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Small World

Small World

Author: David Lodge
Publisher: Penguin Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 912
Genre: Fiction | Literary
The book opens with conference season for the academics. However, the location is Rummidge, where Philip Swallow is now head of the English Department and has finally published his first book. Rummidge, is a fictional English location, which closely resembles the “charming” city of Birmingham, all concrete and little character. Our old friend Morris Zapp attends, as well as a host of other academics; two of these being, Persse McGarrigle, a young Irish poet and Angelica Pabst, the exquisitely beautiful and brainy lust object of most of the repressed academics at the conference. Everyone is obsessed with Literary Criticism and in particular whether you can truly find a definitive meaning to a book. The conference drones on, the academics are clearly just there for some free booze and some kind of holiday, Persse becomes rather obsessed with Angelica, rather than anything academic and Philip is more obsessed with racking up more air miles at future conferences, than anything to do with his wife Hillary. Yes, the wife swapping of "Changing Places" was resolved, with a dignified re-swap of sorts as Desiree is still a raving feminist and remains in deep hatred with Morris. "Small World" then gathers pace, centring on Persse’s chase of Angelica, across the globe. Will he catch up with her? Will she return his amorous affections? And why do all the same people keep cropping up all over the world? Amsterdam, Tokyo, New York, Ankara and Jerusalem all feature as conference locations, but all the locations feature the same people. Yes, you have guessed it Lodge’s book explores the fact that with the advent of available air travel, the same people can all go and discuss the same topics at the most exotic locations they can find. Interspersed with Persse’s pursuit, are comic plots involving Philip’s other woman, Morris’s desire to earn more money than anybody else, a kidnapping, academic back stabbing and sniping as the top brass clamber over each other in the fight for a great literary chair, attempted three in a bed romps, writers block and Japanese Karaoke as once again Lodge weaves a farcical and tight plot line of coincidence, sharp wit, suspense and romance. Academics traverse the globe, all to sit bored rigid by what each other has to say, just to look the part and, of course, while this goes on Desiree Zapp wages war on all things male.
ISBN: 9780140172973
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