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  • Published: 1 April 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446467367
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 576

A Man of Parts

A moving, funny and masterful novel about the life of H.G. Wells - writer, thinker, lover and man of genius.


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.

  • Published: 1 April 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446467367
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 576

About the author

David Lodge

David Lodge (CBE)’s novels include Changing Places, Small World and Nice Work (shortlisted for the Booker) and, most recently, A Man of Parts. He has also written plays and screenplays, and several books of literary criticism. His works have been translated into more than thirty languages.

He is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at Birmingham, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and is a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Also by David Lodge

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Praise for A Man of Parts

[Lodge's] Wells is a complex, humane figure, driven by a mixture of rebellion against stultifying Victorian values, belief in a better was of shaping society and callous, hypocritical self-interest. It's an intriguing study of a time when many of the values that are bulwarks of our society were in their infancy


A Man of Parts has the lovely, loquacious qualities that typify eccentric wonders such as The War of the Worlds and The History of Mr Polly. David Lodge reminds us that Wells, an imperfect man, is still a worthy witness to his own world and to those worlds that may yet to come.

Andrew Tate, Third Way Magazine

A clever kind of half-genre, somewhere between fiction and fact, very much back in vogue with British writers ...funny and powerful


A racy...account of a life lived against the mainstream which makes one long to read Wells again

Alan Taylor, Herald

A treat of a read, not least because of the wonderful, rolling ease with which Lodge writes. Or, rather, with which it reads - prose like this does not come without effort.

Daily Mail

A wry, racy and absorbing biographical novel

Benjamin Evans, Telegraph, Seven Magazine


Patrick Parrinder, Financial Times

Absorbing and thoroughly enjoyable

Allan Massie, Scotsman

An interesting experiment and well suited to a subject who does have quite a bit of explaining to do

Independent on Sunday

As protean, elusive but compelling as it's hero, David Lodge's bio-novel about HG Wells breaks all the rules but still grips the reader - like Wells himself

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

Biographical fiction is on an upswing, to judge by this lively novel, faithful to the facts but free to interpret feelings


Colourful characters and outrageous events abound. Confident, pacy writing keeps the reader wondering what Wells will get up to next and pondering the complex relationships to which he seems addicted

Michael Sherborne, Literary Review

Consistently absorbing and enjoyable. I doubt whether a better way could have been found to bring the phenomenon that was H. G. Wells to life

Allan Massie, Stand Point

Curiously engrossing. Its power is cumulative: there are no flashes of startling moments, just a slow unfolding of friendships and feuds, plots and counter plots

Claudia FitzHerbert, Daily Telegraph

David Lodge's HG Wells was both a visionary and a chancer; as arrogant as he was insecure; with as many noble goals as base instincts; a mass of very human contradictions; as Lodge has it, a man of parts

Sunday Express

David Lodge's novel goes straight to the heart of the story... It is pure fun

Claire Harman, Evening Standard

Excellent... scrupulous and scholarly... It bounds along terrifically


I read it with entire interest and enjoyment, and learned a lot about H. G. Wells

Sam Leith, Spectator

Lodge is to be congratulated for having filled [Wells's affairs] in with the relevant novelistic detail... It is a testimony to Lodge's powers that even a reader familiar with, frankly, the ins and outs of Wells's life will have trouble picking out the novel's imagined moments

Daily Express

Lodge knows how to tease the inner man out from behind the historical figure, subjecting Wells to probing interviews throughout the book in which his deeper beliefs and contradictions are laid bare

Alastair Mabbot, Herald

Lodge understands the Edwardian literary and political scene extremely well, and traces Wells's entanglements with the louche world of Fabians and free lovers with real intimacy

Times Literary Supplement

Lodge's robust approach, his insights, energy and humour, enable him to present HG as a man not only for his own times but also for ours

Patricia Craig, Irish Times

Sex-charged whopper on the life and works of HG Wells

The Word

The artistry is considerable... the style is clear , light and graceful (Wellsian, even); yet there is often a great deal of spade work behind the scenes... He invents entire scenes very believably

Times Literary Review

This fictionalised version of HG Wells dramatises the author's life, which was full of politics, writing and women

Daily Telegraph

This is his best book in years: sprawling, funny, touching, a near-perfect fusion of story and scholarship

Mail on Sunday

Very, very good.... So confidently are facts and flights of imaginative fancy interwoven that readers will find themselves unwilling - and unable - to distinguish between the two

Country Life

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