- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (2 May 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140253580
- ISBN-13: 978-0140253580
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,073,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Therapy Paperback – 2 May 2002
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"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) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A highly entertaining novel about a successful sitcom writer's search for his lost contentment. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!
In Part 1 he is ‘angsting’ generally about life, the universe and everything and trying out a range of therapies to deal with what his physoitherpaist calls‘Internal Derangement of the Knee’- IDK or 'I Don't Know'. A wealthy sitcom writer (is it really so well remunerated a profession as suggested?) he feels pride in his work but this is in danger because of a departing actress and a dangerous clause in his contract. He recognises guiltily that he doesn’t always listen to his wife Sally but believes his marriage it in good shape and the end of the part comes with the shocking announcement:
‘Sally just came into my study to tell me she wants a separation. She says she told me earlier this evening, over supper, but I wasn’t listening. I listened this time, but I still can’t take it in.’
Part 2 recounts, written as in the words of people he has been interacting with, Tubby’s frantic search to get himself back on track through sex, trying to reverse past choices and find salvation through identifying himself with Kierkegaard, including the philosopher’s strange failure at romance when he rejected his fiancée in spite of being obsessively in love with her for the rest of his life.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Tubby", an old, uneducated writer of situation comedies is having a bit of a crisis and seeks various from of therapy. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mal Smith
This is the first book I've ever read of David Lodge...and judging by the fantastic experience he gave me with this wonderfully insightful and funny tale, won't be my last! Read morePublished 13 months ago by Fractal Echo
There isn't a single David Lodge book I haven't enjoyed. The satire on therapies was gentle but pretty accurate. And some of it was truly funny. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Mrs Maud
After thinking Tubby Passmore was a self obsessed oik, he was redeemed by capturing his first love again. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Peter Guthrie
Very briefly, I am a David Lodge fan. This was my introduction to him, and I loved it. It's sad, funny, insightful and interesting. Read morePublished 22 months ago by London reader
The author always writes well which is a good start. Not a page turner and in some places the self analysis by the narrator is a little drawn out. Read morePublished 23 months ago by meryon
I had read some other books of his (like nice work etc) and enjoyed them. His books are often easy to read, funny and full of intelligently provocative points; this one was not... Read morePublished on 10 Dec. 2014 by ufuk