Friday, January 29, 2010

Nice Work by David Lodge

He steps onto the bathroom scales. Ten stone two ounces. Quite enough for a man only five feet five and a half inches tall. Some say – Vic has overheard them saying it – that he tries to compensate for his short stature by aggressive manner. Well, let them.

She was born, and christened, Roberta Anne Penrose, in Melbourne, Australia, nearly thirty-three years ago, but left that country at five . . . growing up in a pleasant unostentatious house with a view of the sea.

What do you get when you put a self-made man and a trendy feminist teacher into a bag and shake? Nice Work. In this his thirteenth book, David Lodge, offers a bumpy and surprisingly funny comedy in which Vic Wilcox, the director of an engineering firm (with little regard for academics) and Robyn Penrose and leftist scholar collide in a government “shadow” program designed to foster mutual understanding between the “town and gown.” Lodge cleverly reveals both the foibles and fascinations of the factory and the ivory tower all in less than three hundred pages.

No comments: