Sequestered in his blitz-battered Regentís Park hours in 1944, the ailing H.G. Wells looks back on a life crowded with incident, books, and women. He recalls his unpromising start, and early struggles to acquire an education and make a living as a teacher; his rapid rise to fame as a writer with a prophetic imagination and a comic touch; his plunge into socialist politics; his belief in free love and energetic practice of it.
Unfolding this astonishing story, David Lodge depicts a man as contradictory as he was talented: a socialist who enjoyed his affluence, an acclaimed novelist who turned against the literary novel; a feminist womanizer, sensual yet incurably romantic, irresistible and exasperating by turns, but always vitally human. (pb)