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Ending Up

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  197 ratings  ·  27 reviews
At Tuppenny-hapenny Cottage in the English countryside, five elderly people live together in rancorous disharmony. Adela Bastable bosses the house, as her brother Bernard passes his days thinking up malicious schemes against the baby-talking Marigold and secret drinker Shorty, while kindly George lies bedridden upstairs. The mismatched quintet keep their spirits alive by b ...more
Paperback, 114 pages
Published 2011 by Penguin Books (first published 1974)
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I received an ARC of this title from the publisher.

In this comedy about old age, Amis provides us with a geriatric cast of characters living under the same roof who are basically trying to stay as comfortable and happy as possible before they die. There are five septuagenarians in total, three men and two women. Although they want nothing put peace in their final years, they manage to annoy each other and bicker to the point where peace is the last thing that any one of them is going find.

One of the funniest books I've ever read. Several scenes had me almost crying with laughter. If like me you enjoy dark humour that often threatens to tip over into tragedy then this is definitely for you.
Five elderly people – a brigadier sent down for homosexuality; his one-time lover and now drunken quasi-servant; his ugly sister who has never been loved; her insincere friend who is approaching senility; and a paralyzed professor emeritus, once the brigadier’s brother-in-law – live in boredom and decrepitude, detesting one another, in a crumbling cottage. Resentment, malice, or at the very least unavoidable circumstance are the only things keeping them together.

Humor doesn’t come any darker tha
Hilarious. A farcical elaboration of the idea that hell is the others, but I'd prefer this over Sartre's Huis Clos any day.

And if you want fancier lit crit interests to pursue: the book is also rather obsessed with language and the linguistic construction of reality. One woman going senile, another suffering from aphasia, another compulsively quoting songs and mimicking regional accents, the entire company performing a dictionary game, &c. A deconstructionists' free-for-all.
But mainly, it's
Having written my bachelor thesis on eldercare in contemporary China, I was particularly curious about the group dynamics in the fictional surroundings which the five protagonists have chosen to confine themselves to. Instead of moving into a nursing home - living with adult offspring out of the question for most of them, as they are largely childless - with around the clock care, they have decided to retain a level of independence. Some would automatically add "and dignity", but that is not qui ...more
Heather Roberts
I was invited and went to dinner with a human rights lawyer yoga teacher, philosophy professor, Swahili fluent Indian, and a pro skier photographer. It sounds like the beginning of a joke and was just as hilarious and intriguing as a good one might be.

We spent a lively portion of the eve bantering about British literature and humor (Which I only know through media. That's enough to make me expert, right? I do need to go to London and surrounding countryside. So often wowed by my vicarious exper
mohsen pourramezani
داستان پنج آدم مسن که در خانهای قدیمی دور از شهر زندگی می کنند
آدلا، برادرش برنارد، مریگولد دوستِ آدلا، جورج که سکته کرده است و سمت راست بدنش فلج شده (برادر زنِ برنارد) و شورتی مستخدم خانه
به همراه گربهی مریگولد و سگِ پیرِ جورج
گاهی تکههای طنز و موقعیت هایی شیطنت آمیز در داستان دیده می شود اما به طور کلی با توجه به شخصیت های پیری که در داستان وجود دارد فضای آن کمی خسته کننده و یکنواخت است
Peter Caron
This book had me rolling on the floor laughing. One of England's best drinkers who was also a brilliant writer! Kingsley Amis turns getting old on it head with some of the funniest old-timers in print.
This is my first Kingsley Amis novel. I enjoy Martin Amis and can now see where he got his sense of humour from. "Ending Up" is a quirky tale about a group of elderly people sharing a home in their autumn years. The characters are funny by themselves, but it is their interaction that really makes the story shine. George in particular, had me laughing out loud. His attempts to keep his speech fluid in spite of his condition are very funny. Even the pets made me smile.

The narrative gets a little d
Commune of 5 old people engages in stupidity, bitter back biting and practical jokes to deal with annoying roommates. Hilarious insight into aging.
Brilliant book. Hilarity, malice, sadness,and so many other things, all wrapped up together in a great book.
M.k. Yost
Well this was depressing as hell...
study of five retired housemates - lifes ruled by their various animosities, deterioriating health and need for contact with the younger outside world (through impending Christmas visits from Grandchildren)
very funny with some poignant scenes of the vagaries of old age
Oct 11, 2011 Rita marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Mentioned in LRB as 'his brilliant farce of old age in all its nuance" he was only 52 then.

"The shadow of mortality that looms over oldness makes it repulsive to some people, morbidly attractive to others." [One of those others being Amis]
--Rosemary Hill, LRB
One of my favorite writers of all time. He drops into someone's head in the middle of a thought. It might take you half the novel to figure out what the story's even about but you'll laughing so hard you don't care. But then you don't want it to end.
not really sure why...but he hits it and yet doesnt at all. maybe i can see a character of the author shining through that i dont like...i dont know. that storyline in the hands of dahl..and i would have loved it, i think.
Louiza Egan
Wickedly funny, just doesn't have as good an ending as i would have liked, but forgivable as the rest of the book is so enjoyable. Audio version stand out brilliant
Such a small book, but written with a kind of furious humour that drags you through it in a single sitting.

Warning: depressing subject matter
Twenty years after the marvelous Lucky Jim , Amis still makes contact, but they're largely only base hits now. ...more
One of his more depressing books, exploring the comic aspects of a decidedly uncomic aspect of life: aging.
Classic Amis, cruel, comical and deliciously barbed. A quick thoroughly enjoyable read.
Lazarus P Badpenny Esq
Compellingly sour and Amis has an acute ear for comic dialogue.
David Smith
Very funny, with a very surprise ending.
Peter Waller
I definitely would not recommend this book
Quick short read. Great ending.
May 12, 2007 Preeta rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who find old age hilarious
Very, very funny, if a tad depressing.
Heather marked it as to-read
May 03, 2015
Edna Quammie
Edna Quammie marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2015
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Sir Kingsley William Amis, CBE was an English novelist, poet, critic, and teacher. He wrote more than twenty novels, three collections of poetry, short stories, radio and television scripts, and books of social and literary criticism. He fathered the English novelist Martin Amis.

Kingsley Amis was born in Clapham, Wandsworth, Couty of London (now South London), England, the son of William Robert Am
More about Kingsley Amis...
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