A Man of Parts

David Lodge. Viking, $26.95 (565p) ISBN 978-0-670-02298-4
In this comprehensive, often bland novel, Lodge (Small World) focuses on the extensive erotic experiences of celebrated British author H.G. Wells. As he states in his author’s note, every character and plot development is non-fiction, and Lodge makes extensive use of quotes from Wells’s personal correspondence. Unfortunately, the result reads more like a biography than a novel, with a plot that strictly adheres to the chronology of Wells’s life—from early boyhood to death. Many of the circumstances and details are salacious, from the protective sheaths which Wells uses to make his philandering possible, to his perennial interest in making love outdoors, to some big cats role-play with writer Rebecca West (he was her Panther, she his Jaguar), with some relevant quotes from their love letters—“I shall lay my paw on you this Wednesday night.” However, the womanizing becomes repetitive, with one too many frigid wives, and too many virgins in need of a sexual education from an older, more experienced lover, all resulting in a certain tedium best suited for readers who are already devotees of Wells or Lodge. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/12/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 565 pages - 978-1-84655-496-4
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-0-09-955608-4
Paperback - 565 pages - 978-1-84655-497-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4640-0098-0
Paperback - 576 pages - 978-1-84655-640-1
Paperback - 436 pages - 978-0-14-312209-8
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