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Ending Up Paperback – 25 Jun 1987

4.0 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (25 Jun. 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140041516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140041514
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,126,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"I finished Kingsley Amis's "Ending Up" with an undiminished sense of Amis's power, and a conviction, confirmed in work after work, that he is one of the few living novelists totally incapable of boring me. "Ending Up" is a sardonic little masterpiece which, with incredible economy and stylistic restraint, shows what old age is really like, and also--far, far better than any other writer I know--what contemporary England is like." --Anthony Burgess
"[A] ...a savage study of old age." --"St. Louis Post-Dispatch"
"The writer who began to write in the spirit of humanist common sense in a postwar time took on rage and spleen, sometimes invested against the human condition itself, as in the very good "''Ending Up"'' (1974), one of his deepest novels, and sometimes in a latter-day social ire arrayed against the entire modernity of the modern world." --"The New York Times"
"Mr. Amis has never done better...a very funny but also a very serious book." --"The Observer"
"Extraordinarily good, compulsively readable and beautifully constructed...wildly and cruelly funny." --"The Listener"
"With seeming effortlessness, our most spectacular all-rounder hits another boundary. Amis stretches himself to the full limit of his formidable powers." --"The Sunday Times"

"His most assured success after "Lucky Jim."" --William H. Pritchard, "The New York Times"
"Only comedy of this quality can embrace such a bleak midwinter with such relish, and make the reader relish it too. The brevity, structural tightness and keen pace of "Ending Up" make it one of Amis's most engaging novels." --Helen Dunmore
""Ending Up" is a sardonic little masterpiece which, with incredible economy and stylistic restraint, shows what old age is really like, and also--far, far better than any other writer I know--what contemporary England is like." --Anthony Burgess
"[A] ...a savage study of old age." --"St. Louis Post-Dispatch"
"The writer who began to write in the spirit of humanist common sense in a postwar time took on rage and spleen, sometimes invested against the human condition itself, as in the very good "''Ending Up"'' (1974), one of his deepest novels, and sometimes in a latter-day social ire arrayed against the entire modernity of the modern world." --"The New York Times"
"Mr. Amis has never done better...a very funny but also a very serious book." --"The Observer"
"Extraordinarily good, compulsively readable and beautifully constructed...wildly and cruelly funny." --"The Listener"
"With seeming effortlessness, our most spectacular all-rounder hits another boundary. Amis stretches himself to the full limit of his formidable powers." --"The Sunday Times"

His most assured success after "Lucky Jim." William H. Pritchard, "The New York Times"
Only comedy of this quality can embrace such a bleak midwinter with such relish, and make the reader relish it too. The brevity, structural tightness and keen pace of "Ending Up" make it one of Amis s most engaging novels. Helen Dunmore
""Ending Up" is a sardonic little masterpiece which, with incredible economy and stylistic restraint, shows what old age is really like, and also far, far better than any other writer I know what contemporary England is like. Anthony Burgess
[A] a savage study of old age. "St. Louis Post-Dispatch"
The writer who began to write in the spirit of humanist common sense in a postwar time took on rage and spleen, sometimes invested against the human condition itself, as in the very good " Ending Up" (1974), one of his deepest novels, and sometimes in a latter-day social ire arrayed against the entire modernity of the modern world. "The New York Times"
Mr. Amis has never done better...a very funny but also a very serious book. "The Observer"
Extraordinarily good, compulsively readable and beautifully constructed...wildly and cruelly funny. "The Listener"
With seeming effortlessness, our most spectacular all-rounder hits another boundary. Amis stretches himself to the full limit of his formidable powers. "The Sunday Times"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Kingsley Amis (1922 1995) was a popular and prolific British novelist, poet, and critic, widely regarded as one of the greatest satirical writers of the twentieth century. Born in suburban South London, the only child of a clerk in the office of the mustard-maker Colman s, he went to the City of London School on the Thames before winning an English scholarship to St. John s College, Oxford, where he began a lifelong friendship with fellow student Philip Larkin. Following service in the British Army s Royal Corps of Signals during World War II, he completed his degree and joined the faculty at the University College of Swansea in Wales. "Lucky Jim," his first novel, appeared in 1954 to great acclaim and won a Somerset Maugham Award. Amis spent a year as a visiting fellow in the creative writing department of Princeton University and in 1961 became a fellow at Peterhouse College, Cambridge, but resigned the position two years later, lamenting the incompatibility of writing and teaching ( I found myself fit for nothing much more exacting than playing the gramophone after three supervisions a day ). Ultimately he published twenty-four novels, including science fiction and a James Bond sequel; more than a dozen collections of poetry, short stories, and literary criticism; restaurant reviews and three books about drinking; political pamphlets and a memoir; and more. Amis received the Booker Prize for his novel "The Old Devils" in 1986 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990. He had three children, among them the novelist Martin Amis, with his first wife, Hilary Anne Bardwell, from whom he was divorced in 1965. After his second, eighteen-year marriage to the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard ended in 1983, he lived in a London house with his first wife and her third husband.
Craig Brown is the author of "Hello Goodbye Hello," "The Lost Diaries," and "The Marsh-Marlowe Letters." He writes a weekly book review for "The Mail on Sunday," a twice-weekly column for "The Daily Mail," and for the past twenty-five years has written a parodic diary for "Private Eye" magazine." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Green Man was the first novel in which Amis began to express intimations of mortality. In Ending Up, he faced the topic of death head-on, more than in any of his other books. (By comparison The Old Devils, for example, is light reading.) When I first read it, over 30 years ago, I found it depressing enough, and it rings even truer now. As always with Amis, there is brilliant humour, but here it is unremittingly black.

The story describes the final stages of the lives of five old people, each connected with one or two of the others, but (in some cases reluctantly) forced to share an isolated country cottage through lack of money. It could be described as one of Amis' genre books, as the format is classical Greek tragedy. Aristotle's unities are more or less obeyed; all the action takes place in or around the cottage, and the only other characters are very much bit-parts.

Of the five ill-assorted characters, three are unselfish and likeable; a fourth, Marigold, is vain and selfish, but wins the reader's sympathy for her desperate attempts to "keep up appearances". The fifth, Bernard, is the villain; he is unable to control his distaste for a life he feels is wasted, and for the lifestyle now enforced on him. His only diversion is to take out his bile on the others, with his success depending on their strength of character. Adela, his long-suffering sister, and George, his bedridden, aphasic brother-in-law, are quite unable to fight his psychological bullying. Marigold is better able to resist Bernard's venom, but it has almost no impact on Shorty, who is - literally - the "eternal squaddie".
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Depressing and repetitive. I was under the impression that this book would be light hearted and amusing bed time reading. However as it went on the story line degenerated to a miserable scenario and I abandoned the book in favour of something more uplifting.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I last read this book aged 21 and it has left me with such a great feeling about the book.

It is set in an old folks home and lets you imagine the faces of the people in the place. It is set around their daily lives and just remember we all get old. We also, forget that death is the only thing guaranteed in life and in these places there is only one way too leave...

Funny to the point of crying with laughter. Do not be put off by the subject, it is a short compulsive read and for me one of Kingsley Amis's best books.
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Format: Paperback
Published in 1974, Kingsley Amis's short novel doesn't feel terribly dated. It is a description of purgatory, although purgatory placed the living side of death. Hell is definitely the other people with whom each of the five characters has to share Tuppenny-Hapenny Cottage. In a very short book Kinglsey Amis manages to address or at least touch upon old age, resignation, malice, language, dementia, homosexuality, loneliness, disappointment, the generation gap, doctor-patient relations, mortality, and a little (actually quite a lot) more malice. And it is very, very funny, in that way which makes you question the moral heft of your own sense of humour. A clever, wise, witty, acerbic book.
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Format: Paperback
At just over 100 pages, this short novel by Kingsley Amis packs a considerable punch, and really demonstrates yet again the power that short novels can have over the numerous doorstep size volumes that get published these days,

Published in 1974 and listed for the Booker Prize, Amis explores the indignities of old age through the lives of a group of misfits who are living together in a cottage in the middle of nowhere. The characters are well drawn, eccentric, curmudgeonly, unpleasant, decaying; and what strikes the reader most is just how topical the book is, some 40 years after it was written. If anything, concern for what happens when we get older is more pronounced today, but Amis had it pretty much weighed off in this very dark - and occasionally quite unpleasant - little read.

Having toyed around with us as readers for most of the book, with various black-comedy moments and some serious points about age and what it does to us, Amis delivers the killer punch in the closing pages, with the result that the book and its themes linger some time after the final page. Short, intense novels seem to do this much more effectively than longer ones - and Ending Up is a case in point.

With a well-written introduction from Helen Dunmore to set the scene and context for this piece of writing from Amis and where it fits into his body of work, this slim novel has much to recommend it. One of Amis's most memorable shorter books.
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By f on 25 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
yes this kept me entertained and the characters were well defined and believable of course it was a rather sad reflection of the human condition and unfulfiied dreams --amusing
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is Amiss at very nearly his best . The characters are beautifully drawn , the story is at once tragic and farcical , the ending is perhaps a little trite , as if the author became bored with the characters and ,in effect , sprayed them with a machine gun . Nevertheless a very good read .
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