Creative ne're-do-well Flip Montcalm isn't cut out for office life, so he jumps at the chance to join an MFA program in the rural Midwest. Broke and infatuated with the 20th century literary canon, he alienates his writing workshop with five hundred pages of existential dread, can't name a single player on the university football team, and is actively trying to steal a rival writer's girlfriend.
Flip needs a new novel idea fast, so he turns to his cohorts for help: a career PhD student who hasn't written in a decade, a professor with no opinions, a narcissist whose novels read like action movies, and a frat boy underplaying his suburban privilege. As he fights off academic conformity and obsessive football fans, Flip faces the challenge of writing a novel that'll not only satisfy his artistic passions, but might even get him a better job.
A delicious romp through the smudged halls of academe, this book will make you laugh out loud, as pretenders, druggies, hapless romantics, and the slightly talented do battle in fiction, trying to invent a book that will save them from the fate of ordinary life.