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Therapy Paperback – 2 May 2002

4.0 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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)

Product Description

Review

"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.

Book Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
David Lodge
Therapy

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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
‘Therapy’ – a book I returned to reread remembering that it dealt interestingly with middle aged Angst; I found parts 1 and 2 rather hard going because there was so much negativity amongst the comedy – which fits of course with ‘Tubby’ Passmore’s fascinations with Kierkegaard. If you are looking for comfort then hold out for the 3rd part where he goes to find his Catholic childhood sweetheart, when the climate turns sunny in more ways than one.
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.
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