Customer Review

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insight into gifted yet complex man., 12 Dec. 2004
This review is from: Author, Author (Hardcover)
Despite what felt to be a slow start, David Lodge provides a lively and interesting insight into an incredibly gifted yet complex man, the late Victorian writer Henry James.
By writing the story as "fiction", Lodge uses his great skill of capturing his characters essence without historical records clouding what is a man of great contrasts and depth. Some James purists may find this style offensive but that is not the intention of the author - he provides a more human insight to James than may otherwise have been achieved due to the subject's deeply personal nature and a lack of personal records.
Henry James was an incredibly skilled and accomplished author who was not greatly appreciated in his own time yet arguably was the father of the modern novel. Lodge deals sympathetically with James's perceived failure of his work, his intense craving for reward both adulatory and financial that always seemed within reach, be it in periodicals, books or the stage and that yet was always just out of reach or dashed by events outside his control. He also deals deftly with the issue of James' sexuality through his relationships with contemporaries, friends and past experiences - in particular his inability to reciprocate emotions and feelings to others, especially those closest to him.
Definitely worth buying if you have read and liked Lodge's earlier work.
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