I heard about this book in a tv show here in Argentina where celebrities and famous people talk about their favourite books and authors. I thought the idea for the plot was really good but I was a bit disappointed with the end product.Let's start with the plot. This book is about a retired Linguistics professor, Desmond Bates, that is slowly losing his hearing ability. The story starts when Bates meets Bloom, a college undergraduate in the midst of writing her dissertation at the university Bates' used to work in. The funny thing is that he agrees to help her after been talking to her but without actually being able to listen a word she says.Unfortunately, I couldn't see that there was much development in the plot. The story seemed to be going nowhere at times and, at the end, I thought that the writer gave it a hasty conclusion without really resolving the big problem.As regards the characters, I thought that Bates was a well developed character and his reactions to everything he was going through were understandable and, some of them, hilarious. Wheareas Loom's character didn't feel like it was fully formed. I'd love to see more of her backstory, but then again, she was a mysterious character.I thought that the style of writing was amazing. This was the first book where I felt the need to get a pencil and underline passages and phrases. (I didn't, by the way. I couldn't bring myself to vandalize the book)I really liked the shift between first and second person narrator, it gave the novel a nice effect.In adition, I really enjoyed that the author included poems and insights of famous "deafties", such as Beethoven and Goya, and how they dealt with it.The strong point in the writing in my opinion were the misheard conversations: they were hilarious! I also enjoyed all the references to Linguistics and I was very glad that I read this after I'd finished college or otherwise I wouldn't get most of them.I'm going to give this novel 3 stars out of 5, mostly because I enjoyed the extra information on deafness. I found that the author himself is becoming deaf (or has become, I don't know for sure) and I thought that writing this book was a great way to deal with his problem. However, as a storyteller himself, Lodge felt short. He had the potential to make a great novel but he just hurried the ending off as if he didn't know how to resolve things.