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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 (116 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: 1486 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0241956846
  • Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (1 April 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #117,010 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 50 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
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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7 of 8 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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7 of 8 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic entertainment 25 Jun 2012
By anozama
God knows what Kingsley Amis must have been like in person; his ability to find fun in everyone's otherwise irritating and frustrating behaviour is astonishing.

Filled with extraordinarily, almost manically descriptive, humourous observations, this book is enormously entertaining and uproariously funny - a comic masterpiece.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent - brand new copy
Published 1 day ago by peter coe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 days ago by Elaine McAndrew
5.0 out of 5 stars Rooted in its time but never 'dated'. Fantastically funny.
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... Read more
Published 11 days ago by Mr Philip J Davies
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 13 days ago by R J Musgrave
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
a great read
Published 1 month ago by keith rand
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
A really good read even if it is chauvinistic
Published 1 month 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 2 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 2 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 2 months ago by FaceOmeter
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 2 months ago by Officer Dibble
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