Deaf Sentence

Deaf Sentence

Book - 2008
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When the university merged his Department of Linguistics with English, Professor Desmond Bates took early retirement, but he is not enjoying it. He misses the purposeful routine of the academic year, and has lost his appetite for research.

His wife Winifred's late-flowering career goes from strength to strength, reducing his role to that of escort and househusband, while the rejuvenation of her appearance makes him uneasily conscious of the age gap between them. The monotony of his days is relieved only by wearisome journeys to London to check on the welfare of his eighty-nine-year-old father, an ex dance musician who stubbornly refuses to move from the house he is patently unable to live in with safety.

But these discontents are 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 destabilise his life completely.

Funny and moving by turns, Deaf Sentence is a brilliant account of one man's effort to come to terms with deafness and death, ageing and mortality, the comedy and tragedy of human lives.

Publisher: London, Eng. : Harvill Secker, 2008.
ISBN: 9781846551680
Branch Call Number: LOD
Characteristics: 294 pages ; 24 cm


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Jun 02, 2016

Loved the perspective of the protagonist. The hi-jinks that ensued after becoming entangled with a strange young woman? Not so much.

Feb 03, 2015

An interesting and well written book that weaves the challenges of hearing loss, an ageing parent and the intricacies of marriage and a blended family.

WVMLStaffPicks Sep 14, 2014

How can I sell a novel about a retired linguistics prof who is going deafer by the day? David Lodge is an author I have enjoyed over the years so I took it on faith to give this one a try. What a great read! You will gain a sympathetic understanding of the frustrations faced by the hard of hearing (turning up the hearing aid is not always the solution) while being pulled along by interesting characters and a plot line involving a student stalker.

Sep 05, 2010

Disappointing; one sympathises with a deaf person, and Lodge makes clear 100 reasons why we should sympathise more. But still, if after 4 chapters we're still reading clinical detail and not much story, the premise begins to lose our imaginative response.

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