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Changing Places by David Lodge

Changing Places (1975)

by David Lodge

Series: Rummidge (1)

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1,538254,777 (3.74)32

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Readable but boring. The characters are flat and the strings of the author are always visible. There is no imagination and no plot—-just a dude trying to be clever. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
I enjoyed the look at British & American academia in 1969 but unfortunately this was more a book about the sex lives of the two professors than their academic lives. ( )
  leslie.98 | May 2, 2014 |
Good entertainment with fun characters, but hardly flawless. It's dated in an odd way- the academic life these days revolves *completely* around computers. But in this novel the profs use typewriters. Now, that's not Lodge's fault, and it doesn't really make too much of a difference. It's just amusing. But it's dated in another way- tiresome pomo trickiness. It makes fun of 'how to write a novel' handbooks! Hilarious! It makes fun of the debate about realism and the novel and film! Hilarious! It's very self-referential! Hilarious! Of course, not really. Such boredoms just detract from the actual humour of the book.
Also odd is Lodge's miniscule changes to the real world. The british prof goes to a combination of Stanford and Berkeley, CA while Reagan was governor. Except in the novel the university is 'Euphoria State;' the governor is 'Ronald Duck;' the bridge is called the 'Silver Span' and so on. This wouldn't be so offputting, I think, if Reagan hadn't proceeded to become president twice over. As it is, it's just distracting. And a little depressing to think how easily he went from prime fool to prime mover. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
A comic look at academia, intellectual fashion, sex and marriage. Dated seventies. Recommended by Nancy Pearl. ( )
  Kristelh | Nov 16, 2013 |
I've probably read this four or five times since the mid-seventies, and it still manages to make me laugh: like Bradbury's The history man, it has become a period piece, but in a good way. By no means the first "British academic in America" novel, nor the last, but it must be one of the cleverest.

Even though he's only writing a couple of years later, Lodge manages to get enough perspective on les évènements of 1969 (Berkeley- and Brummagem-style) to be able to laugh at them a bit. It's interesting to see that the one bit of sixties counter-culture that he allows to speak quite seriously is the women's movement — in fact, you could almost read it as a feminist novel in the way the plot is largely driven by women taking decisions about their own lives. But perhaps only to the extent that you could call Lysistrata a feminist play... ( )
  thorold | Nov 14, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Not since Lucky Jim has such a funny book about academic life come my way.
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For Lenny and Priscilla, Stanely and Adrienne and many other friends on the West Coast
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High, high above the North Pole, on the first day of 1969, two professors of English Literature approached each other at a combined velocity of 1200 miles per hour.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140170987, Paperback)

Anyone intrigued by differences between American and British academic institutions will find this an amusing and accurate send-up. David Lodge, portraying two American and British professors who replace one another at their respective institutions, gives greed, pettiness, and pretense full rein.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:38 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A hilarious send-up of academic life, intellectual fashion, sex, and marriage. Two English professors know they'll be swapping class rosters, but what they don't know is that in a wildly spiraling transatlantic involvement they'll soon be swapping students, colleagues, and even wives. First book in a trilogy.… (more)

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Average: (3.74)
1 6
2 16
2.5 6
3 81
3.5 32
4 133
4.5 15
5 57

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