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The Dilettantes

A campus novel for the 21st century.

The Peak: a university student newspaper with a hard-hitting mix of inflammatory editorials, hastily thrown-together comics and reviews, and a news section run the only way self-taught journalists know how—sloppily.

Alex and Tracy are two of The Peak’s editors, staring down graduation and struggling to keep the paper relevant to an increasingly indifferent student body. But trouble looms large when a big-money free daily comes to the west-coast campus, threatening to swallow what remains of their readership whole.

It’ll take the scoop of a lifetime to save their beloved campus rag. An exposé about the mysterious filmed-on-campus viral video? Some good old-fashioned libel? Or what about that fallen Hollywood star, the one who’s just announced he’s returning to Simon Fraser University to finish his degree?

With savage wit, intoxicating energy, and a fine-tuned ear for the absurd, Michael Hingston drags the campus novel, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.


Release date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Freehand Books
ISBN: 978-1-55481-182-3
Foreign editions: German (Rogner & Bernhard, 2014)


  • #1 Regional Bestseller

  • Best Books of the Year, Winnipeg Free Press and The Tyee

  • Finalist for the Alberta Readers' Choice Award

“A fresh take on the campus novel, Michael Hingston’s debut is a droll, incisive dissection of the terrible, terribly exciting years known as post-adolescence.”
—Patrick deWitt, author of The Sisters Brothers

"I know the student newspaper world of which Michael Hingston writes very intimately—apparently, though, he knows it much, much better. Sharply funny, to say this portrait of undergraduate flailing and becoming hits close to home would be an understatement worthy of an angry, typo-laden letter to the editor."
—Charles Demers, author of Property Values

"The Dilettantes is a whip-smart and very funny literary portrait of the post-ironic generation. Don't miss this."
—Zoe Whittall, author of The Best Kind of People

“May well be the Great Canadian Comic Novel.”
Winnipeg Free Press

“If you’re nostalgic for the ivory tower, Hingston’s novel is the perfect answer.”

“The dialogue is funny and spot on, and the satire alternately nips, bites, and rips your head off… a terrific debut.”
Edmonton Journal

“Depicted with toe-curling immediacy—and hilarity.”
Montreal Gazette

“[Hingston] does it all with a delicious sense of humour, eviscerating his characters’ extended adolescence while creating sympathy for their attempt to find a place in the world.”
Quill & Quire (starred review)


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