learns that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
Reminiscent of such classic coming-of-age works as The Graduate and Goodbye, Columbus, A Question of Attraction marks the literary debut of David Nicholls, one of England’s most highly praised television writers. It is an unforgettable story of love, class, ?nding one’s place in the world, and the all-important difference between knowledge and wisdom.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of History eBook: A Question of Attraction|
|Release Date: 04-13-2004|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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A Question of Attraction
QUESTION: Stepson to Robert Dudley and onetime favorite of Elizabeth I, which nobleman led a poorly planned and unsuccessful revolt against the queen, and was subsequently executed in 1601?
ANSWER: Essex. All young people worry about things, it’s a natural and inevitable part of growing up, and at the age of sixteen my greatest anxiety in life was that I’d never again achieve anything as good, or pure, or noble, or true, as my O-level exam results.
I didn’t make a big deal about them at the time, of course; I didn’t frame the certificates or anything weird like that, and I won’t go into the actual grades here, because then it just gets competitive, but I definitely liked having them: qualifications. Sixteen years old, and the first time I’d ever felt qualified for anything.
Of course, all that was a long, long time ago. I’m eighteen now, and I like to think I’m a lot wiser and cooler about these things. So my A-levels are, comparatively, no big deal. Besides, the notion that you can somehow quantify intelligence by some ridiculous, antiquated system of written examinations is obviously specious. Having said that, they were Langley Street Comprehensive School’s best A-level results of 1985, the best for fifteen years in fact, three As and a B, that’s nineteen points—there, I’ve said it now—but I really, honestly don’t believe that’s particularly relevant, I just mention them in passing. And, anyway, compared to other qualities, like physical courage, or popularity, or good looks, or clear skin, or an active sex life, just knowing a whole load of stuff isn’t actu