And the winner is .....
Kingsley Amis: Lucky Jim (1954)
Nominated by Richard Ings and here's why:
"By far and away my favourite of the lists, so many books to choose from and so many books missing, I'm just going to pick the first one on the list: Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis.
Here's how the New York Review Of Books book club is pitching it to its readers for October:
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.” Kingsley Amis’s scabrous debut leads the reader through a gallery of emphatically English bores, cranks, frauds, and neurotics with 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 postwar 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."
Looking to be a nice quick read, make sure you grab your copy ASAP so you can join in with the discussion. I got mine for the bargain price of £1.21 from Amazon Marketplace:
For the more ethical purchasers out there why not try The Green Metropolis Charity Book Site:
Or you can try your Local Library:
or Oxfam Bookshop:
Happy Reading :)