quite distant from the sparkling, funnily malicious plots of Changing Places and Small World.
The main character is as usual a professor of Humanities (not Philip Swallow), but now retired and overshadowed by a second wife whose entrepreneurial career is just taking off.
Sex and romance are always around the corner, but now temptation will carry real danger: will our cynical professor be true to his ideals?
Gloom hangs all over the story: a post-grad doing a thesis on messages by suicides; an elderly father more and more affected by senile dementia; a surprise trip to Poland should revive the professor's academic pride but eventually verges on a harrowing visit to Auschwitz,.
But hey: it is still David Lodge, with his brilliant and funny prose, his elegant and natural culture. He can make any topic entertaining, interspersing situations with witty comments, such as one about why the legendary strike of miners had to fail.
Not a book I would advice to get to know this humourist, but still I advise it to whom already appreciates him.
Credevo di farmi belle risate, come con la Trilogia. Invece mi sono trovata a sorridere a tratti, ma a riflettere molto di piu. Tutto il libro e' una riflessione non troppo spensierata sulla vita, gli affetti e la sordita'/morte (molto si gioca sugli omofoni e in particolare la deaf/death del titolo). Lodge c'e' tutto, con la sua linguistica e il mondo dei professori/ricercatori/conferenzieri ma in chiave piu' sottomessa, come se gli anni che passano avessero fatto sentire il loro peso... un bel libro, scorrevole, ma non da grandi entusiasmi....Continua
Very nice, intelligent, funny at times, and deeply sorrowful at others. Lodge is reusing many themes of his previous novels, however: Ageing, marriage, the relationship with the father. They are very well developed, and some of the passages concerning the father-son relationship are very touching, but there is a sense of déjà vu.
I recommend this book....Continua
Funny, but definitely not exhilarating. A good reading about deaf and death very often paired.
I start with a question: why on earth on the cover is written "gloriously funny", "many laugh-out-loud moment" and so on?
It is not a funny book. There are nice dialogs, I smiled on occasions, but the lasting feeling is that of an uncomfortable book. It makes you feel the pain of becoming old and deaf, it makes you regret all the times you got annoyed at your dad who was a bit deaf. I found the description of the relationship father-son (both ways, the narrator with his father and with his own son) very realistic, and deep and really moving.
Somehow I feel that the story of Alex was added later to spice up a quite introspective book: it didn't really fit with the overall story, and it ended in a too simplistic way.
I loved the description of the visit to Auschwitz. I will have to read it again when I will go myself.
I recommend this book, but do not let yourself be mislead by the cover!