Lucky Jim

Lucky Jim

by Kingsley Amis, Keith Gessen

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Regarded by many as the finest, and funniest, comic novel of the twentieth century, Lucky Jim remains as trenchant, withering, and eloquently misanthropic as when it first scandalized readers in 1954. This is the story of Jim Dixon, a hapless lecturer in medieval history at a provincial university who knows better than most that “there was no end to the ways in which nice things are nicer than nasty ones.” Amis’s scabrous debut leads the reader through a gallery of emphatically English bores, cranks, frauds, and neurotics, with each of whom Dixon must contend in one way or another in order to hold on to his cushy academic perch and win the girl of his fancy.
More than just a merciless satire of cloistered college life and stuffy post-war manners, Lucky Jim is an attack on the forces of boredom, whatever form they may take, and a work of art that at once distills and extends an entire tradition of English comic writing, from Fielding and Dickens through Wodehouse and Waugh. As Christopher Hitchens has written, “if you can picture Bertie or Jeeves being capable of actual malice, and simultaneously imagine Evelyn Waugh forgetting about original sin, you have the combination of innocence and experience that makes this short romp so imperishable.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590175910
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 10/02/2012
Series: NYRB Classics Series
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 296
Sales rank: 165,664
File size: 1 MB

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. He won an English scholarship to St John’s College, Oxford, where he began a lifelong friendship with fellow student Philip Larkin. Following army service in WWII 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; from that point on he would publish roughly a book a year. Amis received the Booker Prize for his novel The Old Devils in 1986 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990.

Keith Gessen is a Russian-born American novelist, translator, activist, and journalist. He co-founded n+1 magazine, based in Brooklyn, in 2004. His debut novel All the Sad Young Literary Men was published in 2008 by The Viking Press, and he has translated from Russian Svetlana Alexievich's Voices from Chernobyl, an oral history of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and Ludmilla Petrushevskaya's There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby with Anna Summers. In 2010 he edited and introduced Diary of a Very Bad Year: Confessions of an Anonymous Hedge Fund Manager, and in 2011 became involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement and co-edited the OCCUPY! Gazette. His journalistic writing has appeared in The New York Review of Books, The London Review of Books, The Atlantic, and New York magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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