Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to request physical items has been temporarily disabled. Click here to find out how to create lists of items to request later. You can still request OverDrive items from this site, and all digital resources remain available through the eLibrary site. If you need a library card, register here.

How I paid for college : a novel of sex, theft, friendship & musical theater

by Acito, Marc, 1966-

Format: Print Book 2004
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library First Floor - Fiction Stacks FICTION Acito
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  First Floor - Fiction Stacks
Call Number  FICTION Acito
Northland Public Library Fiction FIC ACI
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FIC ACI
A deliciously funny romp of a novel about one overly theatrical and sexually confused New Jersey teenager's larcenous quest for his acting school tuition .

It's 1983 in Wallingford, New Jersey, a sleepy bedroom community outside of Manhattan. Seventeen-year-old Edward Zanni, a feckless Ferris Bueller-type, is Peter Panning his way through a carefree summer of magic and mischief. The fun comes to a halt, however, when Edward's father remarries and refuses to pay for Edward to study acting at Juilliard.

Edward's truly in a bind. He's ineligible for scholarships because his father earns too much. He's unable to contact his mother because she's somewhere in Peru trying to commune with Incan spirits. And, as a sure sign he's destined for a life in the arts, Edward's incapable of holding down a job. So he turns to his loyal (but immoral) misfit friends to help him steal the tuition money from his father, all the while practicing for his high school performance of Grease . Disguising themselves as nuns and priests, they merrily scheme their way through embezzlement, money laundering, identity theft, forgery, and blackmail. But, along the way, Edward also learns the value of friendship, hard work, and how you're not really a man until you can beat up your father--metaphorically, that is.

How I Paid for College is a farcical coming-of-age story that combines the first-person tone of David Sedaris with the byzantine plot twists of Armistead Maupin. It is a novel for anyone who has ever had a dream or a scheme, and it marks the introduction to an original and audacious talent.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "If John Hughes had directed a movie of bisexual self-discovery ( Ferris Bueller Comes Out0 ? )0 , it might have looked something like Acito's endearingly goofy debut. A syndicated humor columnist once described as "the gay Dave Barry," Acito writes with snappy comic timing about a clique of legwarmer-wearing theater geeks in a 1980s New Jersey high school. When senior Edward Zanni learns that his father won't pay for Julliard, plan B (a minimum-wage job) just doesn't fit the aspiring classical actor's Fame-0 based self-image. Plan C, winning a scholarship, isn't in the cards, but plan D, theft, has distinct possibilities. With the encouragement of a future white-collar criminal ("What do you think we do in Computer Club all day, play Pong?"), Edward engages in money-siphoning illegal acts interspersed with a good deal of enthusiastic sexual experimentation. Don't look to Acito for subtle characterizations and profound themes, but he is the go-to guy for broad, good-natured wit; gleefully unembarrassed 1980s nostalgia; and characters who take elastic sexual identities as a matter of course. --Jennifer Mattson Copyright 2004 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Portland humor columnist Acito debuts with dazzling comic panache in this story of a teenage would-be swindler and budding drama queen. Edward Zanni is dying to escape boring Wallingford, N.J., for the hallowed halls of Juilliard, and he's got a pretty good chance at it. It's summer, and he's palling around with his fellow Play People, who include his gorgeous girlfriend, Kelly, and his hot jock pal, Doug, and dreaming of stardom. The fly in the ointment is Zanni's money-obsessed father, Al, who pulls the financial plug on Edward's Juilliard dream after marrying a trophy babe, a beautiful, icy Teutonic model named Dagmar. Edward counters dad's penny-pinching by moving in with Kelly's family to establish financial independence for a scholarship, but bombs at several minimum-wage jobs. How will he pay for college now that his audition really a public mental breakdown got him in? His devious buddy, Nathan, concocts a plan to steal from gold-digging Dagmar, who's been siphoning Al's cash into a secret account. Edward and pals set up a fake nonprofit designed to award a Juilliard scholarship to someone born in Hoboken (Edward) but there's a problem. Acito nails his scenes one after another, from Edward's shifting (but always enthusiastic) sexuality to the silly messes he gets himself into. The result is a thumbs-up winner from a storyteller whose future looks as bright as that of his young hero. Agent, Edward Hibbert. (Sept.) Forecast: Acito's playful, nuanced treatment of sexual exploration and lively plot should make this an appealing choice for older YA readers as well as adults. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Teenage boys -- Fiction.
Acting -- Study and teaching -- Fiction.
College and school drama -- Fiction.
High school students -- Fiction.
Amateur theater -- Fiction.
Fund raising -- Fiction.
Friendship -- Fiction.
Tuition -- Fiction.
New Jersey -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :Broadway Books,2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description 278 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9780767918541 (pbk.)
0767918541 (pbk.)
Other Classic View