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Lucky Jim (1954)

by Kingsley Amis

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,9571281,528 (3.73)305
Jim has fallen into a job at one of the new red brick universities. A moderately successful future beckons as long as Jim can survive a madrigal-singing weekend, deliver a lecture on merrie England and resist Christine, the girlfriend of Professor Welch's son, Bertrand.
  1. 40
    Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon (browner56)
    browner56: Both books are often hilarious and great examples of the Campus Novel.
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    Changing Places by David Lodge (BeckyJG)
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    Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers (kraaivrouw)
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    Brighton Rock by Graham Greene (John_Vaughan)
  5. 10
    Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh (hazzabamboo)
    hazzabamboo: These are two of the only books that make me laugh out loud. Also, both are entertaining (and very English) accounts of young men coming of age with more than a little truth to them.
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    A Winter in the Hills by John Wain (KayCliff)
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    Porterhouse Blue by Tom Sharpe (aynar)
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    Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse (chrisharpe)
  9. 00
    Memoirs by Kingsley Amis (John_Vaughan)
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    Making History by Stephen Fry (Whig)
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    Eating People Is Wrong by Malcolm Bradbury (aynar)
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    The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith (chrisharpe)
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    Nine Planets by Edward Riche (ShelfMonkey)
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    The Sophomore by Barry Spacks (Anonymous user)
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» See also 305 mentions

English (126)  Dutch (2)  Piratical (1)  All languages (129)
Showing 1-5 of 126 (next | show all)
Almost gave this the full 5, laugh out loud funny throughout. ( )
  arewenotben | Jul 31, 2020 |
ta: Strangely enough, Lucky Jim is also a sendup of academic life, this time featuring a young man misplaced in that milieu. I found it funnier than Pnin, and more optimistic. It took me a while to stop sneering at the callow youth and listen to his internal mologue as he tried to figure out what he wanted and what was expected of him. Not entirely misogynistic either, although Amis can get that way. ( )
  ffortsa | Jul 19, 2020 |
Jim's a bit of a prat, isn't he? ( )
  AldusManutius | Jul 5, 2020 |
A charming bumbler
Jim's plans never quite come off
one more drink can't hurt. ( )
  Eggpants | Jun 25, 2020 |
I understand that this book is supposed to be enormously influential, inspiring a large amount of British satire of class stratification… and yet… I feel like by now, it's been done so much better so many times that this just isn't that good. I didn't even get a laugh out of it…

The characterisation of the female characters, in particular, bugged the crap out of me. It seemed like Dixon, the protagonist, didn't have anything to think about them except for what they looked like, and how irritating he found Margaret's emotional instability. There weren't really any times he seemed to enjoy the company of either of them or have any of those really good conversations you have with people you're attracted to. His entire thought process just seemed to be, "WOW Christine is hot and I hate her boyfriend, I hope I can steal her away from him!! also Margaret is ugly and crazy, blech." I ended up not liking him much at all. I also wasn't a fan of the scene at the end that came almost out of nowhere to cast Margaret in a really nasty light. I don't even think the revelations of that scene were in character for her. I just did not like it.

The rest of the book is okay. You have a lot of elitist upper-class academic types being skewered, which is always alright. I liked seeing Bertrand get his comeuppance. But the book as a whole just left a sour taste in my mouth. ( )
  Jayeless | May 27, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 126 (next | show all)
"Lucky Jim, Kingsley Amis's comic masterpiece, may be the funniest book of the past half century "
 

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Amis, Kingsleyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benítez Ariza, José Manuelsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bentley, NicolasCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Binneweg, HerbertCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blake, QuentinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
David LodgeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gorey, EdwardCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kilpi, MikkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mortelmans, EdwardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schaap, H.W.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Znaniecki, PrzemysławTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Oh, lucky Jim,
How I envy him.
Oh, lucky Jim,
how I envy him.

Old Song
Dedication
To
Philip Larkin
First words
'They made a silly mistake, though,' the Professor of History said, and his smile, as Dixon watched, gradually sank beneath the surface of his features at the memory.
Lucky Jim was first published by Victor Gollancz in January 1954. (Introduction)
Quotations
Christine was still prettier and nicer than Margaret, and all the deductions that could be drawn from that fact should be drawn: there was no end to the ways in which nice things are nicer than nasty ones.
"I am sorry to hear of your difficulties, Mr Dickinson, but I'm afraid things are too difficult here for me to be very seriously concerned about your difficulties..."
The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he'd somehow been on a cross-county run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Average: (3.73)
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1.5 5
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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141182598, 0141399414, 0241956846

NYRB Classics

2 editions of this book were published by NYRB Classics.

Editions: 1590175751, 1590175913

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