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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 17 April 2013
Possibly more popular with male readers, Lodge writes effortlessly about middle-aged people living their various lives. He's always funny - sometimes very much so - and yet always causes you to think about your own existence and what you are up to! These three volumes compliment each other perfectly, and should be owned by anyone who loves David Lodge's books - and by anyone who has never heard of him yet!
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on 4 October 2017
as good as ever
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on 5 November 2017
Witty and perceptive like all David Lodge' novels. Gives pause for thought to all mature Catholics.
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on 1 October 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. Of course, nobody who is capable of writing as fluently, perceptively and humorously as Lodge could be as dysfunctional as Laurence - dysfunctional, except that, as `Tubby' the narrator, he is capable of earning a small fortune by writing a sit-com The People Next Door, which, while pure soap rubbish, seems for a time to have a large viewing public by the throat. Not that Laurence is ever recognised as the author - he is but an essential cog in a vast popular machine.

Always readable, always funny and inventive, this as an immensely enjoyable novel. At one point, Lodge seems to move away from relaying Laurence's journal to presenting us with several internal monologues by his intimates, but this, rather cleverly, turns out to be yet another therapy recommended by one of his practitioners - an attempt to see himself as others might see him.

The concluding third of the book, begins with `Tubby' desperately attempting to revive an old love affair, whose subject seems to be the answer to a reject's prayer. Reminiscent of the obsessive return to an old romance experienced by the narrator of Iris Murdoch's The Sea, The Sea, this twist provides an additional tension and a somewhat sobering but not desperately sad ending to a fine book.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 June 2009
I really enjoyed the book. I thought it was well up to David Lodge's usual high standard. I agree that there is a lot of middle-aged angst and pain but it's offset by some very funny scenes. It's a rare book that has me laughing out loud, but this one did, Maybe one needs the painful bits to make the funny bits even funnier. Good comedy writing often creates a sense of anxiety as the trigger for laughter.
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on 4 September 2015
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. But it had a wistful quality throughout which was disconcerting and the resolution appeared very contrived
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on 4 February 2014
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 incident of any interpretation in the sea of their own explanations and justifications. So it's a surprise that Therapy had precisely this kind of narrator but without the trappings that would send me to sleep. Part of this is because I was prepared what I was going in for (the title!) and partly because of two wonderful strokes: in the middle act, our sitcom writer takes the baton of narrating his actions from the viewpoint of the family and friends surrounding him and contains a trouser-rippingly funny monologue of his mistress confessing her experiences to her therapist. I do not think I have laughed as much with a book in hand. The other brilliant part was, at no point did the main character's journal or any post-modern tropes retard the sequence of events. There was a fair amount of incident, what with the lead character shuffling between sitcom-writing and marriage-in-crisis woes, with an endearing subplot of him discovering a kindred soul in the long dead existentialist Kirkegaard. His vague, generalised angst floats easily thanks to Lodge's snide observations of the cruel banalities of London life.

My gripe would be that the final act, which involved a fair amount of flashback and a pilgrimage, while handled sensitively and staged elaborately, still makes for an arc that felt a bit cinematic. Still, Lodge has a talent for comic writing and dialogue that I have seen the likes of Elton and Nicholls try and fail miserably. Sensitive old British lads don't come more endearing than this. Well worth a read, though it has very little to revisit.
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on 2 August 2017
Lodge's Therapy shows that you don't have to love a principal character to in turn love a book. Tubby Passmore is a self-obsessed, fat, lazy, selfish neurotic who drives a flash vulgar car and has no real relationship with either his wife or children. And yet, and yet, and yet, because of the writer’s often laugh-out-loud description of the life of this otherwise tawdry little man, there is something about him that makes the reader interested in his story and how it all ends up.

Splitting the story into four definitive elements (journal, monologue, memoir and narrative) worked a treat, particularly part II where the various voices are captured brilliantly. The Memoir is in turn achingly beautiful and toe-curlingly cruel and painted a vivid picture of 1950s Roman Catholic south London (as someone who experienced the same in the 1970s, I can testify to the truths within – specifically the hell that is the nativity play). Although at times the Kierkegaard theme was a bit of a slog, it’s worth sticking with given the parallels.

The ending ties everything up very satisfactorily and the reader sees a more content Tubby, something I didn’t begrudge, despite not really loving him for the first 275 pages! A very enjoyable book.
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on 23 March 2014
It was a book-club choice so I will read it to the end but otherwise I would have put it down ages ago.
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on 31 January 2000
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. Tubby finds her on the road to Composted, where she is on a pilgrimage. Lodge's language is so simple and colloquial that the reader can concentrate on the main topics of the book: Tubby 's mid-life crisis and his relationship with women(Sally, Amy, Maureen....). Readers should also concentrate on the title "Therapy" because it can help them to understand better that Tubby hides behind all these therapies not to face his true problems and the disaster his life seems to have turned into. He is so obsessed by these therapies that he sees his meeting with Maureen as a kind of psychological treatment, a way to solve his problems. The first person narrator makes the novel more involving, even though less objective. Certainly the most interesting aspect is the fact that the narrative voice intermingles with various monologuing voices, belonging to Amy, Sally and other women who play a role in the protagonist's life. These monologues provide different perspectives on the same events. But afterwards the reader discovers that these events have been written by Tubby as a therapeutic exercise. My personal opinion about the book is quite good. It is a meditative book where only a few actions happen, but it is interesting thanks to the richness of the language and because it deals with a peculiar theme, which is treated in a very realistic way. This tale gives readers an image of what their lives could be in the future. A must read! You will not be able to put it down!
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