Books by Kingsley Amis

Released: June 1, 1998

"Although useless as a guide to the English language, Amis's book functions as a droll literary tract and a reminder that —the price of a good style, like that of other desirable things, is eternal vigilance."
A delightfully arch, irreverent handbook for those who dare to speak or write the King's English—Kingsley Amis's English, that is. Read full book review >
THE RUSSIAN GIRL by Kingsley Amis
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1994

"Vintage Amis — as divisive, compelling, and hilarious as the Bobbitt trial."
As pleasantly cantankerous as ever, the venerable Kingsley Amis (We Are All Guilty, 1992) once again casts his gimlet eye on the vanities of the age. Read full book review >
WE ARE ALL GUILTY by Kingsley Amis
YOUNG ADULT
Released: Feb. 1, 1992

"For a far more perceptive look at Britain's underclass, try Gillian Cross's Wolf (1991); unlike Amis's book, it has vibrantly individual characters and a compelling plot. (Fiction. 12-16)"
Like some other established adult authors, Amis (Lucky Jim; The Old Devils, Booker Prize, 1986) seems to imagine that his expertise qualifies him to write for young people; unfortunately, he has come up here with a simplistic, condescending book. Read full book review >
MEMOIRS by Kingsley Amis
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"Depthless, but the pace and variety will keep many awake."
Amis's "autobiography"—or, more accurately—portraits of his acquaintances after a few opening chapters on his family, school days, and life at Oxford. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1990

"Lots of wonderfully gratuitous gibes at Amis' familiar betes noires brighten an already luminous work."
One of modern literature's greatest curmudgeons appears to be going soft in his old age. Read full book review >
THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY by Kingsley Amis
Released: Oct. 16, 1989

"Sporadically entertaining—with occasional Amis drolleries—but too episodic, arbitrary, and just-plain-silly to sustain interest."
Don't get your hopes up, fans of The Riverside Villas Murder (1973). Read full book review >
DIFFICULTIES WITH GIRLS by Kingsley Amis
Released: April 5, 1989

After winning the Booker Prixe for his last novel, an inspired satire on aging adulterers (The Old Devils), Amis here aims his barbed wit at an easy target—the cultural excesses of the Sixties. Read full book review >
DIFFICULTIES WITH GIRLS by Kingsley Amis
Released: April 5, 1989

"But here bis talents are wasted on a dull sex farce that resolves itself with much cheap moralizing."
After winning the Booker Prixe for his last novel, an inspired satire on aging adulterers (The Old Devils), Amis here aims his barbed wit at an easy target—the cultural excesses of the Sixties. Read full book review >
THE OLD DEVILS by Kingsley Amis
Released: March 1, 1987

"Plenty of boisterous pub crawls and witty chin-wags add up to vintage Amis."
In this bilious and booze-sodden narrative (winner of the 1986 Booker Prize), Amis once again transforms insult, ridicule, and reaction into high comic art, much of it at the expense of his own kind for a change. Read full book review >
JAKE'S THING by Kingsley Amis
Released: June 26, 1980

"The Amis prose glitters throughout as shark-toothily as ever, but the Amis bile isn't the geyser it once was-more like a leaky faucet."
A savage, often unfunny and unfocused adieu to sex—at least as it's practiced in the "permissive society." Read full book review >
THE NEW OXFORD BOOK OF LIGHT VERSE by Kingsley Amis
Released: June 1, 1978

"So: a strongly flavored selection, sparkling and accomplished and sedulously unserious, to supplement (but not supplant) Auden's more lingering measures."
"Anon. is not my favorite poet," writes K. Amis, butting against the first Oxford Book of Light Verse (1938) compiled by W. H. Auden, which includes anonymous ballads, folk songs, and nursery rhymes right along with the poems of Chaucer-to-Byron-to-Betjeman. Read full book review >
Released: March 9, 1976

"Abundantly illustrated with 19th century bookplates, Kipling's own drawings, and photos of Imperial India and other likely locales."
Not a new biography of Kipling, but a set of "interpretations, emphases and connections" touching on the genesis of Barrack-Room Ballads, The Jungle Book, Just So Stories, et al. Read full book review >
THE ALTERATION by Kingsley Amis
Released: Jan. 20, 1976

"Too precious to take seriously (however genuine the anti-clerical anger) and too leaden to embrace."
The English Reformation never was. Read full book review >
ENDING UP by Kingsley Amis
Released: Sept. 25, 1974

"One of the self-defeating aspects of Mr. Amis' book — if it is to be a commentary on the incompetence-incontinence of old age — is that he has gathered together such an unsightly group of characters who must easily have been as unattractive at thirty or forty or fifty."
When all is said and done, Mr. Amis and his readers should all be ready to make voluntary contributions to the Euthanasia Society although there are no suggestions to that effect here. Read full book review >
ON DRINK by Kingsley Amis
Released: Oct. 24, 1973

"MPSLUGMISTER Amis."
Amis disclaims all responsibility for dipsomaniacs (a special case) but this should be everyone else's indispensable guide to alcoholic bliss. Read full book review >
THE RIVERSIDE VILLAS MURDER by Kingsley Amis
Released: Sept. 1, 1973

"Not much of a game, as we indicated (a bloodied victim walks through the windows of Peter's house to lie fallen cold and dead) — not as seductive as his ghost story The Green Man — but a bit of cheerful nostalgia for those who mourn the demise of the red herring on the garden path."
Kingsley Amis, that literary traveling man, has written about the classical detective story which he admires (particularly John Dickson Carr's wheezy Dr. Fell) and now he has emulated the form which succeeds far better as a send-up than a story — that is a crime story since these elements, particularly the denouement, are sheer "kerfuffle." Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 8, 1971

"The right bright word is always in its right, striking place."
"The man's name is Ames," said the late Evelyn Waugh so pontifically that the discussion of Mr. Amis's work was broken off at that point. Read full book review >
GIRL, 20 by Kingsley Amis
Released: Jan. 12, 1971

"Thus the comic effects and comic they are become purely pleasurable perquisites — like Penny when she is handed over to Douglas — as attractive a prospect as 'the free offer of a new and prodigious set of hi-fi equipment."
This is Kingsley Amis as you know him best (after Lucky Jim and before The Green Man) in which via a fatcat Englishman, Sir Roy Vandervane, he manages to strafe the scene with an exactitude of eye and ear which is infallibly and fractiously funny. Read full book review >
THE GREEN MAN by Kingsley Amis
Released: Aug. 19, 1970

"If none of it coalesces altogether, there is still Mr. Amis' catchy, sophisticated talk which however small is always diverting."
Mr. Amis' new novel, superficially at least, is a ghost story in which his hero Allington who runs The Green Man (a very elegant inn but also a haunted house) is beset on all sides—by his own nocturnal hallucinations, by everpresent hypochondria, and by the encroachment of delirium tremens since he drinks a bottle a day. Read full book review >
I WANT IT NOW by Kingsley Amis
Released: March 12, 1969

"MPSLUGMISTER Amis' noticing eye takes in everything and you'll like his ingenuously appealing Simon Quick."
Kingsley Amis, like John Braine, has been the subject of a good deal of retrospective critical lament—the golden boys of the '50's who turned out to be merely brassy commentators of the '60's. Read full book review >
SPECTRUM V by Kingsley Amis
Released: March 22, 1967

"The authors represented are F.L. Wallace, Walter M. Miller, Raymond F. Jones, James H. Schmitz, Tom Godwin, Theodore L. Thomas, Paul Ash and Richard Ashby."
The fifth in a popular, intelligent series this contains eight short science fiction stories all ending, happily enough on an optimistic note. Read full book review >
THE ANTI-DEATH LEAGUE by Kingsley Amis
Released: Aug. 17, 1966

"All in all, it might be classed as an intellectual thriller— it's a work of considerable originality and agility and it should keep its readers firmly captive, midway between attention and admiration."
At the beginning of this novel which suggests very well the malignant boredom within a small British army unit engaged in an operation of an unspecified nature, one is never quite sure what is going to happen. Read full book review >
SPECTRUM IV by Kingsley Amis
Released: Aug. 11, 1965

"Mostly marvelous."
Starting off with some pleasant patter (taped) between the authors and C.S. Lewis, this collection launches into fifteen diversified stories, most of which are well above average while several seem to be vying for the far-outsmanship award. Read full book review >
THE JAMES BOND DOSSIER by Kingsley Amis
Released: June 29, 1965

"As such, it's an entertaining exegesis of the compleat Bond for the compleat collector thereof."
To Fleming- With Admiration, as one of the "demi-giants" who like Jules Verne or Conan Doyle left an unmistakable imprint on the story of action/intrigue, this critique of his total OEUVRE in the face of many detractors. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 7, 1965

"Most of the characters are faceless but one of them could be Peter Sellers."
The Egyptologists are the members of the Metropolitan Egyptological Society housed in London, and just what goes on or comes off in the Isis Room is not revealed until the end of this long legpull. Read full book review >
Released: July 29, 1964

"An eminent cast of contributors here — Theodore Sturgeon; J.G. Ballard; Poul Anderson; Mark Rose, Peter Phillips; Murray Leinster; Alfred Bester; and Arthur C. Clarke — are an assurance of literate entertainment."
This third anthology of stories and novellas projects a good deal of the new phenomenology through skyscapes from here to the moon. Read full book review >
ONE FAT ENGLISHMAN by Kingsley Amis
Released: Feb. 26, 1963

Kingsley Amis, who has often claimed that his intention was to write funny books, has never succeeded in doing so as well as he did in Lucky Jim. Read full book review >
NEW MAPS OF HELL by Kingsley Amis
Released: March 1, 1960

"A discourse of particular interest to the serious followers of science fiction, this has its special place too on the level of literary criticism."
A review and an analysis of a long held hobby, this holds a strong, if often critical, brief for science fiction, for Amis believes that "to read and to study science fiction are valid and interesting pursuits....." with sociological, psychological and political possibilities. Read full book review >
TAKE A GIRL LIKE YOU by Kingsley Amis
Released: Feb. 22, 1960

"Those looking for the expected satire and humor will find little of either — or much else to admire."
Young Jenny Bunn comes to infant-teach outside of London and is quite determined to lose the narrow-minded ideas of her north country home. Read full book review >
THAT UNCERTAIN FEELING by Kingsley Amis
Released: Feb. 23, 1955

"It's not a sure bet that British acclaim — and vanguard American criticism will overcome that uncertain American market."
A second book from one of the young English novelists (Lucky Jim was the first) continues his prodding of pomp and many circumstances, of upper class apings and ossified institutionalism. Read full book review >