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Therapy [Paperback]

David Lodge
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 7.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

7 April 2011

A successful sitcom writer with plenty of money, a stable marraige, a platonic mistress and a flash car, Laurence 'Tubby' Passmore has more reason than most to be happy. Yet neither physiotherapy nor aromatherapy, cognitive-behaviour therapy or acupuncture can cure his puzzling knee pain or his equally inexplicable mid-life angst.

As Tubby's life fragments under the weight of his self-obsession, he embarks - via Kierkegaard, strange beds from Rummidge to Tenerife to Beverly Hills, a fit of literary integrity and memories of his 1950s South London boyhood - on a picaresque quest for his lost contentment.

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Therapy + Deaf Sentence
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (7 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099554194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099554196
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,705 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


"Full of delights... His view of our neuroses is sane, intelligent and amused" (John Mortimer Sunday Times)

"Energetic, comic...a highly ingenious games-board of moves and counter-moves" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Lodge remains one of the very best English comic novelists of the post-war era; and Therapy is good for you" (Time Out)

"Takes off on wings of humour and pathos which would not have disgraced Lodge's great hero Dickens... A splendid novel" (Daily Express)

"A real treat...a joy - a sobering joy, but a joy none the less" (Observer)

Book Description

A highly entertaining novel about a successful sitcom writer's search for his lost contentment.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humorous yet poignant journey of self-discovery 29 April 2002
By A Customer
Though the comic effects are more subdued than in his previous novels "Changing Places", "Small World" and "Nice Work", David Lodge provides us with a very readable, and often poignant account of a man's journey to greater self-awareness.
TV sitcom scriptwriter Tubby Passmore is beset by ailments afflicting both body and soul. Recurring knee pains lead to physioterapy while a general lack of well-being, coupled with dwindling self-esteem, point him in the direction of aromatherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy.
The journal he is encouraged to keep by his psychiatrist forms the basis of the novel, in which the passage of Tubby's life from his humble South London origins is recounted as he attempts to extricate himself from the angst that has engulfed him. Along the way he develops an obsession with Kierkegaard. We are given much information about the Danish philosopher's own life as Tubby sees in it clear parallels to his own. Kirkegaard becomes his spiritual therapist as he attempts to confront ennui and dread and overcome his existentialist dilemma.
The book is suffused with the sort of finely etched humourous detail about contemporary English life that Lodge conveys masterly. Familiar themes re-occur: a Roman Catholic upbringing in the 1950s, class divisions, plus the tensions between metropolitan and provincial life. The characters are extremely well drawn and the writing excellent. The novel will appeal in particular to anyone middle-aged who, when afflicted by the mounting dissatisfactions of the advancing years, has sought to regain lost contentment, whether real or imaginary. That includes most of us over 40 I imagine!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This review is about "Therapy" by David Lodge. Lodge is an humorous, post-modernist novelist. In this readable, comic novel he faces the subject of mid-life crisis with great realism through the pages of Laurence's psychotherapy diary. The book's protagonist is Laurence "Tubby" Passmore, a successful sitcom scriptwriter. He is going through a difficult period in his life because he is 58 years old and is faced with a typical MID-LIFE CRISIS. He is married to Sally, an attractive, self-made academic who enjoys sex; she is a lecturer in one of the new universities. Instead Tubby is indecisive and inexplicably depressed, unhappy with himself, his fat body, bald head, wonky knee and temporary sexual impotence. He lacks self-esteem, but he does not know the reasons. At first he is very confident in his marriage with Sally even though, when he goes to London weekly, he has a positive but platonic relationship with Amy( "I have a sexy wife at home and a platonic mistress in London"). She also works for the TV series "The people next door". Tubby, seeking something to alleviate his troubles, dabbles in acupuncture and aromatherapy and regularly attends a blind physiotherapist and a woman psychiatrist. The latter advises him to write a diary. His wife, Sally, is unhappy with her married life and expresses her wish to divorce him. He also starts having problems with his job. These events increase his dissatisfaction with his own life and make his identity crisis worse. At this moment Laurence tries to rediscover himself by reading Kierkegaard's books. He thinks of his youth and decides to track Maureen, an Irish catholic girl who was his first girlfriend. Maureen has suffered the death of her son and her breast cancer, but she has found comfort in religion. Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Escape Me Never! 1 Oct 2012
David Lodge

There are always strong autobiographical strains in Lodge's fiction, so much so that the conflation of author and character bemuses and might even inhibit immersion into the fictional world. The ageing narrator in Deaf Sentence, for instance, is a semi-retired academic, a specialist in linguistics and English Literature. Like his author he suffers the agonies of not being what he used to be, plus the suspected ridicule of others, feelings of redundancy, deafness and all the impotent symptoms of the `male menopause.' He inhabits a midland town, as does the professor in Nice Work, and the cityscape is pretty obviously a simulacrum of Lodge's own Birmingham. Campus life is endemic to Professor Lodge's fiction.

In Therapy we are once again in Rummidge (i.e. Birmingham), but this time our linguistically-obsessed narrator is a television script writer - Lodge ringing the changes by drawing upon his experiences with the dramatisation of Nice Work. As ever, marital conflict looms large, as the obsessed writer strives to reconcile the demands of work and domestic life. Laurence `Tubby' Passmore, however, carries his neuroses to extremes, undergoing treatment from his GP, a psychoanalyst, an aroma-therapist, a sex therapist,, an acupuncturist, various drugs and almost any young female who can relieve him of his feelings of inadequacy. `Tubby' is so obviously a paranoid neurotic that his life is constantly in tatters. If you divorce you'll regret it, if you don't divorce you'll regret it. Divorce or don't divorce you'll regret both. Small wonder that he finds comfort in Kierkegaard, the author of Either/Or.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars depressing
It was a book-club choice so I will read it to the end but otherwise I would have put it down ages ago.
Published 4 months ago by Edward 171
3.0 out of 5 stars Cheerful but ultimately disposable
This is the first Lodge I have completed; have always had some sort of an aversion to articulate but voluminous middle-aged British narrators whose own navel gazing drowns every... Read more
Published 5 months ago by coronaurora
5.0 out of 5 stars Still reading this - I can't put it down.
This was the choice for my reading group this month, and I absolutely love it. The author was previously unknown to me and i will be seeking out his other books. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Tricia
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny
The central character is very plausible and you enjoy his journey. He is so hypochondriacal you both laugh out loud and feel sorry for him at the same time.
Published 8 months ago by Bluebell
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh, the brilliant David Lodge
Possibly more popular with male readers, Lodge writes effortlessly about middle-aged people living their various lives. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Pickhandle
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant layered story of middle age
Wonderful on many levels. First, it is a compelling story about middle age "panic of closing doors" (as German renders the mid-life crisis), with a poignant look back at innocence... Read more
Published 15 months ago by R. Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read
The main character here is looking for answers and takes a journey to his past to find them. I love this book and have read it several times. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Preston
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and full of insights
This novel is different from many of David Lodge's earlier works as, in them, the characters are sound emotionally but with external problems (often concerning issues of birth... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Doc Barbara
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!
I don't have time to write a long review and those already published are quite in-depth. I just want to record my rating: five out of five stars - gold stars in my opinion. Read more
Published on 7 Aug 2011 by Susan Creed
4.0 out of 5 stars Therapy
Another entertaining novel from the nearly always reliable David Lodge.

This one takes longer than usual to get going, but bear with it. Read more
Published on 10 Jan 2011 by Dave Gilmour's cat
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