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Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

Lucky Jim (original 1953; edition 2000)

by Kingsley Amis, David Lodge (Introduction)

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4,2281041,176 (3.74)238
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
Tags:1001, Satire, Humor

Work details

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis (1953)

  1. 40
    Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon (browner56)
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» See also 238 mentions

English (102)  Dutch (2)  Piratical (1)  All languages (105)
Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
Jim Dixon is a lecturer the history department of a university. This is despite the fact that he is not terribly interested in history and is particularly indifferent to what is supposed to be his special area of interest, medieval history. He is still on probation and therefore is obliged to be helpful and obsequious to the head of history, Mr Welch, a man he hates. He is romantically involved (in an on-again, off-again sort of way) with another lecturer called Margaret, who is recovering after a suicide attempt, after she was dumped by a boyfriend.

Jim is invited to a cultural weekend at the Welches' house, where he meets Christine, who is going out with Bertrand, Mr Welch's son. While there, Jim gets very drunk and wakes to find that he has burned (with cigarettes), his bedsheets, blankets, rug and bedside table. Christine helps him do away with the evidence.

This was very entertaining, although Jim's relentless self-destructive conduct does get a bit much at times. The final set-piece bus journey to the station is excellent and I enjoyed Bill's timed faint during the lecture Jim gives on Merrie England. I found the Margaret relationship puzzling. Her hold over Jim was just not convincing to me. Still, otherwise enjoyable. ( )
  pgchuis | Sep 2, 2016 |
I read this book back in, I think it was 2012, originally.

I enjoyed it, I thought it was a solid read. Kingsley Amis writes the protagonist, Jim, well. He's a misanthropic man who's just done with the world and society and everything. I found some scenes really readable and quick to get to, but others I felt really dragged on a bit.

The action seemed to slow in parts because so much of this book is part of Jim's internal dialogue, so after his long, sprawling inner rants, the narrator sort of zooms out, and you're in the exact same place as where you left off? I have no idea how else to describe it.

I found it readable at the time but I feel like my tastes have changed quite a bit, and I'm not in such a rush to pick up Amis' books. That said, I really did like the wry, witty, derisive sense of humour that Amis has and I remember parts of this book fondly. c:

3.5 stars from me~. ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 102 (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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"Oh, lucky Jim, how I envy him. Oh, lucky Jim, how I envy him." - Old Song
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.
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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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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2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

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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