A Man of Parts by David LodgeREADING GUIDE
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 afuence, a feminist womaniser,sensual yet incurably romantic, irresistible and exasperating by turns, but always vitally human.
‘Excellent... scrupulous and scholarly ... It bounds along terrically’
‘Consistently absorbing and enjoyable. I doubt whether a better way could have been found to bring thephenomenon that was H. G. Wells to life’
‘Curiously engrossing. Its power is cumulative: there are no ashes of startling moments, just a slowunfolding of friendships and feuds, plots and counter plots’
‘A clever kind of half-genre, somewhere between ction and fact, very much back in vogue with Britishwriters ... funny and powerful’
‘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’
‘David Lodge’s novel goes straight to the heart of the story... it is pure fun’
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,
, was published. He has published 15 novels, including
, and numerous works of non-ction. He has been twiceshortlisted for the Booker Prize.