Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ray's Reviews: Rafeeq O. McGiveron's Student Body (Takes place at MSU!)

"Student Body" by Rafeeq O. McGiveron (CreateSpace, $19.95) is an unusual novel that is set mostly on the campus of Michigan State University in the late 1990's.

The 421-page trade paperback focuses on an exceptionally trying week-and-a-half in the life of young Rick O'Donnell, a well-respected teaching assistant in the English Department at the university.

Set in the late 1990's, a lot of the action takes place at old Morrill Hall, where Rick and other teaching assistants have their offices.

Rick is happy at his work in the department, but trouble looms. His supercilious supervisor, Professor Koryzwick has raised questions about a grade that had been changed for one of Rick's former students, Lauren Delanier.

She is now a fellow teaching assistant in the department, but Rick must now prove that it was a simple clerical error.

This is tougher than Rick expects; there are considerably more complications. He had a very passionate affair with beautiful dark-haired Lauren, but after the term was over. If this is discovered, Rick may lose his job at the university.

Rick is married to Anna; they have three children,including a recent pair of twins. He's stopped his relationship with Lauren, but is sure that his marriage would also be ruined if the affair was discovered.

Most of the book is devoted to the relationship between Rick and Lauren, full of vivid descriptions of encounters and liaisons between the pair of young lovers.

McGiveron explores the sensuality of the situations in great detail. Although explicit flashback situations abound, they are smoothly presented in a carefully crafted manner.

While long paragraphs slow the flow of this emotional book, the unexpected conclusion is both believable and satisfying.

McGiveron, who graduated with a bachelor's and master's degree form M.S.U., deftly captures the attitudes and atmosphere of the times.

The author, who is an academic advisor at Lansing Community College, has also written numerous articles related to science fiction, especially the many novels and short stories by noted writer Robert A. Heinlein.

McGiveron was the editor of a book published last year by Salen Press, "Critical Insights: Fahrenheit 451", dealing with the famous Ray Bradbury work.

For more information or to order a copy of the book, visit www.rafeeqmcgiveron.com.

Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing's Curious Book Shop, 
has been reviewing crime novels and Michigan books regularly since 1987.

Find this book and other great titles

at the Curious Book Shop, an independent 
book shop in East Lansing, founded in 1969.

Curious Book Shop
307 East Grand River Avenue
East Lansing, Michigan

This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on June 15, 2014.


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