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Amis, Kingsley. (1922 - 1995).

L i f e

- youth: a radical member of the Communist Party x middle age: a conservative anti-Communist, disillusioned with the USSR

- father of Martin Amis, a lifelong friend of Philip Larkin

W o r k

A n g r y  Y o u n g  M e n :

- a gifted comic and satirist

- preoccupied with the upward mobility in the university environment

Lucky Jim (1954):

- a seminal work (= a work from which other works grow): the first English novel to feature an ordinary man as anti-hero

- a comic account of a young would-be-radical lecturer’s resistance to the earnestly pretentious and complacent culture of a provincial university

- the protagonist: Jim Dixon, a typical ‘angry young man’, an estranged critic of the middle-class social and cultural pretentiousness

That Uncertain Feeling (1955), I Like it Here (1958), and Lucky Jim’s Politics (1968):

- resuscitated the comic character of Jim Dixon

One Fat Englishman (1963):

- an account of a British visitor’s experience in an American college

- the protagonist = a typical example of an Englishman attempting to resist the American way of life

The Old Devils (1986):

- an account of the life of a group of retired friends and their wives

> won him the Booker Prize

S c i e n c e - f i c t i o n :

- coined the term ‘comic inferno’ for humorous dystopia

The Green Man (1969):

- a supernatural horror-novel, adapted by BBC for TV

The Alteration (1976):

- an alternate history novel (= a sub-genre of sci-fi set in a world in which history has diverged from history as it is generally known), set in a parallel contemporary Britain in which there has been no Reformation and the Papacy still wields supreme power

Russian Hide and Seek (1980):

- an alternate history novel set in a near-future Britain conquered by Russians after WW II

P o e t r y :

- associated with ‘The Movement’

 Bright November (1947), A Frame of Mind (1953), A Case of Samples (1956)


(Photo: Wikipedia).

  • Author

    Sir Kingsley William Amis. (1922 - 1995). British.
  • Work

    Novelist. Poet. Author of Lucky Jim (1954).
  • Genres

    Angry Young Men. Campus novel. Science fiction. The Movement.


Abrams, Meyer Howard, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.

Barnard, Robert. Stručné dějiny anglické literatury. Praha: Brána, 1997.

Baugh, Albert C. ed. A Literary History of England. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967. 

Coote, Stephen. The Penguin Short History of English Literature. London: Penguin, 1993.

Sampson, George. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946.

Sanders, Andrew. The Short Oxford History of English Literature. New York: Clarendon Press, 1994.


"A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night and then as its mausoleum."

From Lucky Jim (1954).


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