Monday, 24 March 2014

Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis

3 stars

Lucky Jim is one of those books that I would probably never have read if it wasn't included on virtually every 'Books You Must Read Before You Die' list I've seen. And whilst I definitely enjoyed it, to the point of laughing aloud in several places, I don't think I'd have really missed much had I carked it before finishing.

Jim Dixon is nearing the end of his probationary period as lecturer at a University and, despite disliking his subject and nearly everyone he comes into contact with, he's desperate to hang on to his job. So desperate that he'll do anything to suck up to Professor Welch, who has the power to decide the future of his employment, even to the point of hanging out with his awful family at pretentious parties and reluctantly squiring around Margaret, one of the family's hangers-on. It's only when Bertrand, Professor Welch's boorish son, arrives with an attractive young woman in tow that Jim's luck starts to change, and after a lot of face-pulling, telephone pranking and heavy drinking, he's finally ready to start shaking Margaret off and start going after what he really wants.

As I said in the beginning, this really was funny and enjoyable (especially once I could read more than two lines at a time. Up yours to work, housework, life and shit), and I can definitely identify with a character who finds interacting with most people either awkward or annoying. I just think I was expecting a bit more to it for such an apparent must-read.

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