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A Vida Em Surdina (2008)

by David Lodge(Favorite Author)
3.7 of 5 Votes: 4
9892304764 (ISBN13: 9789892304762)
Edições Asa (Grupo Leya)
review 1: I chose this book because I really wanted to switch off with a bit of intelligent comedy. And this book has that in abundance. Written in diary form, its basic premise is that of Desmond Bates, a retired university professor who is profoundly deaf, and how he faces up to the daily challenges of his affliction while dealing with the attentions of an unpredictable student. Lodge's engagement with this handicap - its frustrations, disturbing effects and embarrassments - demonstrate either extensive research or intimate personal knowledge. And I found myself deeply sympathizing with Bates and feeling grateful my own hearing is still mainly intact. But Lodge's handling of the comedic moments was deft and assured. His description of a misheard conversation with a colleague had m... moree nearly breathless with laughter. I cannot recall that ever happening before with a book. Comedy aside though, there are moments of pathos, particularly during Bates's scenes with his elderly, widowed father, whose once curious, dilettante mind is failing. It's a well-drawn relationship, and many readers would identify with that slow, sad fading of a parent who was once such an influence on a young life. These scenes counterbalanced the comedy beautifully, and yet provided humour while doing so. Bates's scenes with the student had a similar effect: they were disquieting (I often cringed as I imagined the potential of the tutor/student conflict) but were yet done with a comedic edge that somehow deepened their effect. This was my first David Lodge book, and I was amazed to discover that it it's his most recent novel (2008) in a career of nearly 50 years. Clearly he's honed his technique perfectly. And so it comes with my heartiest recommendation. One of the funniest and most engaging books I've read for years.
review 2: Often funny, but decidedly not in places. An odd and sobering trip to Auschwitz plunked down in the familiar silly story of how aging English professors get their comeuppance when they dally with female students; and of course, when deafness descends, how can anything but hilarity ensure? But otherwise a good story of dealing with a dying father with dementia. Unless you're disabled, a woman, or a dying father, that is. less
Reviews (see all)
Luckily this book has subtitles you don't need Dolby 5.1 surround....Enjoy.
Slower than earlier Lodge books this ritually gets under your skin.
Hmm, well written, but slighty predictable. Lesser Kingsley Amis.
Said it was very funny but I did not find it so.
fabulous .... hilarious and humane
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