Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lucky Jim, Lucky Reader

I’ve seen this book on several lists, so I won’t say too much yet and see if there might be some discussion later.
My favorite moment is probably a little throwaway line:
[…] an unlit building with a painted sign, faintly visible, reading Car’s for hire – Batesons – Repair’s.
It might get missed because it goes without comment, but in today’s blogoriffic world, the misplaced apostrophes would probably appear accompanied by several LOL’s.
Back to the book. A fun read. Anyone who has a chance to sit back take a little time with it over a few evenings is a lucky reader, indeed. Jacket copies invariably include comparisons to Wodehouse. But Amis’s plot and characters matter a bit more than Wodehouse’s, so the book seems a slow starter, in order to accommodate a certain build-up.
As a former grad student, the college setting makes sense, as does this bit about an article Dixon (the titular fortunate James) wrote:
It was a perfect title, in that it crystallized the article’s niggling mindlessness, its funereal parade of yawn-enforcing facts, the pseudo-light it threw upon non-problems.

I’m looking forward to tossing out some questions to others who have read it. Or, to be more honest in the vein that Amis seems to call for: I’m looking forward to attempt to impress you with the groped-at meanings I’ve forced on a work that primarily aims at entertainment.


moonrat said...

Hahaha. Goedi, I wish you luck with both endeavors.

hifidel said...

I just finished Lucky Jim over the weekend. I really enjoyed it too. Very, very funny book.

Goedi said...

hifidel, what was the climax of the book for you?
(also, for little Amis pieces, I recommend Everyday Drinking)