I recently enjoyed an audio version of Thinks by David Lodge – a rather quirky, unusual novel about academics who have an affair. I have been enjoying David Lodge’s books for years. His Nice Work, a modern version of Elizabeth Gaskell’s superb North and South, is a funny and excellent read (there’s also a TV version available on DVD), and Changing Places is a delight too. It has one of my favourite literary characters, Morris Zapp, who is reputed to know “more about Jane Austen than Jane Austen knew about herself”, and who names his twin children Elizabeth and Darcy.
David Lodge used to be a professor of literature at the University of Birmingham, where he sets many of his books though he changes the city’s name, but retired when he became a successful author. He also retired because he was losing his hearing, and his novel Deaf Sentence is a moving yet also very funny story of a professor who is going deaf. The book begins with a party at which the professor pretends to hear what a young woman is saying to him, and gets into a messy situation as a result. Lodge has commented that deafness is “a comic infirmity, as opposed to blindness which is a tragic infirmity”. Do you agree?
He has also written biographical novels – Author, Author is about Henry James, while A Man of Parts (which I was also able to enjoy on a very good audio version) is about H.G. Wells and his extraordinary love life.
Do consider reading some of Lodge’s novels. He is a very literary, thought-provoking novelist whose books tackle interesting contemporary issues. Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.
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