A Man of Parts

A Man of Parts

3.51 (951 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

'The mind is a time machine that travels backwards in memory and forwards in prophecy, but he has done with prophecy now...'

Sequestered in his blitz-battered Regent's Park house in 1944, the ailing Herbert George Wells, 'H.G.' to his family and friends, looks back on a life crowded with incident, books, and women. Has it been a success or a failure? Once he was the most famous writer in the world, 'the man who invented tomorrow'; now he feels like yesterday's man, deserted by readers and depressed by the collapse of his utopian dreams.

He recalls his unpromising start, and early struggles to acquire an education and make a living as a teacher; his rapid rise to fame as a writer with a prophetic imagination and a comic common touch which brought him into contact with most of the important literary, intellectual, and political figures of his time; his plunge into socialist politics; his belief in free love, and energetic practice of it. Arguing with himself about his conduct, he relives his relationships with two wives and many mistresses, especially the brilliant student Amber Reeves and the gifted writer Rebecca West, both of whom bore him children, with dramatic and long-lasting consequences.

Unfolding this astonishing story, David Lodge depicts a man as contradictory as he was talented: a socialist who enjoyed his affluence, an acclaimed novelist who turned against the literary novel; a feminist womaniser, sensual yet incurably romantic, irresistible and exasperating by turns, but always vitally human.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 576 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 49mm | 961g
  • HARVILL SECKER
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1846554969
  • 9781846554964
  • 473,789

Flap copy

'The mind is a time machine that travels backwards in memory and forwards in prophecy, but he has done with prophecy now...'

Sequestered in his blitz-battered Regent's Park house in 1944, the ailing Herbert George Wells, 'H.G.' to his family and friends, looks back on a life crowded with incident, books, and women. Has it been a success or a failure? Once he was the most famous writer in the world, 'the man who invented tomorrow'; now he feels like yesterday's man, deserted by readers and depressed by the collapse of his utopian dreams.

He recalls his unpromising start, and early struggles to acquire an education and make a living as a teacher; his rapid rise to fame as a writer with a prophetic imagination and a comic common touch which brought him into contact with most of the important literary, intellectual, and political figures of his time; his plunge into socialist politics; his belief in free love, and energetic practice of it. Arguing with himself about his conduct, he relives his relationships with two wives and many mistresses, especially the brilliant student Amber Reeves and the gifted writer Rebecca West, both of whom bore him children, with dramatic and long-lasting consequences.

Unfolding this astonishing story, David Lodge depictsa man as contradictory as he was talented: a socialist who enjoyed his affluence, an acclaimed novelist who turned against the literary novel; a feminist womaniser, sensual yet incurably romantic, irresistible and exasperating by turns, but always vitally human.
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Back cover copy

'Lodge remains one of the very best English comic novelists of the post-war era'
Time Out

Praise for Author, Author:
'Superb, engaging. A unique achievement'
Daily Telegraph

Praise for Deaf Sentence:
'One of the most moving things I have read in a long while ... extremely readable, pitch perfect writing'
Spectator

Praise for Thinks...:
'Funny and instructive, colourfully revolving around the grey matter that makes us human. Thinks... is a fizzingly thought-provoking comedy about thought'
Sunday Times
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Review Text

"Extraordinarily rich, wide-ranging and hugely entertaining."
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Review quote

"Extraordinarily rich, wide-ranging and hugely entertaining." * Daily Mail * "Excellent... scrupulous and scholarly... It bounds along terrifically." -- Nicholas Lezard * Guardian * "As protean, elusive but compelling as it's hero, David Lodge's bio-novel about HG Wells breaks all the rules but still grips the reader - like Wells himself." -- Boyd Tonkin * Independent * "As scintillating, engaging, and multidimensional as the man whose life and character it faithfully animates." * The Atlantic * "This is his best book in years: sprawling, funny, touching, a near-perfect fusion of story and scholarship." * Mail on Sunday *
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About David Lodge

David Lodge (CBE)'s novels include Changing Places, Small World and Nice Work (shortlisted for the Booker) and, most recently, A Man of Parts. He has also written plays and screenplays, and several books of literary criticism. His works have been translated into more than thirty languages.

He is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at Birmingham, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and is a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
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Rating details

951 ratings
3.51 out of 5 stars
5 17% (162)
4 36% (347)
3 31% (298)
2 11% (106)
1 4% (38)
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