Tony's Reviews > Therapy

Therapy by David Lodge
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's review
Dec 03, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction-mainstream
Read in December, 2009

Lodge, David. THERAPY. (1995). ****. This is the first book I’ve read by this author, but I’m sure that there will be many more. He writes with high energy and this book represents one of the best of the post-war comic writers that I’ve read. It’s comedy with an acid chaser, though, that makes you think that you shouldn’t have laughed or smiled at that last paragraph. Therapy tells the story of Laurence (Tubby) Passmore. He is a successful writer of a popular sitcom series on British television. He’s now become well off, and has a beautiful wife, a grand house in the suburbs, and a flat in London’s West End. All is not right with his world, however, because he has developed a pain in his knee that has no apparent physical cause. He attends sessions with his analyst once a week. He has a weekly appointment with an acupuncturist and an aromatherapist. He’s not paying attention to what his wife is saying to him on a daily basis and is often caught up short on not knowing what he should have heard. On top of this, his sponsors of the sitcom need him to write out a principal character at the end of this series because the actress who plays the role wants to move back to her stage career. He discovers Kirkegaard and studies him intently. He finds justification in his depression through a parallel with Soren’s life and work. Tubby is radically screwed up! His analyst asks him to write a little something about himself, and Tubby starts out modestly with a summary of a few pages in length, but suddenly devotes himself to fully trying to explicate himself in a diary-cum-memoir that takes up most of the book. You will in turn smile through some of his adventures and his retrospective opinions of them, and then become very serious as he offers his solutions and deeper thoughts of how they made him what he is. Lodge is a very good writer. At least two of his books have been short-listed for the Booker Prize. Recommended.

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