Mark Harris took you out to the ballgame in his Henry Wiggen novels, The Southpaw, Bang the Drum Slowly, A Ticket for a Seamstitch, and It Looked Like For Ever. In The Tale Maker, he takes you to college.
Rimrose was well-read, smart, and strong. As the editor of the campus Sentinel, he was perfectly placed to observe how a university worked, and ideally inclined to expose its ethical weaknesses.
Supported by his parents, he could concentrate on things that mattered: his writing, his wife-to-be, and his friends and enemies—including the warped Kakapick, who serves Rimrose lastingly as model and prototype of the literary scoundrel.
Rimrose—Tale Maker of the title—turns from journalism to fiction-writing, kept alive by his wife’s practical and ingenious devotion to selling his stories, even those he has tossed in the trash. As he grows older and begets children, he worries about income and faces stultifying choices: managing his father’s small-town newspaper or playing politics in university service.