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Lady Lazarus

The Pregnant Widow

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'The Pregnant Widow' follows the story of protagonist Keith Nearing (such a Martin Amis-style name for a main character, I thought) and some friends when they holiday in a castle in Italy. They are all around 20 yrs of age and the time is 1970, in the midst of the sexual revolution. There are some great characters in the book, Keith is not as abhorrent as previous Amis protagonists, although there is still something a little unpleasant about him (I think he refers to one character's breats on almost every page). He is there with his girlfriend, Lily, but is lusting after the busty Scheherezade. Nearing is devouring classic literature whilst on holiday, and manages to reduce every single one of them to being about sex. A good display of characterisation, I rather liked it.

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    • By jfp
      People do go on (and on (and on)) about Martin Amis: he's politically incorrect, we're told… he has reactionary political opinions (not the same thing BTW), he's misogynistic, he's a condescending snob, he hates his own country… and on and on…
       
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    • By leyla
      Here's a review of House of Meetings which I posted up in another forum I belong to. (I hope that's OK? If either forum would rather reviews weren't duplicated, please let me know):
      I finished House of Meetings last night -the first Amis I'd read for several years. It was a bit like rediscovering the high points of a relationship in a reunion after a break. I loved Amis with a passion a decade or so ago, and consumed his work hot off the press. And then, slight irritation crept in. His mastery of the language was wonderful, but boy, did he rub our faces in it. His word play and self conscious cleverness started to grate after a while. This is not to detract from the huge enjoyment his writing gave me, but although I still rated him as one of my favourite authors, I fell out of love with him - he was like a best friend with a compulsion to always show how smart he was.
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    • By Ang
      I think Leyla has read most of Amis's books so she'll have a more informed recommendation. I've read House of Meetings, Other People, and Money and enjoyed them all. They are not alike. In fact, House of Meetings is about as far from Money as you can get. I have a few more on the shelf to be read.
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