First published in 1954, Amis introduces Jim Dixon, a junior lecturer at an English provincial university. Dixon is approaching the end of his first, probationary year and his senior, Professor Welch, is far from impressed. Jim stands little chance of being reappointed. He does his best to ingratiate himself with the professor, but he's socially inept, apparently accident prone, especially when indulging in his predilection for beer, lacks interest in his appointed subject - medieval history - and is consumed by sexual frustrations and fantasies.
Dixon comes from the north of England, from the lower middle classes, from a world which is alien to the Oxbridge elite who dominate academic life ... even in a provincial university. Amis constructs humorous situation after humorous situation. Dixon's ineptitude is excruciating. His luck is a major theme - he doesn't seem to have any. Meanwhile, all around him are those who have been lucky enough to be born into the upper classes and who are unselfconsciously reaping the benefits of it.
In its time, 'Lucky Jim' broke new ground in satirising the academic world. The characters in the novel portray the pretensions, sterility, and advantages of the class system. Although greeted as a radical piece of writing and seen as transforming humour, even satire, 'Lucky Jim' now appears dated. It has lost much of its edge and seems unrecognisable as a work which threatened the status quo.
Its humour can now appear slapstick and trivial, the stuff of poor sitcoms. The class and sexual mores are set in another world. The rationing and shortages are certainly from another era. And the writing style has also aged - it's a bit laboured in places, a bit coy in others.
|Produto sob encomenda||Sim|
|Editora||Penguin (Pearson Do Brasil)|