Science fiction, the spy story, the ghost story—all were grist for Amis’s mill, and this original collection shows him at his adventurous best. “[Amis’s stories] are, in the most positive sense, a mixed bag. They are written by a man with plenty of interests in life, a large capacity for changing his mind and containing contrasting, even conflicting opinions within himself. The reader genuinely never knows what is coming next.”—The Spectator
“I finished Kingsley Amis’s Ending Up with…a conviction, confirmed in work after work, that he is one of the few living novelists totally incapable of boring me. Ending Up is a sardonic little masterpiece which, with incredible economy and stylistic restraint, shows what old age is really like, and also—far, far better than any other writer I know—what contemporary England is like.” —Anthony Burgess
Kingsley Amis’s most ambitious reckoning with his central theme—the degradation of modern life—introduces one of the rare unqualified good guys in Amis’s rogue-ridden world: Jenny Bunn, a girl from the North English country has come south to teach school in a small smug town where she hopes to find love and fortune.
Sir Roy Vandervane (a Leonard Bernstein-esque, but very British, conductor) has been known to indulge in dalliances with younger women, but in the highborn hippie Sylvia, he might have met his match. In Girl, 20, famous curmudgeon and wit Kingsley Amis deals a double-punch to radical chic and Flower Power. “Sir Roy is a first-class character, possibly Amis’s best.”—Anatole Broyard
Amis sent Roger Micheldene, the titular hero of One Fat Englishman to America (he is a visiting professor at Budweiser College) as a fictional emissary, avenging the wrongs done to the Old World by the vulgar, consumerist New. But the joke is on Roger, obese, bumbling, and outsmarted at every turn by unobliging housewives, clever novelists, and even neighborhood deer. “Very funny…splendidly slapstick…and serious too.”—TLS
In Kingsley Amis’s virtuoso foray into alternate history, it is 1976 but the modern world is a medieval relic, frozen in intellectual and spiritual time ever since Martin Luther was promoted to pope back in the sixteenth century. “One of the best—possibly the best—alternate-worlds novels in existence.”— Philip K. Dick
“A thoroughly contemporary ghost story … in the uncomplicated, old-fashioned sense. As one might expect from the author of Lucky Jim, The Green Man is also an extremely funny book, filled with slapstick, parody and satire. Indeed, the success of this short novel depends very much on the balance that Amis maintains between fear and laughter.”—The New York Times
This campus comedy launched Kingsley Amis’s career and made him the reluctant voice of a generation. Neither its vitriol nor its wit has dulled with the years. “Remarkable for its relentless skewering of artifice and pretension, Lucky Jim also contains some of the finest comic set pieces in the language.” —Olivia Laing, The Observer
Winner of the 1986 Booker Prize, and considered by his son Martin to be Kingsley Amis’s greatest achievement, The Old Devils is delightful proof that neither Amis nor his characters mellowed in old age. In fact, a placid life is just the thing that Amis denies his old devils, whose routines of nattering, complaining, and drinking, are thrown into chaos when an old friend and rival (now a successful writer) returns to town with a new and entrancing wife.