Pictures from an Institution (book review)

A book review from The Movie Snob.

Pictures from an Institution: A Comedy, by Randall Jarrell (1952).  I recently bought a Barnes & Noble tablet—I think it is called a Nook HD+ or something like that.  I bought it for its wi-fi/email capability, but I thought I would also try it out as an e-reader and see how I liked it.  (I had previously tried a little old Amazon Kindle and did not care for it.)  So I read this old novel on the Nook and, although I guess it was ok as a reading experience, it’ll be a while before I’m ready to give up dead-tree books entirely.  (I do think I might be willing to try a magazine subscription or two on the Nook though.  Such subscriptions seem to be less expensive, and I tried one issue and didn’t really mind reading it on the gizmo.)  Anyway, I thought this novel was decent but not particularly great.  It’s about a small women’s liberal-arts college back in the day, and a few of the people who populate it—like the vacuous president, the gimlet-eyed guest writing instructor who’s really just collecting observations for her next novel, and the resident composer, a European exile who is one of the most humane people in the bunch.  It’s a short book, and enjoyable enough, I suppose.

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