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This vast and hugely entertaining collection is vintage Amis from a succession of good years. All of his best non-fiction pieces have been gathered together to reveal Kingsley Amis at his most typically robust and incisive: cutting a swathe through such subjects as writers and writing, 'Abroad', eating and drinking, music, language and education. Ridden hard and fast are such Amis hobby-horses as arts subsidies, literary prizes, and jazz; and among the writers discussed at length are Evelyn Waugh, Anthony Powell, Anthony Burgess and Ian Fleming, as well as Amis's beloved Philip Larkin. In these pages we can eat out at some of Amis's favourite (and unfavourite) restaurants, we can sample the Amis hangover cure, and we can wince at the horrible truth of Sod the Public: A Consumer's Guide.
First published in 1968, four years after Ian Fleming's death, this was the first Bond `continuation' novel, penned by one of Britain's finest novelists, Kingsley Amis. `A man in my line of business shouldn't work to a timetable' Lunch at Scott's, a quiet game of golf, a routine social call on his chief M - James Bond's life has begun to fall into a pattern that threatens complacency...until the sunny afternoon when M is kidnapped and his house staff savagely murdered. The action ricochets across the globe to a volcanic Greek island where, stripped of all professional aids, Bond must avert a world-menacing conspiracy and face unarmed the monstrous devices of the glacial, merciless Colonel Sun.
A Parthian shot from one of the most important figures in post-war British fiction, The King's English is the late Kingsley Amis's last word on the state of the language. More frolicsome than Fowler's Modern Usage, lighter than the Oxford English Dictionary, and brimming with the strong opinions and razor-sharp wit that made Amis so popular--and so controversial--The King's English is a must for fans and language purists.
Boarding the train at Euston, Alec begins the journey to his former lover's funeral. Theirs was an affair acknowledged and so permanent that they called themselves 'the Trio', but now only two of them remain. Returning, 'Uncle Alec' will be welcomed by his lover's children, her husband, Jim, and the suburban world that he left behind. As memories are rehashed and acquaintances re-met, this is a short tale of regret, old age and the lies that we tell ourselves. Through conversations, half-hung sentences and painful allusions, Kingsley Amis contemplates the purpose of love, the myriad ways of loving, and the complex web of relationships and distortions that make up our humanity.
Los jugos embriagadores irrumpieron en un mundo apenas estrenado con la castana del virtuoso Noe y la argucia nefanda tramada por las hijas de Lot para multiplicarse. Esas fueron las primeras copas y desde entonces han corrido rios de alcohol por las llanuras literarias (al fin y al cabo, el liquido elemento mana sin pausa como inductor o balsamo de casi todos las desdichas). Entre los efluvios del siglo XX destaca una cima del pensamiento etilico: Kingsley Amis. La bebida no fue para el una mera contingencia o un complemento de pasiones mas hondas, sino una necesidad perentoria, una alegria autonoma y, a menudo, el unico argumento de la obra. Amis fue ademas un maestro de ese humor taimado, lateral e hipotenuso que gastan los caballeros britanicos cuando trinchan el pollo, de modo que este libro es el encuentro en la cumbre entre el divino arte de la ironia y una ciencia humana adquirida tras largos anos de paciente exploracion. Aqui se cruzan la guasa del filosofo y la sapiencia del crapula para impartir doctrina sobre materias de tanta envergadura como la naturaleza ontologica de la resaca, la dieta del beodo, los ardides del tacano o las formulas (seguramente conjeturas) para eludir una borrachera. Aqui se sirve un delicioso coctel de sosa caustica y experiencia destilada. Pasen y beban.
In That Uncertain Feeling by Kingsley Amis, competition is stiff for the position of sub-librarian in Aberdarcy Library. For John Lewis, the situation is complicated by the attentions of daunting and desirable village socialite, Elizabeth Gruffyd-Williams, who is married to a member of the local Council. Pursuing an affair with her whilst keeping his job prospects alive is John's predicament, as he finds himself running down Welsh country lanes at midnight in a wig and dress, resisting the advances of local drunks and suffering the long speeches of a 'nut-faced' clergyman. At times tenderly satirical and at times riotously slap-stick, Amis sends up an array of rural stereotypes in this story about a man who doesn't know what he wants. Kingsley Amis's (1922-95) works take a humorous yet highly critical look at British society, especially in the period following the end of World War II. Born in London, Amis explored his disillusionment in novels such as That Uncertain Feeling (1955). His other works include The Green Man (1970), Stanley and the Women (1984), and The Old Devils (1986), which won the Booker Prize. Amis also wrote poetry, criticism, and short stories.
The short stories of Kingsley Amis - the great master of post-war comic prose - are dark, playful, moving, surprising and extremely funny. This definitive collection gathers all Amis's short fiction in a single volume for the first time and encompasses five decades of storytelling. In 'The 2003 Claret', written in 1958, a time machine is invented for the weighty task of sending a man to 2010 to discover what the booze will taste like. In 'Boris and the Colonel' a Cambridge spy is unearthed in the sleepy English countryside with the help of a plucky horse, while In 'Mason's Life' two men meet inside their respective dreams. The collection spans many genres, offering ingenious alternative histories, mystery and horror, satirical reflections and a devilishly funny attacks. Amis's stories reveal the scope of his imagination and the warmth beneath his acerbic humour, and they all share the unmistakable style and wit of one of Britain's best loved writers. Kingsley Amis' (1922-1995) works take a humorous yet highly critical look at British society, especially of the period following the end of World War II. Born in London, Amis explored his disillusionment with British society in novels such as THAT UNCERTAIN FEELING (1955). His other works include THE GREEN MAN (1970); STANLEY AND THE WOMEN (1984); and THE OLD DEVILS (1986) which won the Booker Prize. Amis also wrote poetry, criticism, and short stories. Rachel Cusk was born in 1967. She has won the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Somerset Maugham Award, and is the author of two works of non-fiction and seven novels, including In The Fold, longlisted for the 2005 Man Booker Prize, and Arlington Park, shortlisted for the Orange Broadband Prize 2007. Her non-fiction book, A Life's Work, was published to huge acclaim in 2001, and her account of a summer spent in Italy with her family, The Last Supper, was published in 2009. Her most recent novel, The Bradshaw Variations was published in 2009. In 2003 she was chosen as one of Granta's Best Young Novelists. She lives in Brighton.
In Kingsley Amis's Take A Girl Like You, twenty year old Jenny Bunn is supernally beautiful and stubbornly chaste, which is why Patrick Standish, an arrogant schoolmaster, wants her so much. This perceptive coming of age novel about a northern girl who moves south, wants to fit in and yet wants to preserve her principles, challenges our assumptions about the battle of the sexes and classes in Britain. It is a story about 'the squalid business of the man and the woman' and 'the most wonderful thing that had ever happened' to Jenny Bunn. Few twentieth century novelists have explored our preoccupation with sex like Kingsley Amis. The results are surprising and often hilarious. Kingsley Amis's (1922-95) works take a humorous yet highly critical look at British society, especially in the period following the end of World War II. Born in London, Amis explored his disillusionment in novels such as That Uncertain Feeling (1955). His other works include The Green Man (1970), Stanley and the Women (1984), and The Old Devils (1986), which won the Booker Prize. Amis also wrote poetry, criticism, and short stories.
In Kingsley Amis's Difficulties With Girls, Jenny Bunn and Patrick Standish have settled into London life with their troubled courtship long behind them. Patrick works in publishing and Jenny teaches sick children in a hospital. They have reached a certain level of maturity, or so they think. It is not long before they realize their respectability will be severely tested by seductive neighbours with a taste for whisky, the sexually confused Ted Valentine, and the literary set of Hampstead. In this funny and provocative study of a young couple growing up, Amis shows us that the difficulty with marriage is that it's so hard to preserve, especially when Patrick and Jenny harbour deep yearnings for a different kind of life. Kingsley Amis's (1922-95) works take a humorous yet highly critical look at British society, especially in the period following the end of World War II. Born in London, Amis explored his disillusionment in novels such as That Uncertain Feeling (1955). His other works include The Green Man (1970), Stanley and the Women (1984), and The Old Devils (1986), which won the Booker Prize. Amis also wrote poetry, criticism, and short stories.
The quickest way to get rich is to marry someone rich, but how do you do this if you aren't yet rich? TV chat-show host Ronnie Appleyard is preoccupied with this question as he pursues wealthy heiress Simona Quick over two continents in the company of braying aristocrats, Greek shipping magnates, American dandies and the dreaded mother-in-law to be. But as he comes closer to his prize other questions present themselves. Is the androgenous Simona really worth it? Why doesn't she like sex? Is it possible to drink all day? With his unerring eye for absurdity and class satire Kingsley Amis shows us what happens when money meets naked ambition.
In this surreal comedy of soldiers and spies, Lieutenant James Churchill and his colleagues find themselves questioning their purpose. Are they for death or against it? These men of action will travel between the barracks, the lunatic asylum and the house of an aristocratic nymphomaniac in search of answers. For while few know the awful truth about Operation Apollo, the mission they are being trained for, fewer still understand the motives of the powerful psychiatrist Dr Best, who thinks he is surrounded by repressed homosexuals, and none know the identity of the secret agent among them. When the Anti-Death League is founded they are at last offered the chance to rebel and perhaps escape ...
In this hilarious, inspiring and provocative series of essays, Kingsley Amis introduces every reader to the wonders and value of science fiction writing. From the extraordinary ideas but sexless science of Jules Verne to the power of H. G. Wells's terrifying storytelling; from the brilliance of bad science fiction writing to the potency of their important ideas; from a portrait of the average SF reader to Amis's sad prediction that this genre will never make it in film or television, New Maps of Hell is a warm and witty exploration of a world many readers may be yet to discover.
Harry Caldecote is the most charming man you'll ever meet, a convivial academic who devotes his life to others. He is on call when his alcoholic niece falls into strange hands, when his brother threatens to emulate Wordsworth, when his son's lesbian lodger is beaten up by her girlfriend. He endures misplaced seductions, swindles and aggressive dogs just to keep the peace at the King's pub in Shepherd's Hill. But when the Adams' Institute of Cultural and Commercial History in America offers him the opportunity to do 'whatever he wanted to do' in a picturesque lakeside town, he faces a choice between freedom or responsibility - and whether to take charge of his own life.
A mummy is stolen from a small town museum along with some Roman coins and a soaking wet man collapses in fourteen year old Peter Furneaux's living room bleeding from the head. What was a suspected student prank is followed by murder. At first it is impossible to see the connection, but the eccentric Colonel Manton does. With Peter's help the Colonel unravels a mystery that strikes fear into the heart of a genteel suburban neighbourhood and gives Peter rather more excitement than he bargained for at the tennis club social. This meticulously paced thriller shows Amis at his most subtle and daring.
'His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as a mausoleum. During the night, too, he'd somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad.' Jix Dixon has a terrible job at a second-rate university. His life is full of things he could happily do without: the tedious and ridiculous Professor Welch, a neurotic and unstable girlfriend, Margaret, burnt sheets, medieval recorder music and over-enthusiastic students. If he can just deliver a lecture on 'Merrie England', a moderately successful career surely awaits him. But without luck, life is never simple . . .
Douglas Yandell, a young-ish music critic, is enlisted by Kitty Vandervane to keep an eye on her roving husband - the eminent conductor and would-be radical Sir Roy - as he embarks on yet another affair. Roy, meanwhile, wants Douglas as an alibi for his growing involvement with Sylvia, an unsuitably young woman who loves nothing more than to shock and provoke. Life soon becomes extremely complicated as Douglas finds himself caught up in a frantic, farcical tangle of relationships, rivalry and scandal. Girl, 20 is a merciless send-up of 1970s London's permissive society from a master of uproarious comedy.
An indispensable companion for readers, writers, and even casual users of the language, the Penguin Modern Classics edition of Kingsley Amis's The King's English features a new introduction by Martin Amis. The King's English is Kingsley Amis's authoritative and witty guide to the use and abuse of the English language. A scourge of illiteracy and a thorn in the side of pretension, Amis provides indispensable advice about the linguistic blunders that lie in wait for us, from danglers and four-letter words to jargon and even Welsh rarebit. If you have ever wondered whether it's acceptable to start a sentence with 'and', to boldly split an infinitive, or to cross your sevens in the French style, Amis has the answer - or a trenchant opinion. By turns reflective, acerbic and provocative, The King's English is for anyone who cares about how the English language is used. Kingsley Amis (1922-1995), born in London, wrote poetry, criticism, and short stories, but is best remembered as the novelist whose works offered a comic deconstruction of post-war Britain. Amis explored his disillusionment with British society in novels such as Lucky Jim (1954) and That Uncertain Feeling (1955); his other works include The Green Man (1970) Stanley and the Women (1984), and The Old Devils (1986) which won the Booker Prize. If you enjoyed The King's English you might like Amis's Lucky Jim, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'A terrific book ... learned, robust, aggressive, extremely funny' Sebastian Faulks
Brimming with gluttony, booze and lust, Roger Micheldene is loose in America. Supposedly visiting Budweiser University to make deals for his publishing firm in England, Roger instead sets out to offend all he meets and to seduce every woman he encounters. But his American hosts seem made of sterner stuff. Who will be Roger's undoing? Irving Macher, the young author of an annoyingly brilliant first novel? Father Colgate, the priest who suggests that Roger's soul is in torment? Or will it be his married ex-lover Helene? One thing is certain - Roger is heading for a terrible fall. Outrageously funny and irreverent, One Fat Englishman (1963) is a devastating satire on Anglo-American relations.
At Tuppenny-hapenny Cottage in the English countryside, five elderly people live together in rancorous disharmony. Adela Bastable bosses the house, as her brother Bernard passes his days thinking up malicious schemes against the baby-talking Marigold and secret drinker Shorty, while kindly George lies bedridden upstairs. The mismatched quintet keep their spirits alive by bickering and waiting for grandchildren to visit at Christmas. But the festive season does not herald goodwill to all at Tuppenny-hapenny Cottage. Disaster and chaos, it seems, are just around the corner ... Told with Amis's piercing wit and humanity, Ending Up (1974) is a wickedly funny black comedy of the indignities of old age.
Jim Dixon has accidentally fallen into a job at one of Britain's new red-brick universities. A moderately successful future in the History department beckons - as long as Jim can survive a madrigal-singing weekend at Professor Welch's, deliver a lecture on 'Merrie England' and resist Christine, the hopelessly desirable girlfriend of Welch's awful son Bertrand.
Penguin Decades bring you the novels that helped shape modern Britain. When they were published, some were bestsellers, some were considered scandalous, and others were simply misunderstood. All represent their time and helped define their generation, while today each is considered a landmark work of storytelling. Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim was published in 1954, and is a hilarious satire of British university life. Jim Dixon is bored by his job as a medieval history lecturer. His days are only improved by pulling faces behind the backs of his superiors as he tries desperately to survive provincial bourgeois society, an unbearable 'girlfriend' and petty humiliation at the hands of Professor Welch. Lucky Jim is one of the most famous and influential of all British post-War novels.
Kingsley Amis was one of the great masters of comic prose, and no subject was dearer to him than the art and practice of imbibing. This new volume brings together the best of his three out-of-print works on the subject: Kingsley Amis in Drink, Everyday Drinking and How's Your Glass? In one handsome package, the book covers a full shelf of the master's riotous and erudite thoughts on the drinking arts: Along with a series of well-tested recipes (including a cocktail called the Lucky Jim) are Amis's musings on The Hangover, The Boozing Man's Diet, The Mean Sod's Guide, and (presumably as a matter of speculation) How Not to Get Drunk - all leavened with fun quizzes on the making and drinking of alcohol all over the world. Mixing practical know-how and hilarious opinionation, this is a delightful cocktail of wry humour and distilled knowledge, served by one of our great gimlet wits.
Jake Richardson, an Oxford don nearing sixty with a lifetime's lechery behind him, is in pursuit of his lost libido and heads off to the consulting room of a miniature sex therapist. Not one to disobey a doctor's orders, he runs the full humiliating gamut of sex labs and trendy 'workshops', where more than souls are bared. He decks himself with cunning gadgetry, dreams up a weekly fantasy, pets diligently with his overweight wife and browses listlessly through porn magazines behind locked doors. Is sex really worth it? As liberationists abuse him, a campus hostess bores him into bed - and even his own wife starts acting oddly - Jake seriously begins to wonder.
The legend continues! Stand by for more adventures with the world's greatest secret agent, as some of his most thrilling missions are collected for the first time ever! When James Bond's boss, the enigmatic M, is kidnapped in Greece, Bond must race to his rescue - with only some local fishermen to help! But, 007 uncovers a plan to sabotage a USSR summit...and the evil Colonel Sun is planning to frame the British Secret Service for the crime! This new, never-before-collected edition, featuring Kingsley Amis' only James Bond story, also collects The Golden Ghost ! It also includes a new introduction and exclusive features examining the post-Fleming comics, and Kingsley Amis' Bond work!
Elegant, provocative and hugely entertaining, Kingsley Amis's memoirs are filled with anecdotes, experiences and portraits of famous friends, family, acquaintances (and a few eminent foes). From his childhood days to Oxford and army life, his travels abroad and his years as a successful novelist, Memoirs offers extraordinary insights into a unique literary life.
Like all good coaching inns, The Green Man is said to boast a resident ghost: Dr Thomas Underhill, a notorious seventeenth-century practitioner of black arts and sexual deviancy. However, the landlord, Maurice Allington, is the sole witness to the renaissance of the malevolent Underhill. Led by an anxious desire to vindicate his sanity, Allington strives to uncover the key to Underhill's satanic powers. All while the skeletons in Allington's own cupboard rattle to get out.
Robin Davies knows how to look after number one. Raised in a bland suburb of South London in the 1930s, Robin longs for the freedom to do what he wants. When he escapes to study in Oxford, he meets Nancy Bennett, a young woman even less worldly than himself. As Robin stumbles through his rites of passage to adulthood, involving rebellion, self-discovery, sex, war, seduction and the threat of commitment, we come to realise just how far he will go to have his cake and eat it.
Hubert Anvil is a 10 year old boy blessed with the voice of an angel. The Church hierarchy decrees that Hubert should be turned into a castrato - an alteration that could bring Hubert fame and fortune, but would also cut him off from an adult world he is curious to discover. In a dystopian world where Martin Luther never reformed and where the Holy Office's power is absolute, where will Hubert turn if he decides to defy their wishes?
Just when Stanley Duke thinks it safe to sink into middle age, his son goes insane. As if that wasn't terrible enough, Stanley finds himself beset on all sides by women - neurotic, cantankerous, half-baked or just plain capricious. As one by one they gnaw away at his composure, Stanley wonders whether insanity is not something with which all women are intimately acquainted.
Malcolm, Peter and Charlie and their Soave-sodden wives have one main ambition left in life: to drink Wales dry. But their routine is both shaken and stirred when they are joined by professional Welshman Alun Weaver (CBE) and his wife, Rhiannon.
Kingsley Amis's witty campus novel, Lucky Jim is a comedy that skewers the hypocrisies and vanities of 1950s academic life. This Penguin Modern Classics edition contains an introduction by David Lodge. Jim Dixon has accidentally fallen into a job at one of Britain's new red brick universities. A moderately successful future in the History Department beckons - as long as Jim can stave off the unwelcome advances of fellow lecturer Margaret, survive a madrigal-singing weekend at Professor Welch's, deliver a lecture on 'Merrie England' and resist Christine, the hopelessly desirable girlfriend of Welch's awful son Bertrand. Inspired by Amis's friend, the poet Philip Larkin, Jim Dixon is a timeless comic character, adrift in a hopelessly gauche and pretentious world. Kingsley Amis (1922-1995), born in London, wrote poetry, criticism, and short stories, but is best remembered as the novelist whose works offered a comic deconstruction of post-war Britain. Amis explored his disillusionment with British society in novels such as Lucky Jim (1954) and That Uncertain Feeling (1955); his other works include The Green Man (1970) Stanley and the Women (1984), and The Old Devils (1986) which won the Booker Prize. If you enjoyed Lucky Jim, you might like Amis's The King's English, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'A flawless comic novel ... I loved it then, as I do now. It has always made me laugh out loud' Helen Dunmore, The Times 'A brilliantly and preposterously funny book' Guardian