The Man Who Wouldn’t Get Up and Other Stories
by David Lodge
The first collection of short stories from one of Britain’s finest novelists and critics.
A nameless man, who has fallen out of love with life, refuses to get out of bed, with unexpected consequences. A sociologist recalls how he learned his first and formative lesson about the oppressive power of capitalism selling newspapers and magazines up and down the platforms of Waterloo station. Some years before the era of the Pill and the Permissive Society, four university friends travel to the Mediterranean for their first holiday together, where the climate is sultry and sex is on everyone’s mind. And a strong-willed young woman defies adverse circumstances to pursue the perfect wedding at all costs.
These are some of the characters that populate David Lodge’s shrewd, funny and delightfully entertaining short stories, collected here for the very first time. What prompted their publication in this form is a short story in itself, told by the author in his Foreword.
The book consists of 8 short stories, a foreword and an afterword. The foreword itself is quite interesting as the author reveals that he was actually inspired to put these stories together in English for the first time by a reader who had created a unique piece of furniture based on the story in the title.
Each story is unique and different in it’s own right; well written, honest and an engaging glimpse into someone’s life. Written at various times and various locations, the stories range from a religious performance to sultry Ibiza, fireworks to family life and from a doomed engagement to boobs.
“Some men went for legs, or bums, but Harry had always been what the boys at Barnard’s called a tit-fancier.”
Each story had something special about it, but I was particularly fond of the fifth story “Hotel Des Boobs” in which boob-man Harry is enjoying himself on holiday by secretly admiring topless women sunbathing.
I had actually never heard of David Lodge before but some research has revealed several books I’d be interested in picking up soon.
Overall rating: A collection of well written, quick and easy to read stories which are bound to make you smile – from a man who one day decides he doesn’t ever want to get out of bed to a child who meticulously cares for his collection of fireworks only to be left disappointed. David Lodge has pieced together 8 intriguing stories set over different times and in different locations all of which kept me entertained and engaged. It’s 5 stars for “The Man Who Wouldn’t Get Up and Other Short Stories”.