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Book Review: Changing Places by David Lodge

March 15, 2007
Posted by mmarvs in : Books, General
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 Review by  Paola Sancho García  

changing-places.jpgChanging Places is a Campus novel which studies the life of two English Literature lecturers, who in different circumstances in their lives change not only posts, but also cities, families and wives. Philip Swallow is the English teacher who goes to Euphoria, America; he’s described as boring and moral. Father of three children he’s disciplined and loyal. The other main character in the story is the American Morris Zapp, the opposite of Swallow at Rummidge, England: described by his own students as vain, sarcastic and a mean grader, but brilliant and stimulating; married twice and over his second divorce is father of twins and also of an older girl of his first wife.

Lodge deals in this novel with all the topical issues of the 1960 and 1970 as pot, sex, race, the Hippie movement, women’s liberation, or the Vietnam’s war and by the eyes of the two main characters shows the common opinions these topics caused on people in both countries.

Though the settings are fictitious, they could resemble many universities of those decades.

Changing Places is a Postmodernist novel, full of irony and very innovative and experimental in form, as it is a combination of very different sort of ways of writing, from the first basically narrated novels, the epistolary genre, a work of compilation of news and in the last chapter a script of a movie or a TV series.

All this features combine with Lodge’s skilful way of writing create an innovative novel, far from what readers were used to finding in their book shops.

In my opinion Changing Places is a well worth novel, and I highly recommend it because, though it may be a bit difficult, I found it entertaining and very interesting.     

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