David Lodge's "Small World" first appeared in 1984, and won acclaim as a riotous, sometimes raunchy, satire of the academic literary set and the in-fighting that goes on in academia, with loads of literary jokes and references for the well-versed in medieval literature. Lodge makes some of the character names almost groaningly obvious allusions to literary and mythic personages (e.g. Arthur Kingfisher, Persse McGarrigle (whose first name Morris Zapp in the novel continually mispronounces as "Percy"), but his style is so breezy and engaging that you forgive the slight heavy-handedness of some of the names. In fact, Lodge makes the reading go down so easy that it's easy to miss how deftly he packs the literary allusions into his narrative.
Although the story contains loads of characters, including Philip Swallow, Morris Zapp, as well as Philip's wife Hilary and Morris' ex-wife Desiree, from the prior novel in Lodge's 'academic trilogy', "Changing Places", the heart of the story is Persse McGarrigle's quest literally around the world for the woman of his dreams. Many highly improbable coincidences abound, unless you accept that literary academia is a very self-confined hothouse where everyone really does know everyone else.
If you want a higher level of "beach reading" or "light reading", give this a try. In addition to being entertained on the pure surface level, your literary horizons might subliminally expand also.