From Publishers Weekly
In British writer Lodge's (Author, Author
) modest 13th fictional effort, an elderly man's hearing loss embroils him in a sticky situation with a beautiful, manipulative young woman. Sexagenarian Desmond Bates wears a hearing aid after being diagnosed some 20 years earlier with acquired deafness and consistently misinterprets people's words (which Lodge milks to maximum comic effect). Bates longs for activities after his retirement from teaching applied linguistics, other than contemplating e-mail spam about erectile dysfunction and watching his wife, Winifred, enjoy her success as an interior designer. The novel takes the form of his newly begun daily diary. At a gallery event, Bates mistakenly agrees to help shapely, enigmatic American student Alex Loom with her Ph.D. thesis on suicide notes. It quickly becomes clear that Loom's intentions are anything but academic and her instability shakes not only the sound foundations of Bates's family life but his long-since-stagnant fantasy life as well. Lodge's amiable, deliberate narrative tickles like a feather, but his frequent pauses for lengthy, expository grace notes may not appeal to every reader. (Sept.)
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'Brilliantly entertaining. Makes us giggle, laugh and even roar' Daily Mail 'One of the most moving things I have read in a long while... extremely readable, pitch perfect writing' Spectator 'Very funny. Deaf Sentence supplies the unusual sight of a senior British novelist bringing off the very difficult trick of successfully extending his range' Guardian 'Expert and enjoyable... many laugh-out-loud moments... gloriously funny, moving' Literary Review 'Full to bursting with comic riffs, apercus and insights. Seriously funny' New Statesman 'Very good, deeply enjoyable... rich with satirical set-pieces' Observer 'Sophisticated, beautifully layered... speaks to the intellect as well as the senses. As moving as it is entertaining. Lodge is a consummate observer of modern life' Herald 'There is much that is wonderful' Scotland on Sunday 'A quietly brilliant study of deafness, death and linguistics' Prospect 'Defies categorization... celebrates the sheer preciousness of existence' Irish Independent 'Enjoyable, thought-provoking... Lodge at the top of his game' Irish Times 'One of Britain's best-loved comic writers' The Lady 'He renders the painful isolation of deafness comic. A deeply melancholic novel' Independent 'Extremely readable, generously studded throughout with amusing comic moments underpinned with passages of genuine compassion and insight' Big Issue 'Wise and witty' Tatler 'Witty, exhiliratingly sharp' Sunday Times 'Funny, humane' Financial Times 'Dark and revealing comedy... probably no other work of fiction has described so successfully the multiplicity of confusions, frustrations and social stratagems deriving from deafness' The Times Literary Supplement