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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic of modern humour.
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...
Published on 4 Nov 2001

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 100 words on Lucky Jim
As a fan of Martin Amis, I sought this out as something of a curiosity. Humour is clearly an Amis family trait, but Kingsley's work is lighter (more accessible) than his son's. Lucky Jim is unashamedly sit-com in style, with Jim - the harmless, mostly-well-intentioned fool - stumbling from one faux pas to the next. And, of course, every ill-conceived attempt to rectify...
Published on 7 Jan 2009 by MrAsh


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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic, 30 July 2009
I have re-read this so often that I wore out / gave away previous copies. The one I just ordered was a replacement.
The word 'classic ' is over-used, but it really applies to 'Lucky Jim.'
Jim was the first anti-hero and he has been much imitated, but never equalled.
The life of a history lecturer at a redbrick University after the war, 'Lucky Jim' is laugh-out-loud funny. (My spouse objects to my reading it in bed as the bed shakes when I laugh.)
'Lucky Jim' leaps fresh off the page at every re-reading.
Every home should have a copy.
(By the way, avoid like swine flu the film of the same name with Ian Carmichael. It is dreadful.)

.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Gentle humour - an excellent funny novel, 1 Oct 2000
This review is from: Lucky Jim (Mass Market Paperback)
Jim is an English University lecturer to who despite all his attempts to the contrary, ends up in the most hilarious and ridiculous situations.
I first read this book when I was feeling really down, and it is one of the few I've ever read that made me laugh out aloud!
An excellent classic novel. The rest of the Kingsley Amis books are not a patch on this one. If you enjoy this, I'd suggest you also try "Changing Places" by David Lodge.
Highly recommended !
PS. Did you know in a competition to describe England in the vein of "As American as Apple Pie", the winner was "As English as possible in the circumstances".
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic humour, now showing its age, 1 Jan 2005
By 
Budge Burgess (Troon, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lucky Jim (Essential Penguin) (Paperback)
"Lucky Jim" was Kingsley Amis' first novel, effectively written in collaboration with his friend, the poet, Philip Larkin. The idea came during a visit to Larkin at Leicester University in 1948 - Amis sent drafts to Larkin, Larkin returned them, heavily edited.
First published in 1954, Amis introduces Jim Dixon, a junior lecturer at an English provincial university. Dixon is approaching the end of his first, probationary year and his senior, Professor Welch, is far from impressed. Jim stands little chance of being reappointed. He does his best to ingratiate himself with the professor, but he's socially inept, apparently accident prone, especially when indulging in his predilection for beer, lacks interest in his appointed subject - medieval history - and is consumed by sexual frustrations and fantasies.
Dixon comes from the north of England, from the lower middle classes, from a world which is alien to the Oxbridge elite who dominate academic life ... even in a provincial university. Amis constructs humorous situation after humorous situation. Dixon's ineptitude is excruciating. His luck is a major theme - he doesn't seem to have any. Meanwhile, all around him are those who have been lucky enough to be born into the upper classes and who are unselfconsciously reaping the benefits of it.
In its time, "Lucky Jim" broke new ground in satirising the academic world. The characters in the novel portray the pretensions, sterility, and advantages of the class system. Although greeted as a radical piece of writing and seen as transforming humour, even satire, "Lucky Jim" now appears dated. It has lost much of its edge and seems unrecognisable as a work which threatened the status quo.
Its humour can now appear slapstick and trivial, the stuff of poor sitcoms. The class and sexual mores are set in another world. The rationing and shortages are certainly from another era. And the writing style has also aged - it's a bit laboured in places, a bit coy in others.
Amis, himself, was born in South London into a lower middle class family. He attended public school, then Oxford University and was commissioned into the Royal Signals for wartime army service. He emerged to teach at Swansea University, then Cambridge. From the early 1960's he wrote full-time.
Throughout his life Amis enjoyed a reputation as an outspoken wit. "Lucky Jim" remains a seminal piece of writing, but many contemporary readers will find its themes and style dated, its humour rather gentle compared to contemporary savagery. It's a very gentlemanly, very innocent, very English, and very middle class novel, still with its comic moments, but no longer with the edge and bite which earned it ... and Amis ... a radical reputation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A deserved classic, 31 Oct 2012
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Although the subject matter is a little dated, "Lucky Jim's" humour still stands today. The main character is one with whom most can identify and the other characters are equally appealing or appalling. A very enjoyable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny but with interesting themes., 15 Nov 2011
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I'd never read any Kingsley Amis before reading this, his most famous novel. I found the themes and the characters interesting and I found myself chuckling quite a lot at the absurdity of some of the characters' behaviours. I enjoyed the window into 1950's England, with it's strange social conventions and even stranger personalities! Jim is billed as an anti-hero, but I confess that I quite liked him, mainly due to the fact that he was often thinking exactly what I am thinking in forced, dull social situations. He finds most other people rather dull and uninteresting and I can relate to that! My advice would be to read this very funny book but to have a dictionary to hand as Amis uses quite a lot of archaic langauge that may not be familiar to a modern audience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Great, 19 April 2011
By 
P. Borrington "philipborrington" (Lincolnshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As a huge fan of David Nobbs' Reggie Perrin books I found Jim Dixon a bit of a fore-runner of Reggie. Both are sane men in an insane world, railing against snobbery and authority and dreaming of greener grass over the hill. I would imagine Lucky Jim had quite an impact in the post-war buttoned down 1950s when deference was still seen as a virtue.

Amis doesn't quite maintain the humorous tone throughout and the book drags a little in parts but overall a good and funny read and rightly remembered as a classic of its time.

If you like this try the original Reggie Perrin trilogy, the finest comic novels ever written in my opinion.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More contemporary than you might think, 15 Sep 2010
By 
John Moseley (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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I approached Lucky Jim with a degree of pessimism given its much-vaunted position as one of the great comic novels in British literature. However, the regard and praise is rightly bestowed and richly deserved. As is typical with reading non-contemporary works, it took a few pages to work up a frame of reference for a bygone England of sixty years ago, but soon I found myself empathising with the brilliantly depicted anti-hero Jim Dixon and his struggle to make headway in a world full of self-satisfied individuals and obstructive petty social pretensions. Soon, the novel begins to feel more contemporary than you might initally imagine.

The other thing that soon takes hold is the majesty of Amis's powers of description. Sentences splatter the page which are worthy of being put in a case and displayed in a museum. The way he describes a particularly heavy hangover for the protagonist ('A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum')and a tortuous bus-ride at the novel's climax are an absolute joy. And the novel is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny with some brilliant moments of dark humour. For me, the least satisfactory paragraph is the novel's closing one, but otherwise a sensationally witty and enjoyable read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book, 31 Mar 2009
Hilarious. Classic. Life affirming. Memorable sequences on being drunk and on being hung over. An unfailing tonic when the world seems bleak. Retains the ability to make you laugh time after time after time. Kingsley Amis is not for everyone, but this book is. Everyone should read this book.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 100 words on Lucky Jim, 7 Jan 2009
As a fan of Martin Amis, I sought this out as something of a curiosity. Humour is clearly an Amis family trait, but Kingsley's work is lighter (more accessible) than his son's. Lucky Jim is unashamedly sit-com in style, with Jim - the harmless, mostly-well-intentioned fool - stumbling from one faux pas to the next. And, of course, every ill-conceived attempt to rectify one awful scenario only precipitates another - more awful than the last. It is classic comedy. In other words: very funny, but rather dated. I wouldn't buy another Kingsley, but I would definitely rescue one from a dusty guest-bedroom shelf.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Desert Island book, 21 July 2009
By 
Mr. J. P. Russell "JohnR" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Contains the best description I've ever read of how not to behave when invited to a flute recital! You'll need to read it for more info. Do it, you won't be disappointed.
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Lucky Jim (Essential Penguin)
Lucky Jim (Essential Penguin) by Kingsley Amis (Paperback - 3 Sep 1998)
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