The novels really are quite different and he shouldn't be so despondent. From several months reading distance, Lodge's Author, Author is my favourite even though I read Tóibín's first and couldn't imagine it being bettered.
Readers of the extract will be momentarily confused after they read a paragraph in which Lodge prefixes a description of a meeting with his fellow Jamesian with an explanation "that in recent years I have become quite deaf". He failed to recognise Tóibín and couldn't hear a word he said:
If this seems improbable, bear in mind that I had only seen Tóibín in the flesh for about an hour, 10 ears previously, and in the meantime his physical appearance had altered. [sic]