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Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
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Lucky Jim (original 1953; edition 2000)

by Kingsley Amis, David Lodge (Introduction)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,1991021,190 (3.75)238
Member:Simone2
Title:Lucky Jim
Authors:Kingsley Amis
Other authors:David Lodge (Introduction)
Info:Penguin Classics (2000), Editie: New Ed, Paperback, 272 pagina's
Collections:1001 books, English, Before 1988
Rating:****
Tags:1001, Satire, Humor

Work details

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis (1953)

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» See also 238 mentions

English (100)  Dutch (2)  Piratical (1)  All languages (103)
Showing 1-5 of 100 (next | show all)
Book Description Regarded by many as the finest, and funniest, comic novel of the twentieth century, Lucky Jim remains as trenchant, withering, and eloquently misanthropic as when it first scandalized readers in 1954. This is the story of Jim Dixon, a hapless lecturer in medieval history at a provincial university who knows better than most that there was no end to the ways in which nice things are nicer than nasty ones." Kingsley Amis's scabrous debut leads the reader through a gallery of emphatically English bores, cranks, frauds, and neurotics with whom Dixon must contend in one way or another in order to hold on to his cushy academic perch and win the girl of his fancy. More than just a merciless satire of cloistered college life and stuffy postwar manners, Lucky Jim is an attack on the forces of boredom, whatever form they may take, and a work of art that at once distills and extends an entire tradition of English comic writing, from Fielding and Dickens through Wodehouse and Waugh. As Christopher Hitchens has written, "If you can picture Bertie or Jeeves being capable of actual malice, and simultaneously imagine Evelyn Waugh forgetting about original sin, you have the combination of innocence and experience that makes this short romp so imperishable."

My Review This is a very humorous satire about a young academic, Jim Dixon, who works as a medieval history professor at one of England's provincial universities during the 1950's. It pokes fun at people who take themselves too seriously and the boring dinner parties one must attend. Kingsley's writing is amazing and quite poetic at times. It's filled with wit and lots of wisdom. This book is truly a masterpiece and should be read by everyone." ( )
  EadieB | Jun 1, 2016 |
OK book. Maybe I missed the humor of the author. I didn't find it as funny as it is purported to be. I enjoyed Pnin by Nabakov better. Jim is definitely lucky by the end. ( )
  AmieB7 | Jan 21, 2016 |
The story of Jim Dixon and his attempt to be a sucessful teacher of history at a small university, filled with hilarious incidents and funny descriptions the novel often dragged between these high points ( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
Jim Dixon is a history professor at a rural college in the early 1950's. Dixon hates his job and especially his head professor Welch. This is a comic novel chronicling Dixon's exploits including a madrigal weekend at Welch's and a school ball. I found some of these events amusing and at other times was annoyed with Dixon for acting so stupid and staying in a job he hates. If you get the edition with a foreword don't read it until you finish the book because it gives away the ending. I always skip forewords for this reason. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
Jim has somehow landed a job as history professor at a university. The novel shows his attempts to prove he isn't as useless as people seem to take him for, although his actions tend rather to confirm people's suspicions. While attempting to get even with Johns and Bertram, avoid Christine and disentangle himself from Margaret, Jim Dixon also has to avoid being sacked, attend a 'musical' weekend with his superiors, put on a lecture about Merrie England and dance at the summer ball.
An enjoyable read although Amis' use of humour is often quite nasty and sarcastic. I would recommend reading and it probably should be on the 1001 books to read before you die, but I didn't find it brilliant and unmissable. ( )
  sashinka | Jan 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 100 (next | show all)
"Lucky Jim, Kingsley Amis's comic masterpiece, may be the funniest book of the past half century "
 

» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kingsley Amisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
David LodgeIntroductionsecondary 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.
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..."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140186301, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:23 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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..… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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Audible.com

2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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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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