Dilettantes, The

By (author): Michael Hingston

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.


Michael Hingston

Michael Hingston’s writing has appeared in Wired magazine, the Washington Post, and the Guardian. His novel The Dilettantes was a #1 regional bestseller. He is also co-creator of the Short Story Advent Calendar. Hingston lives in Edmonton.


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

“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

“[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 and Quire starred review

The Dilettantes is a whip-smart and very funny literary portrait of the post-ironic generation. Don’t miss this.” ? Zoe Whittall, author of Holding Still for as Long as Possible and Bottle Rocket Hearts

“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 The Prescription Errors

The Dilettantes crackles with wit, humour and intelligence. . . a terrific debut.” ? Edmonton Journal


  • Alberta Trade Fiction Book of the Year 2014, Short-listed
  • Alberta Readers’ Choice Award 2014, Short-listed
  • Alberta Book Design Award 2014, Winner
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    272 Pages
    9.00in * 6.00in * .62in


    September 10, 2013


    Freehand Books



    Book Subjects:

    FICTION / Literary



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