Customer Reviews


123 Reviews
5 star:
 (43)
4 star:
 (29)
3 star:
 (32)
2 star:
 (12)
1 star:
 (7)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


50 of 53 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

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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 7 months ago by Amazon Customer


‹ Previous | 1 213 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic of modern humour., 4 Nov. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Lucky Jim (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rooted in its time but never 'dated'. Fantastically funny., 13 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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 piece of post-war 1950s England in my imagination. I read it again several times, laughing out loud at something in every chapter. How many novels actually have that effect ? For me, Kingsley Amis achieved that comic effect and that sheer ease of reading by a simple trick - using more or less plain English but crafting it brilliantly. Take one short incident, where Jim finds an old archery target in a corner of his arty-crafty professor's rambling house: 'What flaring imbecilities must it have witnessed ?' he wonders. And that's it, the plot moves on. No need for an account of any actual experiments with archery, no dwelling on the back story of another set of characters - this is a fairly snappy, single-point-of view story. One telling phrase, a verbal equivalent of rolling your eyes and snorting with disbelief, and the picture is complete; you can imagine not only those flaring imbecilities with bows and arrows, but almost smell the dust in the attic where they've been dumped.

Fighting his way out of a dusty attic could be a metaphor for what our hero Jim Dixon is doing in this story. He's stuck in world of limited options, not sure how to go further. A working-class grammar school boy (remember those ?) who has scraped a lecturing job in an un-named provincial university, cheekily sticking his nose into a world of drawing-room music recitals where the unavailable prettiest girl in the room and her artist boyfriend talk about chaps they know from the BBC. He gets his girl in the end of course, and a plum job too - the clue is in the title. But that doesn't spoil the plot one little bit. You'll be rooting for Lucky Jim all the way through, right to the hilarious end. How does he get what he wants ? A bit of cleverness; a bit of perseverance; but mostly he's just lucky, right at the moment when he seems to have screwed up everything.

A joy to have this stupidly funny book on my Kindle (even with a few typos) three decades after I first discovered it and sixty years after it was published.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughed so much I thought I might die., 13 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Lucky Jim (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 13 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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Near and far, 15 Mar. 2010
By 
Robert Cordner (Northern Ireland, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lucky Jim (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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
This review is from: Lucky Jim (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic entertainment, 25 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Lucky Jim (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny but with interesting themes., 15 Nov. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creeps up on you..., 28 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Lucky Jim (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucky Jim....Great!, 9 Aug. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Lucky Jim (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 213 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Lucky Jim (Penguin Modern Classics)
Lucky Jim (Penguin Modern Classics) by Kingsley Amis (Paperback - 25 May 2000)
£6.74
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews