Take a girl like you kingsley amis
Young Jenny Bunn comes to infant-teach outside of London and is quite determined to lose the narrow-minded ideas of her north country home. She is helped on her way by the owners of her digs, Dick and Martha Thompson, a fellow boarder, Anna le Page, assorted acquaintances and Patrick Standish, teaching in a nearby college, who resists falling seriously in love with her. Jenny, very firm about not going to bed with anyone until marriage is in the picture, has an up and down time with Patrick, loses him to some fancy partying with the worldly Ormerod, troubles with his headmaster's daughter, and after his repeated returns to her, in a drunken moment, is raped by him. But this insures marriage so- - -This fourth novel is of lesser stuff than the others in its parade of situations, its melange of people, its unfocused line. Those looking for the expected satire and humor will find little of either — or much else to admire. A strange, subtle, and haunting novel.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Take a Girl Like You - Kingsley Amis 0701
Take a Girl Like You
Post a Comment. He was one of the great comic novelists of the 20th Century, and also a long-time proponent of SF and a writer of a number of SF novels and short stories. In his memory, here's a review I wrote some time ago of one of his best novels. Kingsley Amis opened his career with the novel that remained his most famous work to the end of his life: Lucky Jim.
His next two novels were generally regarded as disappointments, at least relative to Lucky Jim. This is as with almost all of Amis's works a comic novel, but much darker than Lucky Jim , with a cad for a leading man and a rather sad morally ending.
Spoilers will follow, but none that I think would interfere with a reader's enjoyment. The protagonist is Jenny Bunn, a 20 year old girl from the North of England who has come to a middle class town near London to be a schoolteacher. Jenny is an extremely beautiful woman, a bit naive, and brought up with fairly conventional notions of sexual morality.
Which have been a bit of a burden to her since about the age of 14, when she noticed that all of a sudden she was constantly the object of not always welcome male attention. Soon enough at her somewhat depressing boarding house she meets a very charming and handsome man named Patrick Standish. Patrick is breaking up with her fellow boarder, a somewhat ramshackle Frenchwoman named Anna Le Page. Patrick immediately notices Jenny, the way all men seem to, and not long after he has asked her on a date.
Which is quite a lot of fun, until Patrick closes the evening by rather insistently trying to seduce her. Patrick is a schoolteacher himself, at a private school for boys, and apparently rather good at his job. He has the same problems with his bosses that every Amis leading man seems to have: his headmaster is pleasant enough but ineffectual, and another teacher is a very nasty piece of work. But we slowly gather that Patrick is far from blameless: most egregiously, he is not trying very hard to resist the head's year-old daughter's pathetic attempts to sleep with him.
He also cruelly torments the clumsier and stupider people around him. The novel portrays Patrick's courtship of Jenny, over roughly a year's period.
This includes attempts to persuade her that her moral views are outdated, a long period of trying to be "not a bastard", failed attempts to resist having sex with other women he encounters while away from Jenny the dates are a good thing, see, to prove to himself he really loves Jenny When Jenny wavers, he breaks it off, then rapes her after she gets drunk.
It's what we now call date rape -- possibly at the time it would not have been regarded as rape, quite, though in no way does Amis seem to approve. At the end Jenny is resigned that she will stick with Patrick -- she likes him too much, and she has no virginity left to protect. This is all rather dispiriting, though quite true to her character I think. As it happens, this is the only novel to which Amis wrote a sequel: Difficulties With Girls , a couple of decades later, in which Jenny and Patrick are married, but Patrick is still philandering.
That book ends a bit happier, with Jenny gaining the ultimate upper hand in their relationship. I think this is an excellent novel. The various characters are thoroughly believable to me, and a varied and odd lot.
Amis's comic eye for dialogue, and internal dialogue, is sharp as ever. The novel is funny when it needs to be, and honest and sad when it needs to be. No comments:. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom.
TAKE A GIRL LIKE YOU
Documented as a personal favorite of Kingsley Amis, Take a Girl Like You , originally published in , is peopled with subsidiary characters, ranging from the posh and pedantic to the proletarian and pessimistic. These characters, with names like Julian Ormerod or Dick Thompson, mildly stimulate most scenes with their eccentricity, such as at meals or an impromptu shooting competition. The reader is first introduced to the twenty-year-old Jenny Bunn, an old-fashioned working-class girl who recently moved to a small town near London to teach primary school children. It is touched upon, without any further elaboration, that she wants to escape the hurt of an ex-lover. Whilst interacting with the eccentric characters of this town, she receives a constant but low jolt of cognitive dissonance in regard to maintaining her idea of a pre-coital nuptial.
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions.
Take a Girl Like You
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? This perceptive coming of age novel about a northern girl who moves south. It is a story about the squalid business of the man and the woman and the most wonderful thing that had ever happened to Jenny Bunn.
Take A Girl Like You
Surprisingly long at pages in the Penguin paperback edition, ie this novel has the same weight and heft as a modern literary classic, as Lawrence or Conrad or Foster, but its subject matter is unclassically slender. She finds a rented room in a house owned by an older man, auctioneer Dick Thompson and his wife, Martha, sharing along with the other boarder, the podgy French girl, Anna le Page. In the voice of Patrick, who emerges as her main suitor:. Oh lordy lordy lordy, how lovely she was, with all that thick inky-black hair and the slightly hollow cheeks and the faint blue veins at the temples and the very definite natural line surrounding the lips and the lips themselves and and and and and and.
An account of the writing — and reading, and other stuff — in my life by Andrew Cartmel. Post a Comment. Continuing my modestly ambitious project of reading all of Kingsley Amis's novels inspired by Zachary Leader's admirable and definitive biography of Amis , I have just finished Take a Girl Like You.
Follow the Author
Jenny is a beauty and men and women are crazy about her, most of all handsome Patrick Standish, who Jenny also likes. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
TAKE A GIRL LIKE YOU
Post a Comment. He was one of the great comic novelists of the 20th Century, and also a long-time proponent of SF and a writer of a number of SF novels and short stories. In his memory, here's a review I wrote some time ago of one of his best novels. Kingsley Amis opened his career with the novel that remained his most famous work to the end of his life: Lucky Jim. His next two novels were generally regarded as disappointments, at least relative to Lucky Jim.
The narrative follows the progress of twenty-year-old Jenny Bunn, who has moved from her family home in the North of England to a small town not far from London to teach primary school children. Jenny is a 'traditional' Northern working-class girl whose dusky beauty strikes people as being at odds with the old-fashioned values she has gained from her upbringing, not least the conviction of 'no sex before marriage'. A thread of the novel concerns the frustrations of the morally dubious Patrick Standish, a year-old teacher at a local private secondary school and his attempts to seduce Jenny; all this occurs against a backdrop of Jenny's new teaching job, Patrick's work and his leisure time with flatmate and colleague Graham and their new acquaintance, the well-off and somewhat older man-about-town, Julian Ormerod. The novel opens with Jenny Bunn's arrival at her lodging-house. She's a young, strikingly beautiful, Northern girl who has moved to a small town outside London, to take her first teaching job.
King of Shaft: A Review of Take a Girl Like You by Kingsley Amis
A still from the film version of Take a Girl Like You. He was much in demand as a reviewer and journalist, and he could afford monthly visits to London, where he would drink from lunch until closing time. Just then a bandaged man in his underwear staggered into the room. This, Mavis told her guest, is Kingsley Amis.
Take A Girl Like You by Kingsley Amis (1960)
This perceptive coming of age novel about a northern girl who moves south, wants to fit in and yet wants to preserve her principles, challenges our assumptions about the battle of the sexes and classes in Britain. It is a story about 'the squalid business of the man and the woman' and 'the most wonderful thing that had ever happened' to Jenny Bunn. Few twentieth century novelists have explored our preoccupation with sex like Kingsley Amis.
Take A Girl Like You