Monday, September 8, 2008

Affinity 3

"There was no end to the ways in which nice things are nicer than nasty one."

-Kingsley Amis
Lucky Jim


Greg said...

You know I saw this yesterday and didn't comment because I was going to wait until I got home where I could grab my copy of Lucky Jim and provide a choice quote in reply. Then I got home and started working on the post I have up today and now here I am again back at work with no Lucky Jim handy. Oh well.

Great novel, great writer.

bill r. said...

Kingsley Amis is not only one of my favorite writers, but he's my favorite comic novelist, bar none. His prose has a way of seeming to be precise and straight to the point for a sentence or two before throwing in some completely unforseen twist to the language that just makes you bust out laughing. And his dialogue is just superb.

And it's so great to know you're a fan of his as well, Jonathan. Even though Amis's profile received a bit of a boost with the Collected Letters and Zachary Leader's massive biography, there still aren't many of us left.

Feel free to return tonight with quotes!

Greg said...

Well you knew I was a fan before right? I remember doing that quote from a book meme that I got tagged for and I quoted "Lucky Jim." Hitchens has certainly promoted him tirelessly but the people Hitch is promoting him too probably already read him anyway.

bill r. said...

Yes, I knew you were a fan. It's still nice to know (I understand Paul Giamatti is also an Amis fan. So there's that).

I appreciate the fact that Hitchens is carrying the torch, but you're right, I doubt anyone is being converted. I've mentioned that book forum I go to, Palimpsest, which is based in the UK. Nobody there is a fan, and they're a very well-read group, with good taste, and so forth. I know Amis's politics turn off a lot of people, but that's largely because people assume certain things about him based on that which aren't really true. For instance, have you read The Folks that Live on the Hill? It's not all that well known, but it's actually my favorite Amis novel. Funny, humane, and very moving.

Greg said...

No I'll have to read it. It's hard to believe there aren't fans of Amis on a UK based book forum. Maybe they're thinking of the son instead of the father.

bill r. said...

No, they love the son, or in any case many of them do.

Brian Doan said...

I love "the son" too, but have shamefully never read his father Kingsley. Don't know how I've let that slip past me. Bill, have you read Martin Amis's memoir, Experience? He has a lot of moving stories about the last years of his father's life.

Great photo. And glad your back blogging, btw!

bill r. said...

Thanks, Brian.

I love Martin Amis as well (my favorite is London Fields), but I don't get as much pure pleasure out of him as I do his dad. And, bizarrely, I've never read Experience. Or, anyway, not all of it. I've read many of the sections about Kingsley. I have a bad habit of doing that with non-fiction, but one of these days I'll read it clean through. I hear it's a great book.

Brian Doan said...

Err, that should have been "you're" in my previous comment, not "your" (sorry, the pedant in me couldn't let my error pass (:).

I like London Fields, too, although my favorite of his is Money (I'm also very fond of his essays and reviews, which might be why I like Experience-- although it's a memoir, it reads like a novel, and seems to weave all of Martin's gifts together beautifully).