Shovelmonkey1's Reviews > Lucky Jim

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
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Aug 07, 11

it was ok
bookshelves: 1001-books, bookcrossing-books, read-in-2011, so-right-but-so-wrong
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books... tricked again!
Recommended for: be left for last on the 1001 list challenge
Read from July 31 to August 07, 2011 , read count: 1


What happened? I was really looking forward to reading this having become a fan of Kingsley Amis and his random assembly of hapless, oh-so-british characters after reading The Green Man (its on the 1001 books list so check it out!) and so I picked up Lucky Jim.


The trademark and original (this was his first book) Kingsley characterisations were here but this time they all seemed flattened and thinly stretched. Like that last pan cake when you're running out of batter. All of the characters became a series of faceless, bodiless names floating around inside my brain and after 50 pages I was struggling to keep track of who was who and why I should give a damn. Dixon, Welch, Margaret, Bertrand, Christine and a whole cast of academic sub-characters, malingerers and hangers on swirled together in a sort of raspberry ripple (sticky, bland and atypically British) of socialising and snarking.

I know this book has a whole heap of admirable pedigrees and background with characters, situations and places being based on Philip Larkin- a homage - while the sending up of the academic community is something that I, as a fringe loiterer of said community, would whole heartedly applaud and encourage more of. Two stars have been begrudgingly awarded because maybe there was something that I overlooked here. Maybe I'm just too dumb? Maybe my satire button was switched off today? Whatever the reason, I think that if the characters were a) better described b) less interchangeable c) smarter then I'd have probably raved about this book.
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Reading Progress

07/31/2011 page 15
08/01/2011 page 50
18.0% "This was Amis's first book but already his distinct style is making its presence felt."
08/03/2011 page 100
37.0% "Not as funny as the blurb would have you believe... damned tricksy reviewers."

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly this also bored me to death

Shovelmonkey1 glad I was not the only one! I had such high hopes as I really enjoyed the green man which is much funnier and much pacier than this

Jack Aubrey I completely disagree with your opinion, but I think you have a nice turn of phrase!

Shovelmonkey1 Thank you! And let's agree to disagree for the time being! I did like the green man by KA though.have you read that one)

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