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The Plastic Age

Percy Marks

Book Overview: 

The Plastic Age is a novel by Percy Marks, which tells the story of co-eds at a fictional college called Sanford. With contents that covered or implied hazing, partying, and "petting". It was adapted into a film of the same name, starring Clara Bow. (Introduction from Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .e fellows weren't as crude as he thought they were.


"that's cynthia day—a real hotsy-totsy!"



Hugh was by no means continuously depressed; as a matter of fact, most of the time he was agog with delight, especially over the rallies that were occurring with increasing frequency as the football season progressed. Sometimes the rallies were carefully prepared ceremonies held in the gymnasium; sometimes they were entirely spontaneous.

A group of men would rush out of a dormitory or fraternity house yelling, "Peerade, peerade!" Instantly every one within hearing would drop his books—or his cards—and rush to the yelling group, which would line up in fours and begin circling the campus, the line ever getting longer as more men came running out of the dormitories and fraternity houses. On, on they would go, arm in arm, dancing, singing Sanford songs, past every do. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The story of a fictional college just after the first world war. The tale follows Hugh, an unassuming boy from the country, through his four years at Sanford. The parties, the drinking, trying to keep straight and pure. Some outdated notions, but some things remain the same - nostalgia for one's pas

This is a rather wistful look at college life, written when Marks was a professor in his early thirties, not so many years removed from his own experience as a young student navigating the beginnings of adulthood on campus. I first read this when I was around the same age as Marks when he wrote it,

I really don't know why I enjoyed this text.

It tells the story of a young man from a small town going away to college. But it's the complete opposite of Catcher in the Rye -- Hugh Carter (the protagonist) is a good student and all 'round nice kid. We read of the horrible depravities of smoking, drin

The Plastic Age can be read as an exposé on the moral failings of undergraduates in Jazz Age New England, as described through the four-year experience of a young man at the fictional Sanford College. Students enroll at Sanford to “acquire culture,” and do so at an age when they are “plastic” in the

I had a lovely time with this one - but I think that was only because I was researching college life in the 1920s. If that's your thing or if you're researching, it's a lot of fun. But if you don't really have any special interest in the period, then you're not gonna get anything out of this book at

I read this because I know the film with Clara Bow--and I'm interested in stories about contemporary life--written in a time not my own. As a document of college life in the 1920s, this one fits the bill. As research for a costume designer/visual artist, it is quite useful as one really has an insid

Percy Marks wanted to show a realistic portrayal of college life that encompassed the bad as well as the good. These college boys smoke, drink, gamble, and have sex often to excess. So waht you say, but this book was written in 1924 and the author was fired from his job a Brown for writing it. It's

The story was less interesting to me than the description of 1920s college life, which I found eerily like 2018 college life. I can certainly see why this book was considered scandalous, although it's quite tame by current standards.

Young man goes off to college and learns to smoke, drink, gamble, and go to "petting parties." By senior year he starts to question the right and wrong of everything he knows. Wonderful "slice of life" novel from the early 1920s. The film (available in a horribly blotchy, pixelated print on YouTube)

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