David Lodge

 

Therapy

 

Another book I didnít realise Iíd read before (although I twigged pretty early). Lodge is consistent. His style reminds me a bit of Hornby (maybe Iíve got that backwards), the honesty I suppose. I relate particularly to his personaís reminiscences about his first girlfriend - how blithely horrible you can be. I donít think he needed to tie things up with a common technique of his (sex: cf. Out of the Shelter; Nice Work, Paradise News): it seems to be important to him to show how heís overcome his teenage Catholic morals, and he falls back on restoration bedroom farce perhaps cheaply.

 

Again heís wise to stick to areas he knows about - scenes from Television, Publishing - and from a Catholic Youth Group. He also ties in all this stuff about Kierkegaard - someone who hardly lends himself to a popular novel. He has to work hard to make it fit, but does so. I like his line about Kierkegaard being like flying through clouds: occasionally they clear and you have a moment of intense and profound clarity ... and then suddenly youíre plunged back into utter obscurity.

 

August 2002

(2nd Reading)