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Him Her Him Again the End of Him
Him Her Him Again the End of Him
by Patricia Marx
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love is Blind, 27 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Every generation of writers produces a woman with a unique comic vision of the world. From Dorothy Parker to Dawn Powell to Elaine Dundy to Norah Ephron and now Patricia Marx we are asked to look as the world as only a very intelligent woman views it. We laugh... and cringe. Patricia Marx starts the journey at an English university. The American girl abroad has acquired a certain surface sophistication since the days of Daisy Miller. Not much. Love is blind, as Ms. Marx sets out to demonstrate, even when it wears contact lenses.


Happy-Go-Lucky [DVD] [2008]
Happy-Go-Lucky [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Sally Hawkins
Price: £3.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last of the Humanists, 14 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Happy-Go-Lucky [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Mike Leigh is a *genius*, a most overworked word today when used to describe to directors. Leigh, a great admirer of Jean Renoir, another humanist, is the last of a great tradition. Whatever the faults of Leigh’s films, this one included, every story he tells is one full of great compassion. [You can’t say that for most of today’s filmmakers whose films seem to be full of hate and fashionable adolescent cynicism.] In his film, Polly is a cock-eyed optimist; she doesn’t see the world through a glass darkly; she sees it through sunglasses. In the beginning sequences, her mannerisms are so cloyingly annoying that you can’t fault most viewers from turning her and the film off. But, if you stay with her, highly advised, you will soon discover that she is not stupid. Is there are more powerful examination in film of today’s innocence vs. today's anger than her relationship with driving instructor in this film? And is there a more affective moment in today’s cinema than the moment in close-up when Polly decides not to take any more lessons? An imperfect film, yes, but a wonderful one!


You Can't Do Both (Vintage Classics)
You Can't Do Both (Vintage Classics)
by Kingsley Amis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Look at yourself (if you have a sense of humor), 19 Jan. 2013
Kingsley Amis has often been accused of many things: anti-Semitism, homophobia and misogyny. All due in part because the heroes in his books so often behave in fiction as Amis behaved, often inexcusably, in life. Of all later books, this one written in 1994 when he was in his seventies, describes a life very much like his own; and although, as most authors do today, he claimed that he did not write autobiography, this one is so close to the actual year-by-year structure of his own life that it is hard to separate fact from fiction. But it is book and a fine one at that. Does it really matter that Amis, as Scott Fitzgerald before him, used himself as the main source of most of his main male characters? In our navel-gazing times, he is not alone in that. What distinguishes him from so many of his equally narcissistic contemporaries is his supreme artistry as a comic novelist. The joke may be on us, but it is, most of all, on him. This book is not an apologia sua vita so much as a confession from a man who chooses not to apologize, but to tell the truth as he sees it, neither lying about himself nor human behavior in general. There are many memorable characters in this book---fathers and mothers hanging on to Victorian ideas of child upbringing and morality; sons and daughters growing up during the great wars. Those who consider Amis a misogynist should consider the love he disburses on the many remarkable and courageous women who people his books from Lucky Jim on. This book is no exception.


I Want it Now
I Want it Now
by Kingsley Amis
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The rich *are* different, 27 Dec. 2012
This review is from: I Want it Now (Paperback)
Kingsley Amis has the talent of introducing us to a group of instantly recognizable specimens of humanity, at first view, highly unlikeable. As his story enfolds, not only does he makes us understand them, he carries off the amazing feat of making us like and admire them. In this book, written in 1964, the hero we meet at a television studio is a totally self-absorbed and calculating English talk-show host with no real opinion about anything, other than how to maintain his tenuous hold on success. He comes upon an impossibly neurotic heiress--a rich, spoiled American brat--and sets out to marry for her money. An improbable love story, and yet...
Amis' has a genius for taking the piss out of everyone and everything, including, in later books, his own Fat Englishman self. He sees and hears all: the way people dress, the food in their supermarkets and on their tables, the furniture in their homes, they way they speak or, in the case of one particularly obnoxious American, shout. Underneath this steely observation, however, there is a strong moral stance, but it is never shoved in our face.
Few satirical writers anywhere, male or female, have possessed Amis' remarkable understanding of the complexities and unpredictability of feminine behavior. His women--young and old, loveable and monstrous--are always three-dimensional. In this book, the mixed-up heroine being pursued choses to call herself "Simon;" she is intensely vulnerable and vividly alive, despite her many faults.
In this book, Amis examines the rich. He cleverly hints at, but never fully spells out the famous discussion Hemingway had with Scott Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald told his friend that "The very rich are different from you and me," to which Hemingway replied, "Yes, they have more money." Amis understands precisely what Fitzgerald meant, and what Hemingway could not. In his book the rich, the very rich--be they American, English or Greek--have something more elusive than lots and lots of money. Power, the sheer power to do what they want to do when they want to do it, without fear of hindrance or incrimination.
If the novel, which jumps back and forth between England and the United States, has a serious fault it is, regrettably, a highly contrived conclusion. Despite that failing, "I Want It Now" is still immensely pleasurable. Fans of the author will be too busy laughing aloud, and nodding their heads in agreement to be truly disappointed.


The Razor's Edge (Vintage Classics)
The Razor's Edge (Vintage Classics)
by W. Somerset Maugham
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than mysticism, 23 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Most people associate this novel with the two films which were made from the book, both of which rather heavily emphasized the pre-Hippie days spirituality of the hero in search of The Meaning of it All in the mysterious East. What most people forget is that THE RAZOR'S EDGE is also a delightful social satire of rich Americans abroad, very funny at times and as enormously insightful as Henry James on the same subject. Maugham always wrote from life, and here he depicts memorably one of the greatest snobs and social climbers in all literature, but is his usual fashion, Maugham finds the humanity in the man. There is also a superb portrait of a beautiful, ambitious American girl who knows what she wants and gets it...more or less. In time, Maugham has somehow been delegated, unfairly, to the second-rate, possibly because his books and plays were always so accessible to the public who adored his work and made him very rich and successful, but anyone reading this novel for the first time will come to see that he had few equals as a superb teller of tales and a master of simple, understandable English prose.


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