A Man of Parts, Paperback
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


A MAN OF CONTRADICTIONS. A MAN OF PASSION. A MAN OF THE FUTURE. Sequestered in his blitz-battered Regent's Park house in 1944, the ailing Herbert George Wells, 'H.G.' to his family and friends, looks back on a life crowded with incident, books, and women.

Charting his unpromising start as a draper's assistant to his rapid rise to fame as a writer with a prophetic imagination, his immersion in socialist politics and his belief in and practice of free love, A Man of Parts is an astonishing novel of passion, ambition and controversy.




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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

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An intriguing book - part novel, part biography of H. G. Wells. Lodge has clearly researched his subject in exhaustive (and exhausting) detail and gives what is essentially a particularly unedifying picture of Wells as a serial adulterer who treated his wives and long-term partners with little more than contempt and disdain.

Review by

Fictionalised biography is not a genre which I seek out, but David Lodge has produced a second example which is an engrossing read. His subject is H G Wells, someone I knew little about (other than as the author of The Time Machine and The War of The Worlds) before I read this book. Wells is shown to be anything but a sympathetic character; his belief in free love being used as an excuse to continue seducing young women well into his old age with little understanding of the impact on those near to him. But Lodge also draws out his more worthy side and the challenges he overcame to succeed as he did, justifying the title admirably.The narrative jumps back and forward in time, beginning with the author close to the time of his death. It makes frequent use of an apparent interview with Wells by a not entirely sympathetic interviewer who is apparently a voice in Wells' head. It's an effective way for the author to demonstrate their own view of the extent to which Wells understood his own failings.If, like me, you knew little of Wells' life you'll learn a lot from this book whilst being drawn along through the narrative. I suspect you'll learn a lot even if you are more familiar with the man. As one review says, 'a near-perfect fusion of story and scholarship.'

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