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David Lodge Man of Parts

David Lodge Man of Parts

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Published by AlexShear
Summary of a work by David Lodge, author. I have not read the book
Summary of a work by David Lodge, author. I have not read the book

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Published by: AlexShear on Jun 02, 2013
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A Man of Parts by David LodgeREADING GUIDE
Book Synopsis
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.Once he was the most famous writer in the world, ‘the manwho invented tomorrow’, now he feels like yesterday’s man,deserted or disparaged by readers, and depressed by the collapseof his utopian dreams for mankind.He recalls his unpromising start in life, and early struggles; hisplunge into socialist politics; his belief in free love, and energeticpractice of it. Arguing with himself about his conduct, he reliveshis relationship with two wives and many mistresses, especiallythe brilliant student Amber Reeves and the gifted writer RebeccaWest, both of whom bore his children, with dramatic and long-lasting consequences.Unfolding this astonishing life story, David Lodge achieves a riveting portrait of a man who embodiedas many contradictions as he had talents: a socialist who enjoyed his afuence, a feminist womaniser,sensual yet incurably romantic, irresistible and exasperating by turns, but always vitally human.
Reviews
‘Excellent... scrupulous and scholarly ... It bounds along terrically’
Guardian
‘Consistently absorbing and enjoyable. I doubt whether a better way could have been found to bring thephenomenon that was H. G. Wells to life’
Standpoint 
‘Curiously engrossing. Its power is cumulative: there are no ashes of startling moments, just a slowunfolding of friendships and feuds, plots and counter plots’
Daily Telegraph
‘A clever kind of half-genre, somewhere between ction and fact, very much back in vogue with Britishwriters ... funny and powerful’
GQ
‘A treat of a read, not least because of the wonderful, rolling ease with which Lodge writes. Or, rather,with which it reads - prose like this does not come without effort’
Daily Mail 
‘David Lodge’s novel goes straight to the heart of the story... it is pure fun’
Evening Standard 
Author Biography
David Lodge was born in South London in 1935. He studied at London University and BirminghamUniversity, where he started teaching English Literature in 1960, the same year as his rst novel,
ThePicturegoers
, was published. He has published 15 novels, including
Changing Places
,
Small World 
,
Nice Work 
,
 Author, Author 
and
Deaf Sentence
, and numerous works of non-ction. He has been twiceshortlisted for the Booker Prize.
 
Starting Points for your Discussions
‘Who would read a novel if we were permitted to write biography – all out?’ asked H.G. Wells in 1934.
 AMan of Parts
is a biographical novel. Why might the author choose to write about a real person’s life inthis ctional form? What freedoms might imaginatively exploring the gaps between biographical factsallow? All the characters in this novel are real, but many of their encounters and exchanges are imagined.What do you think about this blurring of fact and ction? How does it affect your enjoyment of thenovel, not knowing what the author has invented and what is based on research and fact? At the beginning of the novel an ageing H.G. Wells looks back on his life. The author employs a questionand answer format that sees H.G. interview himself about the decisions he has made in his life. Did yound this method effective? How does H.G. view his own history and are we being presented with anuntrustworthy or unreliable viewpoint? Did you empathise with the ageing H.G.? The novel focuses primarily on the period between the publication of 
The Time Machine
in 1895 and
Outline of History 
in 1919. Is the H.G Wells revealed here the man you might have imagined fromreading his early science ction novels like
The Time Machine
,
The War of the Worlds
,
The Invisible Man
and
The Island of Doctor Moreau
?What have you learnt from the novel about H.G. Wells’s life and writing that surprised you? H.G Wells is depicted as a champion of socialism and women’s rights but also a seducer of youngwomen who courted scandal with his ‘open marriage’. What other contradictions do we nd in thenovel? What was your response to the depiction of the women in the novel? Are they a comic catalogue of innocents in thrall to the successful and scholarly Wells? Or are they feisty, intelligent women exploringsexual liberation at the dawn of socialism? How did you feel about Well’s long-suffering wife, Jane? David Lodge is regarded as one of our great comic writers, and is well-known for satirical novels such as
Small World 
and
Nice Work 
. Did you nd humour in
 A Man of Parts
? Did it make you laugh?
Suggested Further Reading and Resources
Experiment in Autobiography 
by H.G. Wells
Tono-Bungay 
by H.G. Wells
 Ann Veronica
by H.G. Wells
The Correspondence of H.G. Wells
edited by David C. Smith
Henry James and H.G. Wells: a Record of their Friendship, their Debate on the Art of Fiction and their Quarrel 
 edited by Leon Edel and Gordon N. Ray)
 Author, Author 
by David Lodge
The Year of Henry James: The Story of a Novel 
by David LodgeThe H. G. Wells Society website: http://hgwellsusa.50megs.com/Daily Telegraph interview with David Lodge about the novel: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/authorinterviews/8466845/A-Page-in-the-Life-David-Lodge.html

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