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The British Museum Is Falling Down
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The British Museum Is Falling Down

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3.67  ·  Rating details ·  2,218 Ratings  ·  142 Reviews
This is a sharply perceptive comic novel that captures the absurd, pitiful dilemma of Catholics in the days when the pill was just an enticing rumour.
Paperback, Penguin Decades, 173 pages
Published May 25th 2010 by Penguin UK (first published 1965)
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Jan-Maat
The heart of this novel is the old British Library, whose reading room was then at the centre of the British Museum. A great blue dome of thought that was long since incapable of stretching over the all the book held treasures of human learning. There, in that library, our hero, a post-graduate student working on his thesis with a young wife and a number of very young children, works away. At home the prospect of his wife being perpetually pregnant or of unstinting abstinence looms for the youth ...more
Mark
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone advocating NFP
Recommended to Mark by: Mary Norrish
'Now I know what you're going to say that the novelist still has to invent a lot but that's just the point. There've been such a fantastic number of novels written in the last couple of centuries that they've just about exhausted the possibilities of life. So all of us, you see, are really enacting events that have already been written about in some novel or other. Of course, most people don't realize this - they fondly imagine that their lives are unique....jus as well too, because when you do ...more
Yani
Oct 31, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Otro autor nuevo para mí… y otra vez la sensación de estar eligiendo un lugar incorrecto por donde empezar. Si bien la novela no es mala y presenta temas de debate de una forma más liviana, no me generó asombro. Sí hubo una especie de identificación cuando se hacían referencias al ámbito académico, pero eso ni agrega ni quita puntos al libro. Por ende, me llevo poco de él.

Adam Appleby es un joven que en los años 60 trabaja en su tesis de doctorado sobre Literatura Inglesa, no tiene trabajo y so
...more
Tony
Jun 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lodge, David. THE BRITISH MUSEUM IS FALLING DOWN. (1965). ****. Adam and Barbara Appleby are happily married and have three young children. They are both practising Catholics and comply with the safe and natural approach to family management, the one approved by the Church – the Rhythm Method. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked so well so far. They have been married only a little over three years. Adam is trying to complete his Ph.D. thesis before his scholarship money runs out. He only has a few m ...more
Mike
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Most anyone
This is a book that I suspect is going to have a higher average ranking and more accolades from other reviews than myself. I feel like I ought to have liked it better than I did. It is not because I do not appreciate “zaniness”, or “mimicry”, or any of the other elements that comprise this book, but as a whole I was unimpressed.

I am giving it a “2.5” rating, which because there is no such star pattern means that I have to list it as a “2” or a “3”. I’m opting for a “2’ to emphasize my point.

It i
...more
Ryan Williams
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Has a lot of common with Lodge's later novel, How Far Can You Go?

Like that book, this is a comic novel about British Catholics. If Catholic beliefs seem to you self-evident tripe, Lodge provides enough context to help you understand, even sympathise with his poor characters, why they accept something you would not. If you want all the Catholic perks, they feel, you can't pick and mix minor things like controlling your own fertility. One feels genuine pity for the hero's wife (and Lodge's) who s
...more
Rodrigo Vargas
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rodrigo by: Natalia Escárate
Llegué a este libro por una recomendación, y lo empecé a leer casi totalmente a ciegas (sólo vi que tenía un promedio decente de estrellas acá y listo). Me sorprendió bastante, y superó mis expectativas.

Es un libro breve, que cuenta la historia de un día en la vida de un hombre británico, católico practicante y que dedica sus días a leer en la biblioteca del Museo Británico para poder terminar su tesis doctoral, y a la vez, intenta no tener hijos en la época previa al Concilio Vaticano Segundo,
...more
Zedder
Mar 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This contains a wonderfully accurate description of the loneliness and despair of the dissertation writer.
Vanja Šušnjar Čanković
Britanski humor za mene predstavlja pouzdanu vrijednost. Britanski muzej propada je vrlo duhovit roman, pun izuzetnih parodija i aluzija na poznata djela svjetske književnosti. Najočiglednija i, možda, najsmješnija je u samom epilogu koji završava poput Džojsovog Uliksa.

Inače, glavni lik je dvadesetpetogodišnji postdiplomac Adam Eplbi, nezaposleni otac troje djece, preopterećen mogućnošću da mu je žena ponovo trudna. Vaspitan pod okriljem strogih pravila rimokatoličke vjere koja ne dozvoljava up
...more
Terence Manleigh
Poor Adam Appleby has several problems. First and foremost, he and his young wife are faithful Roman Catholics, which means that no matter how earnestly they adhere to the Rhythm Method, all their poring over calendars and temperature-taking has not prevented three children they can't afford and, horror of horrors, a possible fourth is on the way. Second, Adam's future career in academe is highly dubious unless he finishes his long-overdue thesis on English Literature, with which he wrestles aim ...more
Bob R Bogle
Dec 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lodge
Some fellow Joycean recommended this book to me; whom I don't recall.

The British Museum is Falling Down: timidly parodical, quirky British humor mimicking Modern literary styles while betraying scrimpy style of its own. Faintly quaint, or quaintly faint. A cross-pollination of problems attendant upon questions of human fertility, religion and esoteric literary research that is perfectly appealing if that particular three-way intersection holds out a compelling interest. Otherwise think of a sort
...more
Roderick Mcgillis
May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The description of a student's life as a researcher in the BM Reading Room resonates with me, even to the homage to Karl Marx. I remember my days in the BM well and this book captures the experience meticulously. As a bonus, the novel is also funny. The parodies are fine and the situations hilarious. Oh those fumbling but menacing butchers. The days of criticism versus scholarship seem mostly past now, and so the book carries a nostalgia softly. Even the Beatles sort of show up. And don't let me ...more
Anna Piranha
Mar 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story of a single, ordinary day told as a series of pastiches. Like Ulysses, only actually FUN TO READ.
Mike
Sep 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finishedreading
More fun in Midlands UK - this time, it's a book that takes place in one single day in the 1960s. Ace!
Delphine
Aug 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
One of the funniest books by Lodge. With a wonderful passage of Martian chronicles at the beginning of the novel.
Amylovdahl
Apr 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love David Lodge's earlier books. They are very funny.
Eric Uribares
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
no conocía al autor y la novela es de los sesenta. me gustó. humor inglés en todo su esplendor, crítica a la academia y al catolicismo.
Hboyd
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very funny and gentle ribbing of literary and academic culture, as well as pre-Vatican 2 Cathoic culture.
Lorenzo Berardi
Dear David,

I hope this review finds you well.
You will be delighted to know that I've just finished to read "The British Museum is Falling Down" that juvenile novel of yours which, although widely ignored back in 1965, later became one of the most successful books you wrote.

Dave, you know how much I like pretty much everything you wrote (apart from literary criticism, but that's my Achille's heel) and I would like to be frank with you as I've always been: this novel disappointed me.

Perhaps, it's
...more
Iceman
Dec 30, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Definitivamente não vou “á bola” com David Lodge. Há tempos li a “Terapia”, livro mundialmente conhecido e reconhecido como sendo um livro hilariante e não sei que mais, mas o certo é que não dei mais de 3 estrelas e por algumas gargalhadas que me arrancou.
Neste "O Museu Britânico ainda vem abaixo”, enfim, tem menos qualidade do que “Terapia”.
A história é a seguinte:
Anos 60, um jovem casal, que segue direitinho os mandamentos do catolicismo, vive um dilema ou poderemos dizer um drama: Não conseg
...more
Jade Heslin
Sep 24, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I felt I should have loved this book but it just didn’t do it for me. David Lodge’s ‘comic’ satire of the worlds of academia and Christianity just wasn’t that good. Perhaps, being written in the ‘60s, it was a bit old-hat, perhaps most of the jokes went over my head, or perhaps it just wasn’t funny at all. Either way, I wouldn’t recommend this book to anybody.

Being a Graduate of English myself, I really thought I would be able to relate to our protagonist, Adam Appleby. He lives his life through
...more
Romain
Jan 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog
Adam Appleby est un jeune chercheur en littérature de 25 ans. Plus exactement, ça fait déjà quelques années qu'il tente de boucler sa thèse dont le sujet est "La strutucture des phrases longues dans trois romans anglais modernes". A ce jour, il n'a pas choisi les trois romans en question et n'est pas encore parvenu à se décider sur la longueur à partir de laquelle une phrase peut prétendre à entrer dans cette catégorie. A côté de ces occupations professionnelles, Adam est un catholique pratiquan ...more
Pioup
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Audrey
May 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un David Lodge toujours aussi drôle, pertinent, et impertinent, à l'écriture pétrie de références littéraires subtiles sans jamais être pompeuses.
Un ouvrage où le protagoniste principal, Adam Appleby, doctorant de 25 ans, marié et déjà père de trois enfants, se débat entre sa thèse et sa crainte d'enfanter à nouveau, en tension avec les recommandations de son église (catholique), qu'il s'efforce de respecter.
L'histoire, toujours rocambolesque comme la vie seule en a le secret, tient en une journ
...more
Andhi
Nov 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Monic, pemuda-pemudi katolik yang mau nikah
Novel tipis ini menceritakan Adam Appleby, seorang katolik tradisional Irlandia, ia dan barbara istrinya (masih) mau mengikuti anjuran Humanae Vitae yang menolak penggunaan kontrasepsi.

Di tahun terakhir beasiswa doktoralnya, tiga Appleby kecil (Clare, Dominic, dan Edward) dan seorang calon Appleby sedang antri untuk muncul di dunia.

Adam menghadapi dilema untuk terus ikut serta dan "Vatican Roulette", menyelesaikan thesis, dan mencukupi kebutuhan keluarga kecil menjelang besarnya. Sementara petu
...more
Patrick
I got into David Lodge following recommendation from friends in the world of academia, who tell me that, if you've spent your life in and around universities, there's much that you'll recognise in his comedy. This one contains his much quoted remark that "literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children, whereas real life is the other way round."

It's written as a literary parody, which I confess I didn't notice until the end (I've never read James Joyce but the neverendin
...more
Rosa
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este libro me ha gustado bastante, quiz�� no tanto como esperaba (y por eso 4 estrellas), pero es que esperaba much��simo de uno de mis escritores brit��nicos favoritos. Es sobre todo original y muy entretenido si te gusta el humor ingl��s y tambi��n la literatura (��ltimamente no paro de leer libros que tienen que ver con la literatura). Es de esas historias que transcurren durante un ��nico d��a, apenas sin flashbacks, lo que a m�� me resulta admirable por la dificultad que me imagino que tien ...more
Martyna
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One lady tottered forward to the official and pressed a huge pile of typewritten sheets into his unwilling arms. 'I don't care about myself,' she said, weeping, 'but save my doctorial dissertation.'

First of all, I think that this is the book everyone struggling with their thesis, especially in a linguistics/lit-related field should read... I wish I had read it a couple of weeks ago when I was still plodding through mine.

Secondly, I agree with those who say that Lodge is showing off a bit with al
...more
Pierre Fortier
La Chute du British Museum, sous un air léger, est ambitieux.1- intégrer le scénario dans le contexte ou les propositions du Conseil œcuménique de Vatican II ont été rejetées; signifiant ainsi le refus pour les catholiques d'utiliser des moyens contraceptifs. 2-l'insertion systématique de parodies ou rappels à des auteurs connus, Kafka, Golding, Conrad, Snow, Greene, etc. Un exercice de style qui a littérallement coupé le rythme lancé à vive allure par le désopilant premier chapitre. Un jeune co ...more
Hannah
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was enjoyable, but very much "of it's time". As a snapshot of a 1960's Catholic scholar it was very interesting and well-written, also quite funny in places. However it is so much a piece "of it's time" that a lot of it just didn't translate well and I felt I was quite often missing the joke.

Reading this book was like being at a party full of people who have a different first language from you - let's say they are all Swedish - even if they are all very nice and decide to speak to you
...more
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6570
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
...more
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“Literature is mostly about having sex and not having children. Life is the other way around” 6 likes
“perhaps it will I said perhaps it will be wonderful perhaps even though it won't be like you think perhaps that won't matter perhaps” 3 likes
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