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August 18, 2022, 08:57:01 PM

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David Lodge

Started by Keebleman, June 27, 2022, 05:34:35 AM

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Keebleman

Lodge was an author whose name I heard a lot around 1990.  His books sold well and received a lot of good press, but I was never tempted to read them.  I assumed they would be grimly cynical depictions of the adult world into which I was reluctantly embarking, full of depictions of the sort of social, intellectual, romantic, sexual and professional games I knew I would prove hopeless at, and so I ignored them as being too forbidding and potentially depressing.  The sort of novel where those who praise it would always preface 'comic' with 'mordantly'.

The other day I saw a one-volume collection of his 'Campus Trilogy' on sale in a charity shop, and decided to risk a whole quid on it.  I have read the first of the novels - Changing Places, written in '75, set in '69 - and, bloody hell, it's terrific!  Well-drawn characters, pacy plot, fascinating detail, even quite a bit of meta humour.  Structurally it's a bit of a mess, but that's a small flaw.  The Yank-at-Oxford-Limey-at-Yale theme is an old one but Lodge's treatment makes the cliches seem fresh.

And as for the gloomy portrayal of adult life that had so worried me, yeah that's there, but now that I am substantially older than all the main characters I'm able to view it with a sort of amused detachment.

shiftwork2

It has been a very long time since I read them (I had the same trilogy).  I have a soft spot for Nice Work.  There was an excellent BBC2 adaptation of it with Warren Clarke and Haydn Gwynne in the late 80s.  The other two novels are worth a squirt.  Fancy another rummage through Rummidge now.

Virgo76

I thoroughly enjoyed the campus trilogy when I read them in the 90s.
The high point of Lodge's otherwise still pretty good career (he's well into his eighties now).
A really fun, clever enjoyable read. Something really joyous about them.
How Far Can You Go? is well worth reading too. Written by Lodge during the same period.

Tony Tony Tony

Quote from: shiftwork2 on July 03, 2022, 12:59:48 PMIt has been a very long time since I read them (I had the same trilogy).  I have a soft spot for Nice Work.  There was an excellent BBC2 adaptation of it with Warren Clarke and Haydn Gwynne in the late 80s.  The other two novels are worth a squirt.  Fancy another rummage through Rummidge now.

Loved this adaptation which gave me the raging hots for Haydn Gwynne. I still get a semi wHenever I hear the Power of Love.


Can't remember wHich of the books it's in but there is a passage where the protagonist is listening to Radio One and he initially thinks it is a parody of a commercial station with endless trails telling you what you listening with the DJ's playing self promoting jingles. These days it probably applies to Radio 2.

Moved on from Lodge to Tom Sharpe and never looked back.