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Paradise News

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  1,701 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
Agnostic theologian Bernard Walsh has a professional interest in heaven. But when he travels to Hawaii with his father, Jack, it is not in quest of a vacation paradise; it is to visit Jack's dying, estranged sister. The hand of fate and family tensions frustrate the planned reunion, however.
Published June 4th 1999 by Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (first published 1991)
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Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, comic-novels
2.5 stars
This is the first David Lodge I have read for many, many years and it was a somewhat mixed return. Lodge can write, make no mistake about that and his plots hang together well. It reads easily and the whole runs along smoothly; it is a comic novel (so I am informed). The novel revolves around Bernard who works as a lecturer in theology at the University of Rummidge (Birmingham). He is an ex-Catholic priest who has lost his faith. He has an uncomfortable relationship with his father and
I was wondering round the park taking in the running styles of the dogs and the man practising Tai Chi with a pair of wooden cutlasses and who may or may not have been arrested shortly after by the plain clothes police I saw putting on stab proof vests by the park entrances and I thought that I probably haven't read enough nineteenth century English literature to have much to say about this nice middle aged book in which a Priest comes to terms with his loss of faith and succeeds in finding love ...more
Julia Miele
I LOVE David Lodge. When Jack Hall first turned me on to Lodge's work, I very quickly ate through what seemed like most of his fiction--Nice Work (1988), Changing Places (1975), and Small World (1984)--with the greatest delight and voracity. Since then, I've been pecking away--The British Museum Is Falling Down (1965), Thinks (2001, which includes an autistic character), How Far Can You Go? (1980), Deaf Sentence (2008)--finding his novels second hand whenever I can, but since I seem to see the s ...more
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stars-4-0, 2016
This was a surprising read. Until now I had only read Lodge’s non-fictional writing and so I had to idea what I would find. 

Bernard is not your usual main character - a theologian and former priest - who is trying to get his cantankerous father to the other side of the world in order to attempt a reconciliation with his long-ignored aunt, who is on her deathbed. After the comical tribulations of this odd pair at the airport and in the plane, things get even more complicated when Bernard’s father
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
Hawaii with its sun, sand, pristine beaches and promises of romance is made out to be paradise on earth, but is it really a facade after all—construction all over the place, commercialisation with the same old McDonalds and KFC, hordes of tourists in search of paradise, and residents dissatisfied either with the monotony or lack of substance or the change from the “paradise” it once was. This book essentially follows the journey of Bernard Walsh, a former minister, who is travelling with his fat ...more
Jun 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lodge, David. PARADISE NEWS. (1991). ****. Other than a slight drag in the middle of this story, it is an almost perfect novel. Lodge is a craftsman at marging the comic novel with an exploration of one or more of life’s serious concerns. In this novel, we meet Bernard Walsh, a part-time teacher of Theology at a small school in Rummidge, England. He gets word one day that his aunt, his father’s sister, is dying of cancer and would like to see family before she passes. She lives in Hawaii on the ...more
Terence Manleigh
A quietly funny, quietly satiric and quietly devout book by one of our best-loved Catholic novelists (he probably hates that term) David Lodge. The hero's journey is rather like a sly update of Elizabeth von Arnim's "Enchanted April", with the same subtle sense of grace and miracle. It's well worth a read.
Lorenzo Berardi

What did I learn from Paradise News?
Several things.

Now I can nonchalantly use terms like "lei", "pupu" and "moo-moo" in any conversation about Hawaii. Not that I had or will have many.

Apropos, don't you have the impression that Hawaii are out of fashion? Personally I don't know anyone who went there. And even the fact of being the accidental birthplace of Barack Obama is not helping as much as it could.

Why don't I see any hula dancers parading in the English streets?
Where are the pale tourists
Brenda Clough
Nov 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A favorite novel of mine. In fact it has the same plot arc as many a romance novel: in which the protagonist starts out in a state of loneliness and dysfunction and, while traveling to an exciting new place, falls into disasters that somehow turn out well and end in love and happiness. Only, instead of a Regency heroine at her first London ball, the hero is an aging theology professor in modern Honolulu.
One of the skilfullnesses of this book is the way almost all the characters are well-intentio
Hilary Hicklin
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A first-class novel with unexpected depths. How a trip to take his aged father to Hawaii to visit a dying aunt changes the life of Bernard Walsh. Some lovely insights, humour, and reflections on the place of religion in a secular world.
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an entertaining and fairly quick read. I enjoyed the main character, Englishman Bernard's sometimes humorous perspective of American culture and Hawaiian tourism, in particular.
Lynn Kearney
Jun 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He's such a good writer, and so hilarious in his depiction of English "types" I forgive him his occasional lapse into sentimentality. A very good read, as always.
Hannah Cook
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love david lodge. Always a great easy read - funny and touching but also clever and interesting. Catholicism, Hawaii, death, romance - you can't lose.
В самом начале книги складывается впечатление, что это очередной "производственный боевик" в стиле А.Хейли. Несколько персонажей, несколько сюжетных линий, но главная тема - отдых на "райских" :)) Гаваях.

Особенно хорош один персонаж, который специально летит на Гаваи, чтобы разоблачить всё лицемерие туриндустрии, которая фабрикует суррогатные впечатления и "туристический рай" на деле является фальшивкой. В его уста автор вкладывает ряд интересных мыслей и фактов, но, увы, сюжетная линия этого п
Kim Morrow
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I loved this book! I found it while searching for a book set in Hawaii to read while I was on vacation there. I cannot imagine a better fit for a former pastor to read while vacationing in Hawaii! The book is playfully cinematic, bringing to life a cast of English characters from the London airport to the tacky lounges of Waikiki. In the midst of it, a serious and touching family story unravels as Bernard, the main character, tends to his ailing aunt and father. Along the way a new relationship ...more
Ploni Almoni
Actually not terrible-might even be worth 3 stars, or at least 2.5 if that were an option. Lodge will never be a great writer, but he is a very good writer. That is, he is very readable. And unlike other writers, he doesn't write empty sections: indeed, each potentially boring situation is fully written and surprisingly engaging. I would vaguely be open to reading more by the author, though not compelled.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Found this book in a rural thrift shop. Written over 25 years ago, it's passed the test of time. The main character is likeable; I related to his falling out with established religion. Good story with interesting subplots. Lots of characters in the tour group from England, but keeping them differentiated is not essential.
Tanis Dennis
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first David Lodge novel I read. I loved it, but thought it was probably because the setting - everyday life in Hawaii - was so interesting to me. Happily, I was wrong. Everything I've read by DL has been equally great. Funny, absorbing and so true to life!
Giorgia Matzoula
Εκπληκτικό! Εξαιρετικό σε όλα τα επίπεδα!
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very satisfying: funny, tender, thoughtful, and starring a lovely protagonist. I was sorry to see it end.
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoroughly enjoyable book! I've read a half-dozen on Lodge's books and have come to love his understated quirky voice. I initially wondered if this book would hang together properly since it opened with rather a large cast of characters, most of whom seemed to be stereotypes of an unappealing sort. But my vague fears were unfounded as the book coalesced around Bernard, as well it should!
I enjoyed Sheldrakes commentary on tourism and would have liked more of that. Instead, we got quite a bit o
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vacations will never feel the same after this
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A serious book about serious subjects that also makes you smile or laugh on practically every page. Bernard, who bitterly disappointed his Irish parents when he lost his faith and left the priesthood, answers the summons of his aunt Ursula to bring his father to visit her in Hawaï. Ursula is dying and eager to reconcile with her estranged brother who, as we only learn half-way through the novel, saw their sibling Sean molest Ursula and said nothing. Taking an old curmudgeon like Mr. Walsh all th ...more
Emilia P
Jan 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: real-books, churrrch
This book was at once quite surprising and not surprising at all.
It was a surprising mix of topics: really theological, life in Hawaii (though not capturing the spirit of the place entirely, doing a pretty good job of capturing the spirit of visiting and traveling), reflections on family, and finally a very late bloom into the wonders/dangers/importance of romantic love+sex.

It was not surprising because my dad gave it to me to read. After a visit to Hawai'i! Unfortunately, my visit avoided Wai
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hawaii
I really enjoyed this book! I picked it up on a whim when I was at a free bookstore a few weeks ago, and again I picked it up on a whim earlier in the week when I wanted something new to read. I'm glad I did, on both accounts, because it was a satisfying, fun, quick read. I was rooting for Bernard the whole book and it is so nice to have a narrator you can root for! I also really liked the varying format of the book; some plan narration, some journal entries, some letters, it was refreshing.

Adrian Firculescu
I got this book as a birthday gift from a very special person, so my review will probably be a little subjective regarding some of the book's aspects.

The story focuses around Bernard Walsh, a former Catholic priest, now a professor at a Catholic college in Rummidge, (a fictional city used by David Lodge in some of his novels) that is escorting his unwilling father Jack Walsh to Hawaii, in order to visit his cancer dying aunt, Ursula. Only one day after their arrival, Jack is hit by a car, and is
P.J. Young
I read David Lodge's Paradise News just before my husband and I embarked on a three week trip to Hawaii for our honeymoon. It couldn't have been a more confusing choice.

Although I secretly hoped to find postcard beaches, as I had already watched The Dependents, I was fully prepared for the rain, the grey suburbs behind the beaches and the fifteen microclimates. But Paradise News went in to so much more: the lazy, hazy malaise of the inhabitants of the islands; the strange mismatch of tourism and
I picked up this book because the story takes place in Hawaii. It tells of a journey a group of people take from England all the way to Oahu. Bernard is the main character and he along with his not so willing father are taking this trip not for pleasure but to grant a dying wish for Ursula, his aunt. Ursuala and "Daddy" (or Jack as he is rarely called) have been estranged for years, and she wants to reconnect with her brother before she succumbs to the cancer that is riddled throughout her body. ...more
James Sillwood
This is the story of Bernard, an academic theologian, who escorts his father, Jack, to Hawaii to visit his dying Aunt Ursula. This book is so funny, especially at the beginning when Bernard and his father, who has never flown, join their package tour group. The two of them are completely lost when removed from their familiar surroundings. The day after they arrive in Hawaii Bernard's father is hit by a car and taken to hospital. The story then tells of the developing relationship between Bernard ...more
Cristina Coelho
Dec 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Quem gostaria de visitar o Hawaii
Shelves: 2012
A história gira à volta de um grupo de turistas ingleses que vai para o Hawaii de férias em buscar do sossego e à procura do paraíso.

Embora vão sendo contados pequenos detalhes sobre o que vai ocorrendo com vários membros do grupo, o arco da história segue as aventuras de Bernard Walsh, teólogo ateu e ex-padre que viaja para o Hawaii com o pai, de forma poderem passar algum tempo com a tia que aí vive, que se encontra em fase terminal e que já não se vêem há muitos anos.

Logo no primeiro dia o p
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Professor David Lodge is a graduate and Honorary Fellow of University College London. He is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the University of Birmingham, where he taught from 1960 until 1987, when he retired to write full-time.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, was Chairman of the Judges for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1989, and is the author of numerous works of li
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“The mind was a capricious and undisciplined creature. You couldn't always keep it on a lead, and it was for ever dashing off into the undergrowth of the past, digging up some decayed bone of memory, and bringing it back, with tail wagging, to lay it at your feet.” 1 likes
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