The Stone Ship by Peter Raftos

Way, way back in September 2009 I read this book, and wrote this review.

‘That is the Best of All Possible Worlds’

Set in a university managed by a Kafkaesque bureaucracy, ‘The Stone Ship’ follows the adventures, misalliances and misdeeds of the suicidal Shipton and the ghost that saved his life, and demanded a favour in return.

Shipton’s experiences and adventures at the university illustrate a world where the paperwork of bureaucracy can destroy lives, where librarians can riot over ownership and position of acquisitions, and where academics bask in a dimly-lit world of scholarly delusion.

The adventures of Shipton, as he seeks to avoid carrying out the favour requested by the ghost take him into all manner of danger.  Shipton narrowly avoids death at the jaws of the monstrous creature who dwells underneath the University and feeds on the corpses of the unworthy.

An entertaining story, but definitely not a university I would choose to attend.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

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