Bill Crider would have loved The Shakespeare Requirement. Julie Schumacher’s snarky look at contemporary Academic Life is spot on. Jason Fitger, new Chairman of the English Department at Payne University, finds his department under siege by the Machiavellian head of the wealthy Economics Department, Roland Gladwell. Gladwell plans to gut the English Department and take over their offices and conference rooms. Schumacher’s witty approach to this turf fight centers around the strategy to remove the requirement of English Majors to take a course in Shakespeare. Fitger’s ex-wife is sleeping with the Dean. But, she harbors feelings toward Fitger and secretly leaks information that might help the English Department survive.

There is a snicker–or outright laugh–on every page of The Shakespeare Requirement. The more you know about the workings of academia the more your funny bone will be tickled! Schumacher shows how universities really work from the gritty classroom tenches to the posh offices of the Provost. You’ll find The Shakespeare Requirement the funniest book of 2018! It’s even funnier than Julie Schumacher’s hilarious Dear Committee Members (you can read my review here). GRADE: A

12 thoughts on “THE SHAKESPEARE REQUIREMENT By Julie Schumacher

    1. george Post author

      Steve, I have a copy of FOOLSCAP that’s been on my shelves for years. Time to read it! Bill Crider was a big fan of Kingsley Amis’s LUCKY JIM.

  1. Dan

    Someone once said something to the effect that Politics are so nasty in Academia because the stakes are so small.

    1. george Post author

      Dan, that truism kicked in when I retired from the College. There was a titanic struggle over who would get my Office (one of the best in the building!).

      1. wolf

        I left academia after my Maths diploma (MA) but this story reminds me of a school friend who made it to zoology prof who’s now also retired. When the others heard that he had the right to continue using his office all hell broke loose! 🙂
        So he retired to a smaller offfice – the biggest problem for him:
        Where to put all the books?
        So after almsot 10 years he’s still working from and enjoying that smaller office …

      2. george Post author

        Wolf, I was offered an office when I gained EMERITUS PROFESSOR status, but I passed on that. My College is located in the middle of Buffalo and parking is hard to find…and expensive! My home office works fine for me.

    1. george Post author

      Patti, the more you know about academic life, the funnier THE SHAKESPEARE REQUIREMENT will be. You and Phil will get all the jokes!

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    I loved the first one but had to return this one because I didn’t have the time to get to it before we went away. Will have to get it out again.

    I like David Lodge’s books set in academia – CHANGING PLACES and others.

    Another of Bill’s favorites was the movie SO FINE, especially the beginning scenes at the college. Richard Kiel played Mr. Eddie.

  3. Michael Padgett

    I’d never heard of Schumacher before today but Fantastic Fiction lists eight novels and my library has five of them, including this one. Just what I need–another novel to add to my list of things to read. It does sound interesting, and I’ve liked all the academic novels mentioned by others, especially “Lucky Jim”.


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