Like all good coaching inns, The Green Man is said to boast a resident ghost: Dr Thomas Underhill, a notorious seventeenth-century practitioner of black arts and sexual deviancy. However, the landlord, Maurice Allington, is the sole witness to the renaissance of the malevolent Underhill. Led by an anxious desire to vindicate his sanity, Allington strives to uncover the key to Underhill's satanic powers. All while the skeletons in Allington's own cupboard rattle to get out.
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Maurice Allington, dissipated, cultivated, paradoxically engaging, is the modern landlord of a medieval coaching inn, "The Green Man." As an old inn should, it has a persistent, long-quiescent ghosts: Dr. Thomas Underhill, a 17th-century practitioner of the black arts and a sexual deviant suspected of two hideous murders.Review:
''a thoroughly contemporary ghost story . . . A splendid chiller, in the uncomplicated, old-fashioned sense. As one might expect from the author of "Lucky Jim, The Green Man" is also an extremely funny book, filled with slapstick, parody and satire. Indeed, the success of this short novel depends very much on the balance that Amis maintains between fear and laughter.'' --Robert Kiely, "The New York Times" "Contains all the best and familiar Amis qualities--including superb sexual comedy." --"Sunday Times" "Kingsley Amis is an important writer, and we cannot afford to lose him. It is no small thing to have written a good ghost story; to have written a ghost story that is also a major novel is nothing short of miraculous." --"Book World" "What makes "The Green Man" readable and re-readable is the skill with which Amis, like Henry James before him, turns the narrative screw. It is, quite simply, a rattling good ghost story." --"The Times" (UK) "In the drunken, lecherous, God-fearing Maurice Allingham, the drunken, lecherous, God-loathing Kingsley Amis created a character who makes sin and redemption far more real and natural than they appear in the works of most professedly Christian novelists." "--The Independent" (UK) "Ghosts, exorcisms, sexual crises: even though first published back in 1969, Kingsley Amis's story "The Green Man" is as up-to-date as any trendy movie of the week. But Mr. Amis, something of an Evelyn Waugh-manque for our times, is after more than a passing chill or two. His hero ponders, through a boozy haze, nothing less than the meaning, or meaninglessness, of life." --"The New York Times" "How rarely do we come across the really frightening ghost story now. Kingsley Amis's "The Green Man" was a rare and honourable exception, and Amis followed the classic pattern of earlier writers, letting the story progress carefully from a recognisable normality, through unease, to the rapid unfolding
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