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'Difficulties With Girls' revisits Jenny (née Bunn) and Patrick Standish eight years after the conclusion of 'Take a Girl Like You' (it was written almost thirty years later) and for the first half of the book I had written it off as an entirely pointless sequel written by an author who seemed to have lost most of his wit.In the second half, however, the scales fell from my eyes as I started to put together the actual message of the book, rather than the various horrific messages the characters
"I think that trip's going to be what we call a notional benefit, something they tell you when you start off you might get and then phase out before it happens."Kingsley Amis explains the misleading praise on the back of the book.This was a book I chose purely by title: it sounded comedic and vapid, much like most movies starring Meg Ryan/Jennifer Aniston, and I wanted something similarly simple, mindless, and happily-ever-after. A quote from the back says the book is about a man falling in love...
It's a Kingsley Amis alright.There's not really much to say about this one. The witty repartee is, the brutal asides are, and the air of misanthropy lingers long after, as in an elevator. The characters: real, pathetic, almost despisable. A few early caricatures turn out to be (surprisingly) fully-fleshed. Amis tends to write most of his comic asides from the viewpoint of his main character/surrogate, in this case the of-course-drunk-but-not-as-bad-as-his-neighbors-or-colleagues Patrick. As usua...
'Normal' conforming couple, think that they have nailed adulthood; then they meet their seductive non-conformist neighbours who have tastes for booze, a sexually confused friend the the Hampstead literary set! An OK romantic/slightly dark comedy taking a loot at and at times satirising the entwined the relationships between neighbours, work colleagues and their peers get entangles, with an overview of the human condition... seriously! 5 out of 12. I was bit surprised that this edition was from 1...
When last I saw the characters Patrick Standish and Jenny Bunn, they were just starting their relationship in Kingsley Amis’s Take a Girl Like You.Now, years later, they are stilled married, but childless due to Jenny’s miscarriage. They’ve moved to a maisonette at 1 Lower Ground in London. Jenny is still the same sweetheart; and Patrick, the same opportunistic whoreson. Jenny knows this and sorrowfully reproves his husband for his erring ways. Being in the book publishing business, Patrick goes...
not an easy read, but truly compelling dialogue.
Difficulties with Girls, by Kingsley Amis 10 out of 10Kingsley Amis is a genius, his books are a delight, he is among my top favorite writers and has rightly been considered the best comedy author of at least the last half of the last century.Difficulties with Girls has the same sophisticated, amusing, insightful, satirical, penetrating style that we can admire inLucky Jim, Girl, 20, Ending Up - all reviewed at realini.blogspot.ro.The main characters here are Jenny and her husband Patrick Standi...
I have a reasonably large personal pantheon of favourite authors, but old Kingers is Zeus among them all. I have read each of his novels more than once, and some I have read 10 times or more. The one novel that I have read and loved more than all the rest is Take A Girl Like You, which is (to use the parlance of our times) the prequel to this little number. TAGLY is a ripper, a real 6 stars out of 5 job. This follow up is, in my view, less successful, though better than the average output of alm...
This novel has not aged well. I do not recognize the female characters and the portrayal of the gay community is offensive. I enjoyed Lucky Jim from this same author but I had a hard time getting through this one. If I wasn't in the middle of a pandemic lockdown running out of books to read I probably would've abandoned this. The reviews promised poignancy by the final chapter. Do not believe them.
Nasty little book full of sexist and homophobic tropes.It says a lot that the only character I gave a shit about was the cat that went missing. I don't even like cats.
I often wished that Jenny would leave Patrick while reading this but realized that was missing the whole point of this very English and very odd story of an ordinary couple in London in the 60s.
This book draws some very authentic characters and follows them through a chunk of their lives in 1960's London. It feels a little like a period piece. The themes feel dated - do we think of adultery in the same way as people like this did in the sixties or seventies? - and the lives that Amis is describing are engaging but don't seem to be conveying anything urgent or necessary. It seems that the main male character, who is an absolute cad, is let off a bit too easily here. Still, it wasn't bor...
Many good one-liners, but not worth it for all that. I can't help but consider Amis's view of human relationships about the most depressing thing ever. The ending made me want to curl up into a little ball and cry. Don't bother -- only for hard-core Amis fans.
I made it 30 pages or so into this and just wasn't drawn into it at all. Maybe it was the setting or the style, but life's too short (and my to-read list is too long) to put up with books that aren't gripping.
I've never enjoyed the disconnect that Amis had with his characters in his later work. Especially here when the same characters were the leads in a novel years before when Amis wrote with a good deal more wit.
Amis tries to be so clever, but he's no Jane Austen or Evelyn Waugh. This book was icky. Really. It made me feel icky. I stopped reading it about halfway, even though I had a feeling the ending would turn out okay. The characters were all people I had no desire to read anything more about.
My conclusion (10 pages in): I just don't care.
OK but not as good as I was expecting.
Sequel to "Take a Girl Like You."
I love Kingsley Amis but this tale I found dark and unpleasant. So satirical that it was sad, not funny (except in rare moments.