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.