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Author: Richard Bradford
ISBN13: 978-0720611175
Title: Lucky Him: The Life of Kingsley Amis
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ePUB size: 1701 kb
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Language: English
Category: History and Criticism
Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers; 1st edition (August 1, 2001)
Pages: 400

Lucky Him: The Life of Kingsley Amis by Richard Bradford

said: I miss reading this book; I miss Kingsley Amis, the good years. Bradford's biography shows that it is imposs Kingsley Amis always claimed that his fiction was not based on his life, and he worked hard and quite successfully at obscuring the autobiographical threads that run through his novels. But they exist, and Richard Bradford traces the channels between Amis's experiences, his states of mind, and his fictionalized versions of both

by Bradford, Richard, 1957-. Publication date 2001. Topics Amis, Kingsley, Novelists, English, Critics. Collection inlibrary; printdisabled; ; china. Digitizing sponsor Internet Archive. Contributor Internet Archive. Includes bibliographical references (p. 421-423) and index. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Uploaded by Lotu Tii on June 25, 2012.

Kingsley Amis always claimed that his fiction was not based on his life, and he worked hard and quite successfully at obscuring the autobiographical threads that run through his novels. But they exist, and Richard Bradford traces the channels between Amis's experiences, his states of mind, and his fictionalized versions of both

Personal Name: Bradford, Richard, 1957-. On this site it is impossible to download the book, read the book online or get the contents of a book. The administration of the site is not responsible for the content of the site. The data of catalog based on open source database. All rights are reserved by their owners. Download book Lucky him : the life of Kingsley Amis, Richard Bradford.

Lucky Him. (2001) the Life of Kingsley Amis A non fiction book by Richard Bradford. the relationship between what we know and that private world in which what he knew was re-examined, re-modelled and written. Used availability for Richard Bradford's Lucky Him.

Kingsley Amis’ satire on academic life, Lucky Jim (1954) was published at a time of almost unprecedented and (as yet) never repeated social upheaval in Britain. Clement Attlee’s landslide Labour victory in 1945 had led to the introduction of a comprehensive program of reform, including the introduction of the National Health Service, child benefit and old age pensions, an increase in the amount of social housing and the nationalisation of several of Britain’s industries. This transformation of British society was intended to be profound; the labour party manifesto of 1945 states that ‘The nation needs a tremendous overhaul’ (Labour Party Manifesto 1945) and changes in the political landscape were soon accompanied by changes in the artistic and cultural life of Britain.

The Alteration is a 1976 alternative history novel by Kingsley Amis, set in a parallel universe in which the Reformation did not take place. It won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award in 1977. In 1973, Amis had heard a reproduction of the voice of Alessandro Moreschi, the last known European castrato.

My own Kingsley Amis: An English Moralist (1989) now strikes me as naively credulous about Amis's claims for the distinction between the life and the books; Richard Bradford's excellent Lucky Him (2001) tends to the opposite extreme of tying nearly everything to autobiography; the late Eric Jacobs's biography (1995) is often little more than tittle-tattle. From their different points of view, Martin Amis's Experience (2000) and Elizabeth Jane Howard's Slipstream (2002) offer uniquely personal insights. Now along comes Leader's The Life of Kingsley Amis. The main value of the book is its comprehensiveness. The Life of Kingsley Amis. Solid, well-written biography that sheds new light on the life and work of the famed British novelist. Kingsley Amis (1922–95) protested throughout his long career that his fictions were not autobiographical, though his readers, especially his students and university colleagues, took it as given that Jim Dixon, the protagonist of Amis’s 1953 novel Lucky Jim, was the author’s doppelgänger. In fact, writes Bradford (English/Univ

Kingsley Amis was born in Clapham, south London, the son of William Robert Amis, a mustard manufacturer's clerk. He was educated at the City of London School, and in April 1941 was admitted to St. John's College, Oxford, where he read English. It was there that he met Philip Larkin, with whom he formed the most important friendship of his life. After only a year, in July 1942, he was called up for national service. After serving in the Royal Corps of Signals in the Second World War, Amis returned to Oxford in October 1945 to complete his degree. Lucky Him: The Life of Kingsley Amis, Richard Bradford, Peter Owen, 2001. Kingsley Amis: Memoirs, Kingsley Amis, Penguin, 1992. Kingsley Amis, a Biography, Eric Jacobs, Hodder & Stoughton, 1995.

Kingsley Amis always claimed that his fiction was not based on his life, and he worked hard and quite successfully at obscuring the autobiographical threads that run through his novels. But they exist, and Richard Bradford traces the channels between Amis's experiences, his states of mind, and his fictionalized versions of both. Bradford's biography shows that it is impossible to offer a comprehensive picture of Amis the man as husband, philanderer, friend, father, jester, son, boozer, agnostic, pseudo-socialist, and club-land Tory without also considering how each dimension of his life tested and extended his literary skills. Sometimes he remodeled the present, particularly during the 1950s when his books reflected his double life as family man and prolific libertine. He revisited the past in novels such as The Riverside Villas Murder, a detective story that tells us much about his early relationship with his father. Less frequently he took revenge, notably with his cruel parody of his second wife Elizabeth Jane Howard in Stanley and the Women. Readers of Amis's books often feel as if they have had a personal encounter with a shadowy presence behind the words, and Bradford's biography embodies this shadow.
Reviews: 2
There were already at least two biographies of Kingsley Amis in print when Professor Bradford wrote this one. Professor Bradford's biography is both complete and well-written.
It is marred, however, by Professor Bradford's insistence that "Amis's fiction (is) one of the most entertaining and thought-provoking autobiographies ever produced." His point is not simply that Amis has modeled some characters on people he has known, nor that some events are paralleled in Amis's life. Virtually every writer of fiction draws from his life. He goes much further than that, claiming that nearly every character in Amis's novels and stories is intended to be Amis himself or somebody that Amis knew.
He starts with the contention that Jim Dixon, the protagonist of Lucky Jim, Amis's first and perhaps best-known novel, is Amis himself. Dixon, fresh out of college, is teaching in an obscure English college. Amis began teaching at University College of Swansea in Wales while completing his graduate thesis at Oxford. The parallels break down there, however. The plot of Lucky Jim involves Dixon's jettisoning his unattractive, somewhat mentally ill girlfriend and acquiring an attractive, nice blonde one. Amis married an attractive blonde woman while still at Oxford, more than a year before he began teaching at Swansea. Central to the plot of Lucky Jim is Dixon's status as an outsider, never explicitly stated but implied by many things, including the fact that he is from the north of England with an accent that immediately identifies him as such and the fact that he attended a university of no particular prestige (a passage in the third chapter hints that it may be the University of Leicester). Amis, by contrast, was born and raised in London, and, by Bradford's own account had a BBC accent. As already noted, he was an Oxford graduate. Whatever else Amis was, he was not an outsider, at least not by virtue of his birthplace, accent, or university education.
On and on it goes, with Bradford claiming that Simona Quick, the waif-like nineteen-year-old in I Want It Now, is really Jane Howard, Amis's second wife, who was in her mid-forties at the period in which the book was written and takes place, that Amis has split himself between two characters in Girl, 20, that the ten-year-old boy who is to be castrated to preserve his pure, youthful voice in The Alteration is in fact Amis in his mid-fifties, worried about declining .... prowess, and that Amis has split himself into four different characters in The Old Devils, attributing to them such unusual characteristics as the fact that they all drink too much.
Bradford and his editor also get some facts wrong, either by design or by laziness. On page 206, he claims that, in One Fat Englishman, "Micheldene is obliged to take part in a game of charades and is asked to become the embodiment of 'Englishness'". In fact, the other characters try to act "Britishly", and it is Micheldene who is to guess what the word is. This is not a very important point, but consulting the novel itself is all that is necessary to get it right.
Similarly, Bradford, in claiming that Jake Richardson, the title character of Jake's Thing, is actually an older Jim Dixon (who, by Bradford's thesis, is Amis under a different name), asserts on page 305 that "Jake's given name is James", while, in the novel itself, Jake's given name is, in fact, Jaques, pronounced "Jakes". One might argue that the French "Jacques" (Richardson's ancestors came from France) is the equivalent of the English "James", but the chain of reasoning is now one link longer, and, once again, consulting the novel would have been sufficient to provide correct information.
Since Kingsley Amis was one of the most interesting and amusing 20th century English novelists, any book that closely examines his complete work is bound to be welcome. As well as the sheer gut-busting humour and insight of his first and best known novel, Lucky Jim, Amis was an excellent story-teller capable of serious reflection about the human condition. He just didn't believe in being pompous and self-important about it. Some of his books - The Anti-Death League, for instance, or The Green Man - serve up a fascinating blend of dry humour, drama, characterisation, philosophy and even suspense.

Obviously the man who wrote these books - not forgetting poetry, critical essays and biographies - was himself quite complex. The life and soul of any party, though many were hurt by his scathing wit, Amis was scared of the dark and even being alone, and was apparently prone to sudden attacks of pure existential fear. The tendency to identify him with Lucky Jim, his first and most famous anti-hero, was strengthened by the gradually spreading awareness of the chronic womanising which broke up both his marriages. Yet it seems that Amis much regretted these domestic disasters, conceivably having failed to understand that marriage offers real, though easily overlooked, benefits to husbands as well as wives.

Bradford's thesis is simply that, denials to the contrary notwithstanding, all of Amis' fiction is drawn directly from his own life experience. All he manages to demonstrate, however, is the meaninglessness of this position. Of course every author draws on experience for material - otherwise all fiction would be fantasy. When Bradford is reduced to arguing that "Simona... has characteristics so completely different from Jane's as to virtually announce themselves as covering devices", the poverty of his basic idea is clearly revealed. If a character resembles anyone Amis ever met, he must have copied that character from real life. But if the character is completely different, the same inference is drawn.

Otherwise, the book is well written and evidently based on research as thorough as Amis' own (for a surprising rigour was one of his best qualities). This impression is hardly spoiled by occasional infelicities and repetitions - and at least when Bradford revisits the same text twice, he tells the same story each time. Perhaps the best thing about this book is that it will surely encourage any reader to get hold of Amis' novels and read them (or re-read them, as the case may be).

Is it evil to smile at the thought of how Amis would have fumed if he could have read the manuscript himself? Not really - it is the sort of joke he would have appreciated, and perhaps accompanied by his famous "crazy peasant" face.