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Thursday, 24 July 2014

David Lodge - Nice Work

review written and read by Brian Lowen live on the bookshow 24th July 2014
There are two central characters in this story. First up is Vic Wilcox, married with three typically awkward teenage children. We follow him through his Monday morning routine as he goes off to his job as Managing Director of Pringles – an engineering firm making parts for the motor industry.

The other central character is Robyn Penrose, a professor at Rummidge University who lectures on the role of women in novels set in the industrial revolution. She has an on/off partner, Charles who is also a university lecturer but over in Ipswich. They only get together at weekends.

These two completely different characters come together when a new initiative is set up during Industry Year. A person in the teaching profession will shadow a person in the industrial sector.  Robyn is chosen to shadow Vic. They both reluctantly agree to this, Vic thinking he is getting a man – not realising that Robyn spelt with a ‘y’ is a girl’s name.

And so we have the good interplay between the two characters as Robyn follows Vic around for one day each week. Robyn is horrified at the working conditions when she is taken through the foundry and nearly causes a strike when she tries to change things behind Vic’s back. There are good descriptions of the work
in the various sections of the foundry and good interplay with words between the business man and the id

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