Lucky Jim (Popular Penguins)

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9780140016482: Lucky Jim (Popular Penguins)

First published in 1954, this novel tells the story of Jim Dixon - lower middle-class anti-hero - charting his social gaffes, cultural philistinism, inept relationships and crawling to superiors. The author's other books include "The Old Devils", which won the 1986 Booker Prize.

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Review:

Although Kingsley Amis's acid satire of postwar British academic life has lost some of its bite in the four decades since it was published, it's still a rewarding read. And there's no denying how big an impact it had back then--Lucky Jim could be considered the first shot in the Oxbridge salvo that brought us Beyond the Fringe, That Was the Week That Was, and so much more.

In Lucky Jim, Amis introduces us to Jim Dixon, a junior lecturer at a British college who spends his days fending off the legions of malevolent twits that populate the school. His job is in constant danger, often for good reason. Lucky Jim hits the heights whenever Dixon tries to keep a preposterous situation from spinning out of control, which is every three pages or so. The final example of this--a lecture spewed by a hideously pickled Dixon--is a chapter's worth of comic nirvana. The book is not politically correct (Amis wasn't either), but take it for what it is, and you won't be disappointed.

About the Author:

Kingsley Amis' (1922-1995) works take a humorous yet highly critical look at British society, especially of the period following the end of World War II. He was born in London. Amis explored his disillusionment with British society in novels such asTHAT UNCERTAIN FEELING (1955). His other works include THE GREEN MAN (1970); STANLEY AND THE WOMEN (1984); and THE OLD DEVILS (1986) which won the Booker Prize. Amis also wrote poetry, criticism, and short stories.

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Published by Penguin Books (1976)
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