Thursday, August 14, 2008

Book Review: Changing Places by David Lodge

This is definitely a book I will re-read, which is saying a lot because I don't re-read a lot of books.

I was given this book by a very good friend of mine with the promise that I would thoroughly enjoy reading it and she was quite right. The story revolves around two professors, one British and one American, who switch places at their respective universities for a semester in the 1960s. For those six months they find themselves fully ensconced in the lives, politics and families of their counterparts.

Lodge's book captures the elements of student life in the 1960s on the thinly-veiled campuses of Berkley (called Euphoria by Lodge) and a smaller, perhaps universal? vision of a British college (Rummidge). Riots, sit-ins, committee meetings, hearings, crazed former masters running through halls, looking for revenge... Lodge creates mayhem on both sides of the Atlantic by simply dropping professors Zapp and Swallow onto their counterpart's homebase.

There are parts in this book where I literally laughed out loud. A story that can make me do that is golden because so few often do.

No comments: