I really enjoyed reading Nice Work by David Lodge. The setting is the industrial heartland of hatcherite Britain in the early 1980's. It deals with with the story of industrialist Vic Wilcox and his unlikely relationship with marxist, feminist and post-structuralist academic Dr Robyn Penrose. The author analizes the industrty and the Universitiy and the interaction among them through the visits of a Dr Penrose to Wilcox’s industry to act as his shadow. What is really interesting about this campus novel is that it portraits the decay of the university because of Thatcher’s policies which included the reduction in expenditures on social services such as health care, education, and housing. Thatcher was commited to reduce the funds for higher education and because of this policy Dr Penrose’s job was in jeopardy.
The author is able to use Robyn to develop a range of themes including literary semantics, feminism and a whole range of biases including race, class and gender . Other issues this novel deals with are capitalism, racial discrimination. unemployement and betrayal. Sometimes the novel becomes a bit difficult because of the vocabulary but it is without any doubt a story to recommend.
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