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Nice Work Paperback – 7 Apr 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (7 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099554186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099554189
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Lodge's novels include Deaf Sentence, Changing Places, Small World, Nice Work, Therapy, Thinks... and Author, Author. He has also written stage plays and screenplays, and several books of literary criticism, including The Art of Fiction, Consciousness and the Novel and, most recently, The Year of Henry James. Formerly Professor of English at Birmingham University, David now writes full-time. He continues to live in Birmingham.

Product Description

Review

"A funny, intelligent and superbly placed social comedy" (The New York Times)

"A work of immense intelligence, informative, disturbing and diverting" (Observer)

"As a comedy of society and class misunderstandings, Lodge has never observed more sharply... A very nice work indeed" (The Times)

"Rich in reserves of humour and irony...the book is a delight " (Mail on Sunday)

Book Description

The final novel in David Lodge's prize-winning campus trilogy, shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By J. Whitworth on 2 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
Quite simply, this is one of the great campus novels. Believe me - as a PhD student, I am amazed at the way Lodge draws humour from the often dry and slightly weird world of academia. You don't need to have a degree to read this book, though - it is a wonderful example of the way two worlds that are not as different as you may think interact. very, very funny. To me, it screams out for a sequel (although Robyn makes a cameo in Thinks..). I would love to know what she's up to today! Someone should slap a preservation order on Lodge.
Better than the History Man - better than Lucky Jim. Brilliant.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Demob Happy on 15 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
Nice Work is a clever, well-constructed comedy and social commentary about a clash of cultures in a fictional Midlands town in the mould of Birmingham. Well-paced and meticulously plotted, the novel revolves around the unlikely convergence of Dr Robyn Penrose - a professor of Women's studies and purporter of deconstructuralist and feminist theory - and Vic Wilcox, MD of an industrial engineering plant. Written aptly at a time of great social transformation (Thatcher, class strife, the decline of industry and massive cuts to public spending) David Lodge pieces together an astute oberservation of British life. Moreover, he is a master at developing tangible and appealing characters by telling the story - alternately - from their perspective. Billed as 'the campus novel meets the industrial novel', this is a highly readable and thought-provoking work.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Nov. 2000
Format: Paperback
Lodge's talent is at full force here in one of his earlier novels; set in the fictional town of Rummidge (as are "Changing places" and Small World", two of his later novels), "Nice Work" charts the entry of an attractive female university English lecturer, Robyn Penrose, into the life of Vic Wilcox, gruff middle aged MD of an engineering factory. Set up as part of an Industry Year exchange, Robyn follows Vic around, viewing for the first time a world she knows nothing about and casting her sensitive and educated eye over all that she sees. The comic mismatch beteen the couple is a joy to read as Lodge expertly switches between the world of the univesity campus, with all its pretentious enquiry and the rougher, more competitive environment of the factory workplace. Inevitably, sparks fly as the two discover the fallacy of their previously-held notions of the other's profession and learn to accept the differences. Written with flair and perfect comic timing, it is a must for any reader, whether a Lodge fan or not. Excellent.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By CG on 24 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
I think that all students of English Literature should read this. It is better than any number of theory books that they will ever come across and much more fun. I've read it more times than I can remember and always get something new from it. It's also great for cheering yourself up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Sedgwick on 15 May 2012
Format: Paperback
The worlds of academia and industry collide very deftly in this, one of Lodge's finest, if not his best novel to date. Opposites it seems often do attract, but more often than not are simply thrown together through circumstances. The ups and downs of the protagonmists relationship are superbly drawn. The only reason it's not a 5-star is the rather contrived ending. Charlotte Bronte and the victorians could not have come up with anything less believable!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Annn on 3 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed it very much and couldn't even suspect the reading of this book would give me so much pleasure. Love both Lodge's style, his smooth but smart irony, the way he speaks about quite serious and deep things, but does it without affectedness. I'd recommend it as a quality and worthy reading for those who care.
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Format: Paperback
I suppose it helps the appreciation of this superb book to have worked without tenure in a modern British university, and also having experience of the commercial pressures of industry, but such subjective qualifications are by no means necessary. Lodge always writes in such a charmingly light-hearted way, and not only about these two contrasting work environments. He observes the frailties and essential struggles of humans so delicately and amusingly that I, for one, find his books irresistible, and not only in this example. Without being awkwardly serious to the extent of making reading heavy going in any way, he nevertheless manages to expose many aspects of the trials of modern living, and I can wholeheartedly recommend it to any any thinking reader.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 July 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful satire on universities and business - particularly in the mid 80s. It captures the mood of "the cuts" and universities in the 1980s like nothing else I've read. You can see it, very loosely, as the final member of a trilogy (formed by "Changing places" and "Small world"), but you don't need to have read the other two in order to appreciate this one. It is immensely readable (I didn't need a dictionary once), and fully deserved its Booker nomination.
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