Desmond Bates is a retired English professor, who's finding himself at a bit of a loose end now that he's no longer working. He is becoming increasingly deaf, has a wife who is fairly preoccupied with her business, and a father who is exhibiting signs of dementia but does not want to move out of his own home. When an attractive female mature student asks him to supervise her PhD, he cannot help but feel tempted.
As always, lovely writing and very easy to read. And some things to learn: for example, the "Lombard Reflex".
Being aware from Lodge's non-fiction works how much goes into his writing, I feel a bit hesitant to say this, but I thought this book didn't feel quite so well structured as his other novels: it sort of meandered a bit and the plot with Alex Loom, the PhD student, felt like it was tacked on rather than being a part of the whole. Not that it wasn't interesting: it just seemed a bit tangential.
Completed : 01-Jun-2008