A Man of Parts: A Novel

Front Cover
Harvill Secker, 2011 - Belletristische Darstellung - 565 pages
6 Reviews

'The mind is a time machine that travels backwards in memory and forwards in prophecy, but he has done with prophecy now...'

Sequestered in his blitz-battered Regent's Park house in 1944, the ailing Herbert George Wells, 'H.G.' to his family and friends, looks back on a life crowded with incident, books, and women. Has it been a success or a failure? Once he was the most famous writer in the world, 'the man who invented tomorrow'; now he feels like yesterday's man, deserted by readers and depressed by the collapse of his utopian dreams.

He recalls his unpromising start, and early struggles to acquire an education and make a living as a teacher; his rapid rise to fame as a writer with a prophetic imagination and a comic common touch which brought him into contact with most of the important literary, intellectual, and political figures of his time; his plunge into socialist politics; his belief in free love, and energetic practice of it. Arguing with himself about his conduct, he relives his relationships with two wives and many mistresses, especially the brilliant student Amber Reeves and the gifted writer Rebecca West, both of whom bore him children, with dramatic and long-lasting consequences.

Unfolding this astonishing story, David Lodge depicts a man as contradictory as he was talented: a socialist who enjoyed his affluence, an acclaimed novelist who turned against the literary novel; a feminist womaniser, sensual yet incurably romantic, irresistible and exasperating by turns, but always vitally human.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - A_Reader_of_Fictions - LibraryThing

A Man of Parts is a fictional biography of author H.G. Wells. I did not go into this book knowing anything about H.G. Wells, except for his having written quite a few novels and his being one of the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kevinashley - LibraryThing

Fictionalised biography is not a genre which I seek out, but David Lodge has produced a second example which is an engrossing read. His subject is H G Wells, someone I knew little about (other than as ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

David Lodge's novels include Changing Places (Hawthornden Prize), How Far Can You Go? (Whitbread Book of the Year), Small World ( Booker shortlisted), Nice Work (Sunday Express Book of the Year) and A Man of Parts. He has also written books of literary criticism, including The Art of Fiction. His works have been translated into 25 languages.

He is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at Birmingham and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, was awarded a CBE and is also a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

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