Ralph Messenger is an international academic star in the highly trendy field of language and thought research. Novelist Helen Reed arrives at the university to teach creative writing and to recover from the unexpected death of her husband. Despite huge differences in belief and temperament, they begin a secret affair - with complicated consequences, comic and tragic, for those around them. Witty, elegant and timely, THINKS is a dazzling exploration of love and deception, the enigmas of consciousness and the intricacies of the human heart.
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Ralph Messenger is a man who knows what he wants and generally gets it. Approaching his fiftieth birthday, he has good reason to feel pleased with himself. As Director of the prestigious Holt Belling Centre for Cognitive Science at the University of Gloucester, he is much in demand as a pundit on developments in artificial intelligence and the study of human consciousness ? ?the last frontier of scientific enquiry.? He enjoys an affluent lifestyle subsidized by the wealth of his American wife, Carrie. Known to colleagues on the conference circuit as a womanizer and to Private Eye as ?Media Dong,? he has a tacit understanding with Carrie to refrain from philandering in his own back yard.
This resolution is already weakening when he meets and is attracted to Helen Reed, a distinguished novelist still grieving the sudden death of her husband more than a year ago. She has rented out her London house and taken up a post as writer-
in-residence at Gloucester University, partly to try and get over her bereavement.
Fascinated and challenged by a personality radically at odds with her own, Helen is aroused by Ralph?s bold advances, but resists on moral principle. The stand-off between them is shattered by a series of events that dramatically confirms the truth of Ralph?s dictum, ?We can never know for certain what another person is thinking.?
David Lodge is the author of ten bestselling novels and a novella. He also wrote two highly successful TV adaptations: his own novel NICE WORK and Dickens' MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. He taught for many years at the University of Birmingham, where he is now Honorary Prof. of English. Though a south Londoner by upbringing, he continues to live in Birmingham.
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