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Deaf Sentence by David Lodge
In Deaf Sentence, Desmond Bates is a professor of linguistics forced into early retirement because of an onset of hearing problems. The encroaching deafness leaves him accident-prone and subject to mishearing what is said to him, often with comic results. While he's bored with retirement and feeling out of sorts with becoming a senior citizen, his younger wife is embarking on a new successful career and his father is dying. His life is upended when a young American graduate student decides that Desmond should be her advisor on her thesis about linguistics in suicide notes. Her slightly inane and sexually provocative pursuit of him befuddles him even more. David Lodge's novel has received mixed reviews with the Guardian saying, "Most writers settling down to their 14th novel do so in a spirit of quiet consolidation. Deaf Sentence supplies the unusual sight of a senior British novelist bringing off the very difficult trick of successfully extending his range."