Since the 1950’s Amis has been one of the most popular novelists in Britain. From Lucky Jim (1954) to The Biographer’s Moustache (1995) his novels have mixed realism, fantasy, black comedy and satire. His public image has been equally varied: angry young man, left wing liberal, club-land Tory, shameless misogynist. This book shows us the real Amis. He offers us versions of ourselves but he does not instruct or explain. His technical craftsmanship rivals that of the modernists but he remains accessible to the ordinary reader. Amis’s novels remind us that fiction can be as engaging and immediate as television and film, but also that the medium of language is more effective than either of these in its ability to consume our anxieties, doubts and pleasures.
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