David Lodge's book is a hilarious and entertaining romp through the world of academia. Professors around the globe attend conferences in order to read papers, build their reputations and enter into love affairs. Pearse McGarrigle finds himself swept up in the world of conferencing, although his interest is not really in the papers presented. Pearse travels around the globe trying to locate the mysterious Al Pabst, the beautiful woman he met at a conference in England. As he travels, he must cope with his sexual desire and his religious ideals as well as with the disturbing information he uncovers about his love. Pabst seems to always be at the next conference, so that as Pearse drains his money trying to fly to Hawaii, Japan, America, and various parts of Europe, he seems to always have just missed the beuatiful woman he wants to marry. During his adventures, Pearse learns a great deal about himself. The professors and academics around Pearse seem to have fewer epiphanies, but they entertain the reader with their professional jealousies, their affairs and their often dishonest behavior.
This report prepared by A. Antonow