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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive Campus Novel
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...
Published on 2 Oct. 2002 by J. Whitworth

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1 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars get the dictionary!
this book requires a dictionary if you want to understand every single word in the book. However, if you skip all the literary and factory jargon, it doesnt really make a difference to the story. A good book for a quiet sit down and relax but not so easy to interpret in an essay for students. The story is pretty predictable. It's easy to write an essay if you remove...
Published on 21 Dec. 2001 by deranged-angel


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive Campus Novel, 2 Oct. 2002
By 
J. Whitworth (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nice Work (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a time in the Midlands, 15 Nov. 2007
This review is from: Nice Work (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
5.0 out of 5 stars cross-profession comedy as academia and industry collide, 11 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Nice Work (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read it, 24 Aug. 2010
By 
CG (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nice Work (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
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Lodge's best, 15 May 2012
By 
D. Sedgwick "DSedgwick" (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nice Work (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply charming!, 3 July 2013
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This review is from: Nice Work (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly Amusing And Insightful Modern View of Town Versus Gown, 18 Nov. 2009
By 
Clifford (Weymouth, Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nice Work (Mass Market 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 9 July 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Nice Work (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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably Lodge's best, 13 Jan. 2007
By 
Caterkiller (Darlington, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nice Work (Paperback)
David Lodge's books are always excellent and this one is probably his best. As in his previous books, "Changing Places" and "Small World",the book centres on two diametrically opposed views and attitudes and explores how these positions can be reconciled, one character existng in the "real" world of work and the other in a cocoon of academia where analysing the work of long-dead authors means she has no experience of the industries where these works are set. Nice Work is well written and the characters are excellently sketched, particularly the family of Vic, the factory MD, with a gone-to-seed wife, and layabout children. The problem with the plot is that, like in his previous works, Lodge works too hard to manufacture a happy ending for everyone; at the end Vic discovers there is more to life than work and learns to appreciate art and literature, and his family, whereas Robyn, when faced with the economic reality of university budget cuts suddenly has a triple whammy of good fortune with a publishing deal, a job offer and bequest from a late relative. All of this happens in such a flurry at the end that the conclusion of the book appears hurried and unrealistic but this is still an excellent read and a compulsive page-turner.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another good book from David Lodge, 18 May 2014
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This review is from: Nice Work (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed the story about two opposites and how they eventually come together. He is the Managing Director of an engineering company and she is a Doctor in English lecturing at university on English literature, especially the role of women in novels of the industrial revolution.
I do not like the excess amount of English language theory that gets rather boring but is evident in all David Lodge's books and is the reason why I could not give it 5 stars. His best book is Paradise News which I would give 5 stars.
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Nice Work
Nice Work by David Lodge (Paperback - 2 May 2002)
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