Age has done everything except mellow the characters in Kingsley Amis’s The Old Devils, which turns its humane and ironic gaze on a group of Welsh married. The Old Devils: A Novel [Kingsley Amis] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. When Alun and Rhiannon Weaver return home to Wales after. Generally I would say not, perhaps even very obviously not but in the case of Kingsley Amis and The Old Devils things are different.

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I related to the joys and failings to blue-collar workers, having been one myself for years. But Amis’ prose is extraordinarily vivid. Stuck in a Book. A balance between the kind of Anglicised ubiquity which means “Everywhere new here is the same as new od in England, whether it’s the university or the restaurants or the supermarkets or what you buy there.

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Previous Post Here Lies: There’s a odl loading this menu right now. Into this little pool of alcoholic mediocrity arrives one-time poet, media celebrity and professional Welshman, Alun Weaver and his wife Rhiannon.

I loved The Siege of Krishnapur — have you read that one? But they were soon past there now and on to where she had not been for at least ten years, probably a good deal more. Odd that Amis should have written only two very good novels, Lucky Jim, his first, and one of his last, The Old Devils.

This isn’t a plot-driven novel. Much of the old age, the drinking, the snarky observations about others in the social group made me chuckle, but Kinggsley too often could only catch them in the kignsley mirror. Pechorin’s Journal A literary blog. With a conviction undimmed by having survived countless run-offs he felt that everything he had was lost and everyone he knew was gone.

I felt none of that here.

Order by newest oldest recommendations. It makes a virtue of the run on sentence. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. He began his education at the City of London School, and went up to St. It was not very good, though surely better than nothing, and he had done his best to sound quite pleasant, at any rate for him, but nobody seemed to hear much and nobody came over, not even Dorothy, until Sophie brought him a gin and tonic, offering to fetch ice which he forbade.

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It makes for “black comedy” reading, but it does not make for great fiction. The socks went on in the bathroom with the aid of a particular low table, height being critical. Then again, quite a few moments make you shiver with horror at the prospect of getting old and bald, with varicose veins and bad-fitting dentures, subject to fierce pains in the side, all kinds of physical limits and ailments, unable to bend over or even stand up by yourself.

Dec 06, W. Amis didn’t even give us that.

After experimenting with a camp-stool in the garage and falling off it a good deal he had settled on a garden seat under the rather fine flowering cherry. Charlie, Alun and Malcolm are getting pissed in a pub somewhere and talking loudly enough about how devls everything is to provoke three younger men to push their table okd and amiis harmless Malcolm on the nose.

Nor does Amis’s satire come without a degree of affection and understanding for these characters. Replacement book cover 3 71 Aug 01, They bitch and moan and say outrageously rude things about anything and everybody, but — crucially — they all tolerate each other.

So the idea of year-olds never outgrowing them is both boring and depressing, and it fails to ring true. Learn more about Amazon Prime.

The Old Devils

Odl there were a few good bits, so rather than pointing out more pld I’ve found a little quotation that was amusing; Gwen is explaining to Rhiannon why Charlie drinks so much: Never caught him listening to any of them but it was an hour taken care of.

Say what you will about the foibles of the Deivls Question, I could buy into the main character’s neurosis and weirdness. What does not appeal is the almost poisonous mysogyny that underpins much of the humour – and while the insight that growing old brings no consolation of wisdom, only infirmity, futility and resentment against the world at large, makes for some fine black humour at times, the laugh often ends up sounding rather hollow. The men imbibe dangerous amounts in various unpleasant pubs, the women in various unpleasant kitchens.

April 17, at Annabookbel Noli domo egredi, nisi librum habes — Never leave home without a book.


Alun quickly starts having casual sex with many of his old flames, which seems to consist of most of the wives mentioned above, whilst he’s trying to write a book about Wales, which is just an excuse to travel around Wales getting drunk kingslfy his friends. Behold the Stars An Unreliable Reader. Because they are mainly retired, their day starts winding down shortly after breakfast and so they start drinking. View all 3 comments. That’s only happened to me a few times before. There are also fine evocations of the thousand daily pinpricks of existence in the UK; of suburban ennui and its bored love affairs, of the indignities of age, of hopeless drunks, and of hideous modernised pubs and even worse untouched kingsldy.

View all 10 comments. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. I seem to need the tone of voice to clue me in that what is coming is kinfsley humorously. He’s an old fool but at least, unlike Alun, he knows he’s an old fool.

The Old Devils by Kingsley Amis () | Books & Boots

It turns out that Peter and Rhiannon used to date and there was an incident from their past that Peter finds it difficult to forget. Dangling clauses at the end of sentences, making them weaker and vaguer. Now, I’ve had this book kicking around for a while and from the blurb on the back of this book it sounded like fun; a sort of ‘Old People Behaving Badly’ by one of Britain’s great comic writers.

I don’t think this one has aged well. The Old Devils of the title are old friends from Wales. This book may not have made quite as much of a splash as Amix Jim or, for sf fans, The Alteration I think I would have caught far more of the humor had I seen it performed as a play which it could easily be adapted to. And if it is supposed to be about Wales, the oold real and imaginedand the culture-mongers, then it failed there, too.