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Nice Work Tv Tie In [Paperback]

David Lodge
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 2 1989
Hard times have fallen on the University of Rummidge and on Philip Swallow, the jet-setting professor of "Small World". Instead of travelling the world to attend conferences, he now has to participate in a government scheme to show that education is responsive to the needs of industry.

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Product Description

From Publishers 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," observed PW . 35,000 first printing.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From 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.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Monday, January 13th, 1986. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Horrible ending undermines Lodge's nice work Dec 21 2001
Format:Paperback
"Nice Work", given the acclaim David Lodge's books have received, starts rather slowly. The first chapter lugs along without inspiration, tepidly cataloging the unremarkable events of an unremarkable man's morning routine. Vic Wilcox is a middle-class, managing director at a floundering casting and general engineering firm. He works hard, and has no time for the self-serving attitudes of university people, unwilling to get their hands dirty and help revive his England's precious economy. Vic has horrible musical tastes, favouring 1980s female yuppie soul singers (Sade, Jennifer Rush) in the privacy of his Jaguar. Rush's song 'The Power of Love' even provides a laughable soundtrack to a cringe-worthy love scene. This introduction is not very stimulating, and the prose and narrative techniques Lodge uses are rather amateurish. It turns out, though, that this was Lodge's intention, for he has other tricks up his sleeve.
The second chapter makes it clear that Lodge, the author, is well aware of the rhetorical devices he's using, and of the expectations we have for the character(s) he's created. It begins with a nifty bit of self-referentiality, and regular readers of this space will know of my fondness for that device. Hopefully meta-fiction will save the day again. The chapter introduces Robyn Penrose, a feminist literary theorist, specializing in the industrial novel of the 19th century, who, and here's a great irony, has no practical knowledge of industry whatsoever. This is Lodge spitting in the face of his theory-minded colleagues (he spent 27 years teaching English at the University of Birmingham), stuck in their ivory towers, turning their noses up at the real world.
Robyn, as opposed to Vic, is a beguiling creation.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Work Indeed, David Lodge Dec 11 2001
Format:Paperback
Lodge presents to his readers an intelligent and humorous novel set in an early 1980's Great Britain adjusting to, if not reeling from, the era's Thatcherite reforms. The book's two main protagonists are Vic Wilcox, a business-minded plant manager in the fictional industrial town of Rummidge, and Dr. Robyn Penrose, a college lecturer and feminist deconstructionist at the local liberal arts college. The characters are opposites in each and every aspect of their lives: from family of origin, to type of education, to goals, priorites, tastes in food, pets, and even automobiles. Lodge takes great pains to trace their divergent paths and preferences until the two seridipitously meet through a government plan to bring together academics, who see little use for the polluting and exploiting industrialists, and the business leaders, who conversely see little need for the ivory-tower-produce-nothing-really-useful academics. With smart humor and delicious tension the author weaves a delightful story as Vic and Robyn spar over ideological differences as well as personal preferences. But eventually the government plan's goal is achieved as they both begin to acknowledge and understand the other's point of view. Without spoiling the novel for you, late in the story there are some unexpected plot twists as well as an interesting resolution and conclusion. Definitely a good read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Nice Work Nov. 6 2001
Format:Paperback
The novel "Nice Work" by David Lodge tells the story of two protagonists.
One is Mr. Vic(tor) Wilcox, the other one is Dr. Robyn Penrose. At first the novel starts by following two main paths: Wilcox' life and Penrose's life. Because of the "In-dustry Year Shadow Scheme", their paths cross and the novel tells the story of Vic and Robyn together. Later it changes again, to how it was before, meaning that two different stories are told but with the difference that the persons' thoughts and actions are (from time to time) related to the knowledge of the other person.
In my opinion, David Lodge has had a very interesting idea. He presents two different characters. One is a rational thinking businessman, the other an emotional thinking, feminist lecturer. Especially the beginning of the novel seems a bit strange and bor-ing because Lodge takes about hundred pages to introduce the characters. He does that in great detail, which in the end is important, because you can understand the characters much better. However, because of missing action the first part is rather not so good. It would have been better, if Lodge had let the characters describe themselves through actions and thoughts, rather than describing them from the per-spective of an omniscient narrator. However the advantage of the more boring way is that you can concentrate on the very details. You are not distracted by some actions. I think that is why the author chose it the way he did.
The following part I like better than the first one. It is interesting to see the develop-ment of the characters when it comes to the stage of the Shadow Scheme.
Robyn, who used to be interested in studies and literature, only starts to get increas-ingly interested in economy and competition.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Work Oct. 23 2001
Format:Paperback
A young woman called Robyn Penrose, working as an lecturer at the University of Rummidge, gets involved in a project called Industrial Year Shadow Scheme. She is supposed to shadow Victor Wilcox, a managing director at Pringle's engineering company. Robyn is not enthusiastic about shadowing Mr. Wilcox, especially since she knows that nobody else wanted to do it, but finally she gives in. At the beginning she causes a lot of trouble with her anti-capitalistic and feministic point of view. The characters appear to be very stereotypical, two completely different worlds are meeting personified by Victor Wilcox and Robyn Penrose. Victor Wilcox on the one side is an industrious, hard-working managing director with a big Jaguar and a decaying family. Robyn Penrose on the other side is a woman who is well-read, has a socialistic leaning and fights for a better position of women in the society. Robyn has never been in the business world and says openly if she does not agree with something. At one time she causes a lot of trouble by telling a worker the he is supposed to be layed off, which she has heard in a confidential meeting. As a result the workers go on strike. A lot of negotiations follows. Finally the management has to make confessions to the workers concerning the working hours. Tension rises between Robyn and Mr. Wilcox, their relationship is characterized by amibivalent feelings. On the one hand there is mutal dislike but on the other hand also a certain interest in the other person. Finally Mr. Wilcox discovers that he is in love with Robyn because she is so entirely different from all the women he knows and brings some fresh air into his life. All he has from life is a lot of work, a depressed wife in her menopause and children in their puberty. He is seeking for a change. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice work indeed
A young woman called Robyn Penrose, working as an lecturer at the University of Rummidge, gets involved in a project called Industrial Year Shadow Scheme. Read more
Published on Oct. 22 2001 by Felix Christoph Jarck
2.0 out of 5 stars A Major Disappointment
Having previously read Lodge's other hilarious send-ups of academic literature types (Changing Places and Small World) I was looking forward to this novel, assuming that it would... Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Book
It's the mid-eighties. It's England. Robyn Penrose, a young teacher of literature and kneejerk leftist, and Vic Wilcox, a rather conventional manager of an engineering firm and a... Read more
Published on April 12 2001 by WifeofBath3
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
This is the first book by David Lodge that I have read, and I was quite disappointed. Every review that I read said it was very funny and had a good plot. Read more
Published on Dec 10 2000 by Kim F Erickson
5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderfully gentle and wiity satire from Lodge
The conflict between Town and Gown has always been part of the core many of the satirical British novel of academia; here Lodge explores it from a slightly diffferent angle: Plant... Read more
Published on Oct. 23 2000 by Michael J. Edelman
5.0 out of 5 stars Up the Academy!
After I finished grad school, a fellow student bought me this book as a going away gift. She had written on the frontispiece, "This book helps me keep perspective on how the... Read more
Published on Aug. 22 2000 by B. PERKINS
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost Nice
Really well-written, but a bit misleading. Touted as "an uproarious book" by British critics, I found the book much more serious than funny, very tame. Read more
Published on Aug. 5 2000 by Rachel G
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Job on Nice Work by David Lodge
Perhaps if Jane Smiley had read this she would have scrapped "Moo." Anyone in academia will recognize themselves and others. Insightful, funny, very well done. Read more
Published on April 15 2000 by "concreterandom"
4.0 out of 5 stars it really was nice work
when given a book to write an essay on a university, you automatically think this is going to be tedious- i dont want to do it. Not with this book. Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2000
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