Even this book has occasional, rare passages that are well written and pleasing -What he could see through the window without raising his head told him nothing. Added to the equation is the fact Roger is married to his second wife. In one short phrase I do not remember laughing once at any point during this book. Amis was a incorrigible womanizer and knows his subject. Not only lionized in the college set but frequently serviced by various women even as he pursues the married Helene and ponders his second failing marriage back in England.
David Lodge is a novelist and critic and Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the University of Birmingham, England. There is more than some evidence that Kingsley Amis lived in a very dissipated life among his American counterparts. Johns College, Oxford, where he began a lifelong friendship with fellow student Philip Larkin. As I've come, however, with advancing age and disillusionment, to sympathise with many of his conservative pos As well as being splutteringly, coffee-spittingly funny, Kingsley Amis is always uncomfortable to read. Last month, I read his Girl, 20, which was also a revelation to me of hidden nastiness. This book is a character sketch and psychological portrait as much as it is a satire, though, and I found it a compassionate, if unshrinking one. Roger Micheldene, the One Fat Englishman of the title, is gluttonous, alcoholic and adulterous, but mostly just hateful and insufferably British.
As I've come, however, with advancing age and disillusionment, to sympathise with many of his conservative positions though not the racism and misogyny , I still find him vaguely disconcerting, and I've realised, at my first-ever encounter with this comparatively early novel, that it has nothing to do with politics or social attitudes per se, but rather with the people who hold both them and the attitudes to which Amis opposes those of his protagonists and surrogates. Although he worked hard and got a first in English in 1947, he had by then decided to give much of his time to writing. There's an interesting question of chronology here, which I remember discussing with Jordan and Beth Ann. At such a short length, however, it's worth taking the time to make up your own mind about this fat Englishman, one way or another. This novel chronicles his attempts to drink as many drinks, eat as many meals and seduce as many women during his short stay as is humanly possible. He doesn't like America or Americans, and he enjoys nothing more than to expose their flaws in public.
He is condescending, constantly snide about America, selfish to the point of cruelty even with his mistress and other romantic conquests , arrogant about his brilliance, even more arrogant in matters of taste, antisemitic, and racist. Maybe someone who knows more about Amis can tell us in precisely which order the following events happened? While this book has quite witty and has some laugh-out-loud moments, nearly everyone in it is utterly unlikable, and I found myself hoping that they would all get their comeuppance in the end. More about the form than the contents: you can see Martin's genes in full action here. The obnoxious fatty is among East Coast academics whose own morals aren't much stronger but who are far more amiable. No m Roger Micheldene is, not to mince words, a truly horrible old man. See, when he wrote this, Kingsley Amis was, or would become, all those things that Roger Micheldene was: gluttonous, alcoholic, adulterous, hateful and insufferably British.
The students are all little twerps. Here we get a darker, nastier version of his usual sexual shenanigans, with some attempted mockery of America thrown in for good measure the novel is set in a fictional southern college called. The book is not long only 162 pages in my edition , and its small cast of characters are tightly integrated, each one plays a necessary role in the ultimate payoff. Even his name is somewhat aggravating and in fact it's longer and more complicated than this but we only have to deal with that one obscure paragraph deep in the book. Roger's whole outward persona is a calculated mask until he occasionally slugs someone , and he is very well practiced at turning on a particular kind of refined, Oxford-educated charm when he wants to. I do not like thee, Doctor Fell, The reason why, I cannot tell; But this I know, and know full well, I do not like thee, Doctor Fell.
One Fat Englishman is certainly a much less comfortable read than Lucky Jim, but no longer seems as inferior to it as I once thought. Technically, the novel is virtually without flaw. He must have been delighted when the austere academic gatekeeper F. Fat, philistine Micheldene is none other than that familiar paradox—his corpulence is the affluent society. Nor—though this is perhaps slightly more arguable—could anyone who was entirely selfish have been forgiven by so many family members and ex-lovers who could have complained of being wronged. As to his other terrors, and the means of combating them, here is his other great epistolary partner, Robert Conquest, writing to Larkin in 1960: Your points on K are interesting.
This isn't a flaw in the writing, this is also how Roger feels most of the time, and goes a long way towards explaining much of his behavior. This information helps us design a better experience for all users. There's an interesting question of chronology here, which I remember discussing with Jordan and Beth Ann. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include previous owner inscriptions. Amis spent a year as a visiting fellow in the creative writing department of Princeton University and in 1961 became a fellow at Peterhouse College, Cambridge, but resigned the position two years later, lamenting the incompatibility of writing and teaching I found myself fit for nothing much more exacting than playing the gramophone after three supervisions a day.
Technically, the novel is virtually without flaw. The literary aesthetic is cartoonish in that if the novel were ever turned into a movie, animated cartoon would work best. The larger and longer arc—of the declension from Angry Young Man to clubman and gouty curmudgeon—is the one that many critics confidently expected Leader to follow. See, when he wrote this, Kingsley Amis was, or would become, all those things that Roger Micheldene was: gluttonous, alcoholic, adulterous, hateful and insufferably British. The sympathy is hard to share.