When the classical scholar Phineas Ort, Bogus U.’s first choice for president, disappears, the search committee decides to recruit a hit man to keep the fractious faculty in line. Phineas has been abducted by the Robaccia gang, who aim to install their own candidate in the president’s office to cash in on Bogus U.’s well-known corruption.
Christy Mahon, a former member of the Robaccia gang, now on the lam for having crossed its boss, Brooklyn Benny, has landed a job at Bogus U. as a janitor. Listening through a heating vent, he overhears the search committee’s deliberations and decides to interview for the job, which he ultimately lands in a funny and subversive chain of events.
Laura Favoloso, who has her own ties to the mob, works at Bogus U. and provides Christy with an insider’s view of its inner workings and lower depths. Under Laura’s influence and tutelage, Christy reluctantly begins to transform into a new man, and tries to institute rigorous academic standards, raising the ire and exciting the violent tendencies of the student population. But the student body is not the only quarter from which Christy must guard himself from mortal harm—a hit has been ordered on Christy, and he must use his old street smarts as well as his newly acquired political savvy to survive and protect his legacy.
Paul M. Levitt has written numerous books, plays, and articles, including radio plays for the BBC and the novel Stalin's Barber. He received his Ph.D. in English from UCLA. He is Professor of English at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He lives with his wife in Colorado.