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Therapy by David Lodge


by David Lodge

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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Not just a good novel, this was also the most enjoyable introduction to the thought of Søren Kierkegaard that I ever hope to read.
2 vote Muscogulus | Mar 1, 2013 |
Un scénariste dans la cinquantaine avancée souffre d'un mystérieux mal au genou que ni la médecine officielle ni les médecines douces ne parviennent à soulager. Il devient obsédé par son mal au point de mettre en danger sa vie privée et professionnelle. Sous l'égide de Kierkegaard, un roman qui aborde avec un humour décapant les problèmes du vieillissement chez l'homme et la crise existentielle qui en résulte. Malgré quelques longueurs - surtout dans la première partie - un bon roman qui reprend, en les approfondissant, les obsessions familières aux personnages de Lodge.
  PierreYvesMERCIER | Feb 19, 2012 |
An amusing book, but no real hearty laughs like 'Deaf Sentence' the previous one I'd read by the same author. At one point I got a little lost as to what was happening, but caught up a little alter. The final part was interesting, and clearly the reason I had been gifted the book in the first place! (No spoilers here!) ( )
  tulstig | Jan 29, 2012 |
Laurence "Tubby" Passmore has a sexually active, but otherwise stalled, marriage, a platonic mistress, and a bum knee. He is the creator and writer of a popular British sitcom, but his career is heading for a cliff unless he can rewrite the season finale. All this has driven Tubby to therapy – psycho, cognitive, physical, and aroma – as well as a self-guided study of the 19th century Danish existential philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard.

David Lodge is clever and perceptive and writes the kind of books I can't resist – intelligent stories of charming, bumbling, middle aged men behaving badly. In Therapy, Lodge uses the workable device of Tubby writing a journal at the request of his practical-minded psychiatrist, broken up with chapters in the voices of other characters and a longish "memoir" by Tubby of his teenage romance with a Catholic schoolgirl.

Lodge uses Kierkegaard's own romantic history and the religious philosophy he developed from it to organize some of the plot and ideas of this novel. He also revisits the Catholic themes he plumbed so deeply in How Far Can You Go? (winner of the Costa BOTY award; on Anthony Burgess's list of favorites).

He has a light touch with the philosophy and religious bits, and the book remains funny and entertaining throughout, with an ending that made me laugh out loud in pleased surprise.

Originally posted on Rose City Reader. ( )
1 vote RoseCityReader | Nov 20, 2011 |
What a clever book this was, jogging along quite happily with the slightly grumpy narrator venting his spleen about matters ranging from sex to British Rail, when suddenly the rug is pulled out from under the reader. Not once but twice. The second section of the book was very very clever.

I couldn’t rid myself of the feeling that the author really wanted to write a book about the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard, but decided for practical reasons to filter this interest through the narrator of a fictional story. The way facts about Kierkegaard meshed with the events in the book was impressive, but I still felt myself stifling yawns each time the philosopher’s name cropped up. The author just pulled back from having him dominate proceedings completely.

I liked the way small details you might have thought insignificant prove to be important later on in proceedings. The book is also instructive as to the ins and outs of producing a sitcom, and the plot strand involving the character who needed to be written out was fascinating. Like all David Lodge’s books, there is humour throughout. I think if you liked his others, you will like this one too. ( )
  jayne_charles | Apr 30, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Lodgeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cox, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Therapy. The treatment of physical,
mental or social disorders or disease.

     -- Collins English Dictionary
"You know what, Søren? There's
nothing the matter with you but
your silly habit of holding yourself
round-shouldered. Just straighten
your back and stand up and your
sickness will be over."
    -- Christian Lund,
      uncle of Søren Kierkegaard
"Writing is a form of therapy."

     -- Graham Greene
To Dad, with love
First words
RIGHT, here goes.

Monday morning, 15th Feb., 1993. A mild February day has brought the squirrels out of hibernation.
Repetition ... in another sense is the enjoyment of what you have. It’s the same as living-in-the-present, ‘it has the blessed certainty of the instant’. It means being set free from the curse of unhappy hoping and unhappy remembering. ‘Hope is a charming maiden that slips through the fingers, recollection is a beautiful old woman but of no use at the instant, repetition is a beloved wife of whom one never tires’ (Kierkegaard, Repetition).
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Book description
A successful sitcom writer with plenty of money, a stable marriage, a platonic mistress and a flash car, Laurence ‘Tubby’ Passmore has more reason than most to be happy. Yet neither physiotherapy nor aromatherapy, cognitive-behaviour therapy or acupuncture can cure his puzzling knee pain or his equally inexplicable mid-life angst. As Tubby’s life fragments under the weight of his self-obsession, he embarks – via Kierkegaard, strange beds from Rummidge to Tenerife to Beverly Hills, a fit of literary integrity and memories of his 1950s South London boyhood – on a picaresque quest for his lost contentment, in an ingenious, hilarious and poignant novel of neuroses.
(from Amazon)
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A spoof on today's obsession with health. Unwilling to accept the aches and pains of old age, Laurence Passmore, 58, an English TV writer, rushes from one doctor to another, becoming progressively depressed with the result that his marriage and work suffer. Eventually he finds solace in religion.… (more)

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