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Lucky Jim (Penguin Modern Classics)

Lucky Jim (Penguin Modern Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Kingsley Amis , David Lodge
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Product Description


A brilliant and preposterously funny book (Guardian)

It has always made me laugh out loud . . . a flawless comic novel' (Helen Dunmore The Times)

A seminal campus novel (David Lodge)

Product Description

Jim Dixon has accidentally fallen into a job at one of Britain's new red brick universities. A moderately successful future in the History Department beckons. As long as Jim can survive a madrigal-singing weekend at Professor Welch's, deliver a lecture on 'Merrie England' and resist Christine, the hopelessly desirable girlfriend of Welch's awful son Bertrand.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 429 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0241956846
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (25 May 2000)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI99E6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,429 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic of modern humour. 4 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Lucky Jim is one of Amis's best works, filled with intense humour, false bravado and absurd characters. The 'hero' Jim Dixon, is intially engulfed by the diverse scope of the eccentric social group with which he finds himself into at University, his students and collegues alike causing him no end of problems. Speaking as a student I find the novel to be in parts painfully close to reality, particularly in Jim's dealings with his over-keen student Michie, and the general irreverent nature of university life, despite the fact that it is set over forty years ago, it is still a humourous and well-recorded version of campus life. Overall the main strengths of the novel are its varied cast of characters whose imbecility, social ineptitude or plain naivety constantly amuse the reader throughout, whilst the climax is a fitting end to Jim's trials both socially, intellectually and morally. Deeply funny.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughed so much I thought I might die. 13 Mar 2007
I am in complete agreement with the 14 year old boy who found this absolute classic in with his dad's old books. I bought this for £2 out of the university bookshop bargain bin when I was in first year at university ( I should add I am 27 so no old fogey) and vaguely remembered seeing Terry-Thomas as Bertrand ("AH SAAAAM") in some old black and white sick-day film on a tuesday afternoon. I started reading it on the train home and didn't stop till I was done. I was actually shocked to see that people hated this and found it dated or "middle-class" (I assume that's meant to be pejorative?). This has to be one of the funniest novels of all time - particularly all the fighting talk "Would you like a slap?" "Not much" and Jim's ability to turn any situation to his complete disadvantage.

I now have a theory that the reason this novels appeals so much to some and not to others is that the world is divided into Bertrands and Jims - the former definitely would hate this book. They'd be into magic realism or something. If you like this you will almost definitely like "Take a Girl like You" which is almost the same book with the characters shifted round a bit but slightly less funny - apart from Julian Ormerod who is pant-wettingly hilarious. Every time I read either of these I crease up and for a long time after I read Lucky Jim even thinking about it was enough to set me off. Buy two copies cos you'll loan one to your friend and never see it again.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A timeless book providing a top read 8 April 2002
By A Customer
I'm not one of those people who ever laughs out loud at any book. However, even I found myself emitting the occasional snort at the humorous situations that Jim Dixon gets himself into. Nearly fifty years on it's still all relevant: the English man's clumsiness with women, the academic pomposity and the battle with one's superiors.
Amis builds up the characters wonderfully and writes in such a fluent and full style. This was my first Kingsley Amis book, but it won't be my last.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this book in paperback thirty-odd years ago. Something clicked for me straightaway. Its period was already past before I was born, but I had no trouble at all projecting a piece of post-war 1950s England in my imagination. I read it again several times, laughing out loud at something in every chapter. How many novels actually have that effect ? For me, Kingsley Amis achieved that comic effect and that sheer ease of reading by a simple trick - using more or less plain English but crafting it brilliantly. Take one short incident, where Jim finds an old archery target in a corner of his arty-crafty professor's rambling house: 'What flaring imbecilities must it have witnessed ?' he wonders. And that's it, the plot moves on. No need for an account of any actual experiments with archery, no dwelling on the back story of another set of characters - this is a fairly snappy, single-point-of view story. One telling phrase, a verbal equivalent of rolling your eyes and snorting with disbelief, and the picture is complete; you can imagine not only those flaring imbecilities with bows and arrows, but almost smell the dust in the attic where they've been dumped.

Fighting his way out of a dusty attic could be a metaphor for what our hero Jim Dixon is doing in this story. He's stuck in world of limited options, not sure how to go further. A working-class grammar school boy (remember those ?) who has scraped a lecturing job in an un-named provincial university, cheekily sticking his nose into a world of drawing-room music recitals where the unavailable prettiest girl in the room and her artist boyfriend talk about chaps they know from the BBC. He gets his girl in the end of course, and a plum job too - the clue is in the title. But that doesn't spoil the plot one little bit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Near and far 15 Mar 2010
Written in the early 1950s, Lucky Jim serves as a testament to the constants of professional life at provincial British universities. The uncertain futures of junior lecturers, their need to publish, to please their immediate superiors, and to forge a life (and lifestyle) somewhat removed from their place of origin. Whatever the stresses and uncertainties of academic life today, Lucky Jim reminds readers that none of its problems are novel. Nevertheless, the world Amis captures and caricatures is very different from our own. Provincial universities have long ceased to be backwaters, and the numbers of lecturers and students has increased massively, as have the pressures to publish. Only job certainty has decreased. Often described as a comic novel, it is the sections that still resonate today which are among the funniest. But much of the narrative is (intentionally) humourless, and if anything demonstrates why universities, for better or for worse, have become as they are today.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good. seems roster dated now
Quite. Good. seems roster dated now
Published 21 days ago by avery nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent - brand new copy
Published 2 months ago by peter coe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Elaine McAndrew
3.0 out of 5 stars Noy yet read
I bought this because it has been judged as one of the funniest reads of all time. Although sceptical, I will read it when the right mood arises.
Published 2 months ago by R J Musgrave
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
a great read
Published 3 months ago by keith rand
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
A really good read even if it is chauvinistic
Published 3 months ago by Professor Pamela Abbott
5.0 out of 5 stars finally managed to find time for a classic
Splendid. Simply splendid! Worth the long wait before getting around to reading it. Certainly recommend it but have your dictionary to hand!
Published 4 months ago by Jonnyboy1970
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great classic novel which has stood he test of time! Hilarious read.
Published 4 months ago by Eleanor Wye
1.0 out of 5 stars Excellent novel; this kindle edition is terrible.
Loaded with typos - most minor, some egregious. Even in the modern classics range, Penguin should be doing better.
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A classless society
Hurrah! A Penguin Modern Classic that was actually thoroughly enjoyable to read. This is often billed as a comic novel but in truth there are really only half a dozen 'set-piece'... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Officer Dibble
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