Morace analyzes the novels of Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge together because they provide a dialogue of conflicting views, styles, and forms of the contemporary novel. This dialogue parallels the views of these two British novelists as critics.
Beginning as realists, as novelists of manners, as writers of campus novels, Bradbury and Lodge explore the possibilities and the limitations of realistic writing. Bradbury and Lodge, however, are not only heirs of English literary tradition. Both are also literary critics with a keen interest in recent critical theories. Morace shows us how the debate between Bradbury and Lodge over the nature and purpose of fiction and criticism has found its way into their novels. The realistic conflicts between civilian and military, English and American, pre- and post-Vatican II values gradually give way to an exploration of the semiotics behind such conflicts.
Morace finds Bradbury’s and Lodge’s works far more open-ended than the "doggedly indeterminate fictions" of many contemporary writers. Using Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory of dialogism, he identifies the ways in which language and values simultaneously compete with and support one another in their novels.
This first book-length study of Bradbury or Lodge deals with all of their novels, including Changing Places, How Far Can You Go?, and Small World by Lodge, as well as Bradbury’s The History of Man and Rates of Exchange.