When the university merged his Department of Linguistics with English, Professor Desmond Bates took early retirement, but he is not enjoying it. But his daily discontent is nothing compared to the affliction of hearing loss, which is a constant source of domestic friction and social embarrassment. In the popular imagination, he observes, deafness is comic, as blindness is tragic, but for the deaf person himself it is no joke.
It is through his deafness that Desmond inadvertently gets involved with a young woman whose wayward and unpredictable behaviour threatens to destabilize his life completely...
©2008 David Lodge (P)2008 W F Howes Ltd
I have recommended this lots. It made me laugh and almost cry!! Great idea - a linguistic expert losing his hearing and coping with the challenges of middle age.
The main character, how he copes with his own flaws, his unsatisfied wife, his ageing father, and his deafness, has a ring of truth. He's really human and likeable and his interest in linguistics adds an ironic touch.
He was an excellent narrator.
Yes but not really possible as work gets in the way!!
This book is an interesting mix of the humorous and the serious. It really brings our attention to how deafness is viewed in our society - we tend to find it irritating rather than having compassion for its sufferers. There are definitely a few cringe-worthy moments in there, and it is well narrated.
This story was easy to listen to but in the end it was rather dull and dour. Nothing of great note occurs, we expect some interesting climax to all the loose ends but just get death and disappearance. It's fine for a basic listen but don't expect to be thrilled.
"I will have to buy a hard copy of this"
I listen to audiobooks for entertainment. Oftentimes I find they stay with me, perhaps subtly changing how I view some experience or other, but this one really jolted me at several points. It's not a remarkable plot. Spoiler alert. He goes deaf, then gets back some of his hearing. His father dies. He has an annoying student. Middle age is tedious. His marriage is difficult, and he works on it. What is worthwhile is what the narrator tells us about his experience. There are passages that are absolutely delicious. When I finished the book, I was utterly shocked and thrown into grief.
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