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Lucky Jim (Penguin Decades)

Lucky Jim (Penguin Decades) [Kindle Edition]

Kingsley Amis
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 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

Penguin Decades bring you the novels that helped shape modern Britain. When they were published, some were bestsellers, some were considered scandalous, and others were simply misunderstood. All represent their time and helped define their generation, while today each is considered a landmark work of storytelling.

Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim was published in 1954, and is a hilarious satire of British university life. Jim Dixon is bored by his job as a medieval history lecturer. His days are only improved by pulling faces behind the backs of his superiors as he tries desperately to survive provincial bourgeois society, an unbearable 'girlfriend' and petty humiliation at the hands of Professor Welch.

Lucky Jim is one of the most famous and influential of all British post-War novels.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2372 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0142180149
  • Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (1 April 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #61,148 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 48 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment 20 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first read this book when it was first published, in the early 1950s when I thought it was a very perceptive funny book. My second reading, 60 years later was extremely disappointing. The style was laboured, the plot creaked, and few characters came to life. I had chosen it for our book group and it was one of the least successful. Not a book that has withstood the test of time well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not that interesting 6 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I didn't rate this high on the humour scale although it is supposed to be so. The story did not keep me that interested. Glad when I finished it and could move on to a better book
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucky Jim....Great! 9 Aug 2001
By A Customer
I'm only 14 and until now I've settled for reading military novels by the likes of Andy McNab. Now, however, a whole new world of exciting and funny books has opened up to me! It was just pure luck that I was bored one day and decided to dust off one of my dads old books! There are rumours that the humour in the book is now dated, rubbish! I didn't actually know that it was not present day until they mentioned the war and even then I had to check the publishing date to believe it! The part when Jim goes to the evening of festivities at the Professors,get's drunk and makes a fool of himself is quite simply hilarious!.... Amazing stuff...I'd reccommend it to anybody with a sense of humour.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creeps up on you... 28 Mar 2009
By benjab
This is easily one of the best, funniest books i have ever read. The humour is perfectly excecuted and caught me completely off-guard at various points- it really creeps up on you and will leave you in stiches if you are able to empathise with the protaganist, a very sympathetic character. Even though some characters could be considered a little one-dimensional, this seems not to hinder the brilliance of the novel. A classic.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a comedy classic 8 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I first read this book years ago and have just re-read it, wondering whether it would still make me crack up. It did! I read ages ago that what makes people laugh is having your characters say or do things that everybody thinks or does, but nobody ever talks about. I still think the episode where Jim burns the sheets, tries to cover it up and dreads getting found out, is absolutely classic. Of course this is practically a historical novel now; anyone with an elderly relative who constantly says, 'We were damn hard up...' should read this. Poor old Jim, wondering whether he can afford another half... For anyone who wasn't there, and doesn't believe it really ever existed, it's also a brilliant insight into the pre-pill, pre shagshagshag era. Read this, pity your aged relatives, and have a really good laugh.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites
Lucky Jim is a gem of a book. Wonderfully observed comedy. I urge anyone who hasn't read it to do so asap!
Published 1 day ago by tonyush
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing!
None of the characters was recognisable nor did I have a shred of sympathy with them. Much of the writing struck me as being self -indulgent and littered with cliches.
Published 14 days ago by Mr Brian E Hallett
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the book, thought the film was a travesty
This is a comic masterpiece, one that for me anyway Amis never surpassed or equalled. There are moments in LJ that are real laugh out loud outburst-making in nature, and did so... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Kilrymont
2.0 out of 5 stars Modern classic?
Read this book because it was in a Must Read list in a Sunday paper. Didn't really enjoy this story, or find it as funny as suggested.
Published 1 month ago by Karen
4.0 out of 5 stars Nor really angry.
This has been badged as one of the first of the "angry young man" genre. It is about Jim a junior history lecturer at a provincial university in the early 1950s. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. N. Marshall
2.0 out of 5 stars Lucky Jim
I have never read any Kingsley Amis works and thought it about time that I did so and where better to start than with Lucky Jim. Read more
Published 1 month ago by philip hancock
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing
Lucky Jim is a book that is often quoted as a classic of a genre. So I eventually succumbed only to be disappointed. Read more
Published 1 month ago by migcrick
2.0 out of 5 stars Smug and Obnoxious
At first I was enjoying this and finding it funny. But before long I'd had enough, as Jim was established as nothing other than a cynical man who mocks and disdains everything. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kublai Dom
4.0 out of 5 stars A (fairly) modern classic
I am not qualified to assess literature as literature, but this is a fun read, a most enjoyable send-up of acadaemia and worth every penny of the Kindle price. Read more
Published 2 months ago by John Hinde
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic English Comedy
This is a delightful little book. At times the humour is brilliant. Our hero, lecturer Jim Dixon, gets into all sorts of ridiculous scrapes as he tries to cope with his neurotic... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Paul Sloane
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His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. &quote;
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