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Nice Work
     

Nice Work

3.0 4
by David Lodge
 

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"A funny, intelligent, superbly paced social comedy." --The New York Times

Vic Wilcox, a self-made man and managing director of an engineering firm. has little regard for academics, and even less for feminists. So when Robyn Penrose, a trendy leftist teacher, is assigned to "shadow" Vic under a goverment program created to foster mutual understanding between

Overview

"A funny, intelligent, superbly paced social comedy." --The New York Times

Vic Wilcox, a self-made man and managing director of an engineering firm. has little regard for academics, and even less for feminists. So when Robyn Penrose, a trendy leftist teacher, is assigned to "shadow" Vic under a goverment program created to foster mutual understanding between town and gown, the hilarious collusion of lifestyles and ideologies that ensues seems unlikely to foster anything besides mutual antipathy. But in the course of a bumpy year, both parties make some surprising discoveries about each other's worlds--and about themselves.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
His tongue caustic, and his take on British society provocative and funny, Lodge skewers virtually every aspect of Thatcherite Britain in this top-notch satirical novel, a sequel to Small World . Set in an industrial city in the Midlands, the story's protagonists are Vic Wilcox, managing director of a failing engineering firm, and Robyn Penrose, temporary lecturer in English lit at the University of Rummidge. Robyn is chosen to ``shadow'' Vic at the factory one day a week, as part of a program to effect a liaison between the university and local industry. A ``trendy leftist feminist'' with highfalutin views about the evils of industrial capitalism, Robyn looks down on Vic, whose education is scanty and whose lifestyle is diametrically opposed to hers. Gradually, however, the two acquire a grudging respect for each other and, as the plot becomes agreeably convoluted, the pragmatic engineer (whose criterion is ``who pays?'') and the pedantic literary critic change places on fortune's ladder. Scarcely anything escapes Lodge's scorn--from business ethics to academic fustian--but the satire is never excessive. To be published simultaneously with an earlier work, Out of the Shelter (Penguin paperback), this lively comic novel--short-listed for last year's Booker Prize--is the perfect book to introduce Lodge to those American readers not yet acquainted with his work. (Aug . )
Library Journal
Robyn Penrose is a lecturer in 19th-century literature at a university located in the fictitious English Midlands city of Rummidge. Vic Wilcox is managing director of Pringle's, an industrial casting company located in a grimy suburb. They are thrown together as part of a ``shadow scheme'' concocted by their superiors in response to a governmentally ordained ``Industry Year.'' Entering into the arrangement with considerable skepticism and lack of appreciation for the other's mode of life, they get off to a rocky start, but then slowly develop a mutual respect and even liking for each other (and in Vic's case something more). Nice Work is, indeed, a ``nice'' novel. Lodge spoofs in a nonjudgmental way both the pretensions of academia and the materialism of the upper-middle business class. While lacking in stylistic elegance, this is a well-told tale full of gentle humor that should, despite its setting, have broad appeal to Americans.-- David W. Henderson, Eckerd Coll. Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140133967
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/15/1990
Series:
King Penguin Series
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
1,408,272
Product dimensions:
4.99(w) x 7.72(h) x 0.62(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

David Lodge is the author of twelve novels and a novella, including the Booker Prize finalists Small World and Nice Work. He is also the author of many works of literary criticism, including The Art of Fiction and Consciousness and the Novel.

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Nice Work 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Why would anyone want to spend their spare time reading a book a about post-structualist theory, feminism, management and core-blowers? Why cant i just watch the football on telly! I thought the same thing until I was forced to read the book as part of a thesis I was doing on Management Styles. To my surprise the book turned out to be quite interesting. It shows how two different worlds are forced together, which leads to arguments, conflict, shock and understanding, The book tells of how the world of a man in charge of an Engineering company is an opposite reflection of a woman who spends her life talking nothing but theory to university students. It shows gender ann class segregation in industry, how the ordinary person whi has not studied books an journals decide to take things at face-value when if you just take a closer look there is so much more to be said.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lodges style is unique where he can relate and differentuate society and industry with ease.His detailed lists and comedy dialogue keeps you reading but happy ending seems almost, unrealistic? Well worth the read but not outstandingly interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
a good easy read but also a good piece to study and analyse at either school, college or university. lodge's satirical and sympathetic views on the characters and situations gives the book a different meaning to different people. characters are very life like and very easy to relate to. some are caricatures to make you look at yourself and the prejudices we have of others. political and social issues in a form that is fun to read.