Jayne Charles's Reviews > Small World

Small World by David Lodge
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's review
Aug 06, 2011

really liked it

I really should have got round to reading this ages ago, it was great. I wasn't too sure at the start - tiny typeface, and a curious structure to the plot in that a bit of the story unfolds and then we are suddenly introduced to about twenty additional characters one by one, a page or so devoted to each. I panicked: was it necessary to remember all of these characters or were they just amusing interludes? Actually I did have to remember them, but at that point things started to take off, and the characterisation and the humour took over. Oddly enough it was often the bit-part characters that supplied the best laughs (like the old spinster professor who sees phallic symbols everywhere, and the very proper Japanese translator struggling to translate an English book full of innuendo. His queries were a constant source of jollity ('Sweet Fanny Adams: Who is she?'))

I would never have thought a bunch of professors could make for such an amusing not to say racy book. The ending was perhaps a leap of probability too far, but all in all a really enjoyable read.

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