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by Kingsley Amis

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ISBN:
058603885X
Author:
Kingsley Amis
Language:
English
Publisher:
HarperCollins Distribution Services; New edition edition (September 6, 1973)
Pages:
208 pages
EPUB book:
1140 kb
FB2 book:
1613 kb
DJVU:
1413 kb
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Rating:
4.5
Votes:
999


Girl, 20, Kingsley Amis’s ninth novel, was published in 1971, seventeen years after Lucky Jim, his first.

Girl, 20, Kingsley Amis’s ninth novel, was published in 1971, seventeen years after Lucky Jim, his first. In that time, by his own admission – in 1967 he published an essay entitled ‘Why Lucky Jim Turned Right’ – Amis appeared to change from being a sharp-tongued radical, who enjoyed scuttling British dufferdom in all its forms, to being an even sharper-tongued satirizer of progressiveness. In the first place, his radicalism was always soft and commonsensical, rooted in Anglo-Saxon decency, wary of too much change and suspicious of grandiosity.

Все продавцы . Girl, 20. Kingsley Amis. Часто встречающиеся слова и выражения. Kingsley Amis' (1922-1995) works take a humorous yet highly critical look at British society, especially of the period following the end of World War II. Born in London, Amis explored his disillusionment with British society in novels such as THAT UNCERTAIN FEELING (1955). His other works include THE GREEN MAN (1970); STANLEY AND THE WOMEN (1984); and THE OLD DEVILS (1986) which won the Booker Prize. Amis also wrote poetry, criticism, and short stories.

Written by Tony Bilbow based on Kingsley Amis's novel 'Girl 20'. Starring Robert Stephens as Sir Roy Vandervane, Christopher Timothy as Douglas Yandell, Eva Stuart as Lady Kitty, Geoffrey Whitehead as Meers, Kim Thomson as Penny, Anna Mazzotti as Sylvia and Okon Jones as Gilbert pants, and Lolita complexes are somewhat passé.

Sir Kingsley William Amis, CBE (16 April 1922 – 22 October 1995) was an English novelist, poet, critic, and teacher. He wrote more than 20 novels, six volumes of poetry, a memoir, various short stories, radio and television scripts, along with works of social and literary criticism. According to his biographer, Zachary Leader, Amis was "the finest English comic novelist of the second half of the twentieth century. He is the father of British novelist Martin Amis.

item 5 Girl, 20 (Penguin Modern Classics), Amis, Kingsley, Acceptable Book -Girl, 20 (Penguin Modern Classics) .

item 5 Girl, 20 (Penguin Modern Classics), Amis, Kingsley, Acceptable Book -Girl, 20 (Penguin Modern Classics), Amis, Kingsley, Acceptable Book. item 6 Girl, 20 - 9780141194240 -Girl, 20 - 9780141194240. Kingsley Amis's (1922-95) works take a humorous yet highly critical look at British society, especially in the period following the end of World War II. Born in London, Amis explored his disillusionment in novels such as That Uncertain Feeling (1955). His other works include The Green Man (1970), Stanley and the Women (1984), and The Old Devils (1986), which won the Booker Prize.

Kingsley Amis is generally considered one of the "angry young men" of the 1950s. He was born in London in 1922 and educated at the City of London School.

Часто встречающиеся слова и выражения. Kingsley Amis is generally considered one of the "angry young men" of the 1950s. Until 1961 Amis lectured in English at University College, Swansea, and for the following two years at Cambridge. In 1947 Amis published his first collection of poems, Bright November. Frame of Mind followed in 1953 and Poems: Fantasy Portraits in 1954.

Kingsley Amis, along with being the funniest English writer of his generation was a great chronicler of the fads and absurdities of his age, and Girl, 20 is a delightfully incisive dissection of the flower-power phase of the 1960s

Kingsley Amis, along with being the funniest English writer of his generation was a great chronicler of the fads and absurdities of his age, and Girl, 20 is a delightfully incisive dissection of the flower-power phase of the 1960s. Amis’s antihero, Sir Roy Vandervane, a conductor and composer who bears more than a passing resemblance to Leonard Bernstein, is a pillar of the establishment whohas fallen hard for protest, bellbottoms, and the electric guitar.

Books blog Kingsley Amis was spied on – but he’s in the best literary company. Tory MP John Profumo met Gisela Winegard in Oxford in 1936 and kept in touch with her for 20 years, according to MI5 files. Published: 27 Nov 2017. Published: 9:00 AM. Kingsley Amis was spied on – but he’s in the best literary company. Rereading ’Tis a strange serpent – 10 of the most entertaining drinking bouts in literature. Profumo had long-term relationship with Nazi spy before 60s sex scandal. Top 10s Top 10 campus novels.

Douglas Yandell, a young-ish music critic, is enlisted by Kitty Vandervane to keep an eye on her roving husband - the eminent conductor and would-be radical Sir Roy - as he embarks on yet another affair. Roy, meanwhile, wants Douglas as an alibi for his growing involvement with Sylvia, an unsuitably young woman who loves nothing more than to shock and provoke. Life soon becomes extremely complicated as Douglas finds himself caught up in a frantic, farcical tangle of relationships, rivalry and scandal.

  • Zicelik
This was an order to replace an old, disintegrating small-format paperback. The price was good, the delivery was prompt, the condition of the books is excellent, and as an unexpected bonus, it was a copy in the larger, more durable (bound, not glued) format. Very satisfactory all around.
  • Fast Lovebird
Like many of Kingsley Amis's novels, "Girl, 20" is a work of political and social satire. At its centre is Sir Roy Vandervane, a distinguished Classical musician and conductor, a man who combines self-proclaimed "progressive" left-wing views with an unquenchable appetite for seducing women. The precise significance of the title "Girl, 20" is too complex to set out here, although in general terms it relates to Roy's preference for woman much younger than himself; his current mistress, Sylvia Meers, is not even 20, but only 17, less than a third of his age.

Although Sir Roy is the novel's main character, however, he is not its narrator; the story is told, in the first person, from the viewpoint of his friend, the journalist and music critic Douglas Yandell. Most of the story is taken up with Douglas's attempts to perform various "favours" for members of the Vandervane family, including Sir Roy, his long-suffering wife Kitty, and Penny, Roy's daughter by an earlier marriage. These "favours" are all connected to Roy's complicated love-life, although Douglas's own love-life is not exactly simple; he is currently sharing his girlfriend, Vivienne, with another man, who never appears in the story.

Douglas is considerably younger than Roy (33 as opposed to 54), but is much more conservative in his political, social and cultural opinions. To some extent, at least, Amis seems to be using him to reflect his own views; he shares his creator's distaste for modernist atonal music, for pop music and for seventies youth culture in general. Some of those views might seem odd from a twenty-first century viewpoint, such as Douglas's dismissal of Haydn's music as "perfunctory periwiggery" and of Mahler as "enormously talentless", but such opinions, especially as regards Mahler, were probably more widely held in the seventies than today. (It is interesting to speculate which composers, scorned or neglected today, will be regarded as cultural giants by the year 2050). In other respects, however, Douglas's prejudices reflect our own much more exactly, especially as regards the tastelessness of fashion during the "decade that taste forgot". (Amis had a keen eye for the shapeless clothes and ludicrous colour combinations which prevailed at the time).

According to one reviewer, Christopher Hitchens felt that this book inflicted a satirical wound on the intellectual left. I am not sure that I would agree with Hitchens on that, if only because both left-wingers and right-wingers tend to be so entrenched in their views that they are unlikely to find their opinions shaken, or to feel that their credibility has been damaged, by a single work of fiction. In any case, although by 1971 Amis had moved a long way from the left-wing position of early novels like "Lucky Jim", in "Girl, 20" also satirises the right, represented by Harold Meers, Sylvia's father and Douglas's editor, who cannot bear any Communist countries even to be mentioned in his newspaper, and by Vivienne's comically reactionary old father. Amis reminds us that in the seventies the right could be just as unpleasant as the left; for every leftist proclaiming Brezhnev's Russia or Mao's China as a workers' paradise there was a rightist ready to defend Franco, apartheid or the Greek military junta.

Amis's satire in "Girl, 20" seems to me to be directed less against socialism per se, or for that matter against conservatism per se, than against two tendencies, both personified by Vandervane, which he saw as prevalent intellectual currents during the late sixties and early seventies. He criticises Vandervane not so much because he is a socialist but because he is a pseud and hypocrite, the sort of wealthy champagne socialist who employs servants and who lives in a big country house in Hertfordshire, but who, if a genuinely socialist revolution were to break out, would doubtless flee the country in terror, and who salves his social conscience by making futile political gestures like refusing to perform Berlioz's "Harold in Italy". (His convoluted logic is that Berlioz was inspired by a poem by Byron, who is a national hero in Greece, which in the early seventies was a right-wing dictatorship).

Amis's other criticism of Vandervane is that he is a man who, to adapt Chesterton's words, has "stretched the folly of his youth to be the shame of age". He represents every would-be trendy middle-aged man who still thinks that he is a teenager, who idolises the young and who embraces the shallowest aspects of youth culture with a quite embarrassing enthusiasm. His penchant for girls young enough to be his granddaughter is due as much to his membership of this Cult of Youth as it is to simple lust. Sylvia- physically unattractive, foul-mouthed, bad-tempered and incapable of coherent thought- is a singularly unappealing young woman, but Sir Roy desires her less for what she is in herself than for what she represents, Youth with a capital "Y". Even his political positions are dictated as much by the desire to be fashionable and trendy as by the desire to be morally right.

I have admired Amis's writings ever since coming across "Lucky Jim" many years ago, but had not read "Girl, 20" until recently. More than four decades have passed since it was written, the Girl, 20 of 1971 is now Girl, 61, and it is doubtless true that satire, when directed against the transient fashions and trends of a particular era, loses some of its bite with the passage of time. I would not rate this book quite as highly as "Lucky Jim", largely because it contains no character like Jim Dixon himself who is both a figure of his own time and a timeless Everyman. Nevertheless, there is much in this novel which is worth reading. Amis at his best had an acid wit, and some of the set pieces are brilliantly funny, such as the accounts of the rock concert and of the performance of Sir Roy's latest composition, "Elevations 9", a chamber concerto for violin, sitar, bass guitar and bongos. (That particular line-up says a lot in itself about the state of culture in the seventies). The book certainly reminded me of why, during my own teenage years in the late seventies, I and a group of like-minded school-friends consciously embraced the values of Classical music and "high culture" in general, partly motivated by a protest against what we saw as the inanity and shallowness of contemporary Youth Culture.
  • catterpillar
In Zachary Leader's biography of Amis, he quotes Christopher Hitchens as saying that, in `Girl, 20', Amis had `inflicted a satirical wound' on the `intellectual left'. He feels that this book, published in 1971, actually damaged the credibility of the left.

Kingsley Amis was an exceptionally perceptive writer, but he falls into the same trap that so many writers writing about the `swinging sixties' fall into, of conflating the radical left and hippy movements and assuming that all members of both were idiots, or at least failures. In fact the people who were idiots were the weekend hippies and armchair radicals who never took a risk in their lives and wore kipper ties and fantasized about being on television (or actually managed it).

Robert H Bell, a critic, in an accessible webpage about Amis's novels, feels this is a brilliant novel about people who lead `desparate, bleak and terrible lives'.

Personally I found all but one of the characters highly unattractive. We have a total wimp of a narrator, who takes everybody's side and never says no to anyone, a famous conductor with an IQ of 70, the narrator's girlfriend who competes with her partner in acquiescence, a nasty newspaper editor and a high-class 17 year old harridan, not to mention an odious small boy and his pathetic mother.

Excuse me while I collect myself.

The only attractive character is Vandervane's (ie the conductor's) daughter who has spirit and intelligence, and doesn't constantly assume centre stage pontificating like everyone else.

Because Amis is an excellent writer his surface cynicism is always layered over a certain `we're all in it together' empathy, which this girl somehow embodies.

Amis apparently once said, it wasn't that he didn't believe in God, it was just that he didn't like him very much. In his previous book, `The Green Man', the main character expands on this in a conversation with the Almighty that says a lot, perhaps, about the writer's feelings. It's almost as if Amis can admire the craftsmanship but can't figure out the plot.

As Martin Amis says, it is a sad book, but in my opinion it is the daughter and even in a way the preposterous conductor who show the way. If Hitchens thought the left were found out by this it only shows what a poverty of imagination he ultimately has.

I think he's right, however, in saying this is one of Amis's best books.
  • nailer
Kingsley Amis, famous old alcoholic, womanizing fascist curmudgeon, and anti-Semite (you name it), has a very human and often unnoticed side that is shown to great effect in this excellent novel. The narrator, the music critic Douglas Yarnell, is asked by all his friends to help sort out their messes, and so he tries, but never with the slightest success. All the people he touches, or attempts to reason with, acknowledge his intelligence, the correctness of his argument, but decide to go their own way for reasons of the heart or lust or just because they have no choice. This is the world as Amis sees it, as it is, now, not as one would wish it be. Truth ring out. Amis's great talent, one very much in the manner of the great French realists, is his ability to depict the world with a cold and accurate eye. He sees all and misses nothing. But all of his characters are fully drawn, particularly the women. It is unusual for a man, and a heterosexual man at that, to understand the psychology of women as perceptively and wisely as he does. In this comic novel, no one is satirized or caricatured, easy as that might be, as they all behave ridiculously at some point or other. There is an enormous degree of compassion under the crust, a sort of unstated sadness. We are all what we are. We have been given a life to live, and it is our inalienable right to live it nobly or foolishly or to destroy it. Not a very uplifting message, I'll agree, but an unabashedly honest one, spoken in a voice that is uniquely his. First rate writing and highly recommended.