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

After a moment, something like a harsh bark b Kingsley Amis was rather an old devil himself when he wrote this novel, and every bitter, precise word shows how accustomed he’d already become to the aches and indignities of senescence: ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics.

Alun Weaver, a writer of modest celebrity, returns to his native Wales with his wife, Rhiannon, sometime girlfriend of Weaver’s old acquaintance Peter Thomas. No plot and not much of a story. In the end there is enough that there is humanity here, instead of just satire. There are no sophomoric metafictional tricks, for which I was grateful. The novel beguiles us chiefly through its mastery of technique.

They are nowhere near ready to go gently into that good night. BookerTalk Adventures with great novels around the world. The humor obviously helps; Kingsley Amis’s wit is exceedingly sharp and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny.

One of the greatest novels I’ve ever read. There are some wonderful cameos of the gang dealing with the infirmities that come with age including the difficulties of getting dressed when an expanding girth gets in the way of something as simple as putting on a pair of socks.

What would really get them hot under the collar however is how Amis tackles a theme about Welsh identity. At first I was disappointed at the delayed delivery.

The first section opens with Malcolm struggling to instal his dentures and battle against his failing body to get dressed. If you are in a mood to be patient, the characters and the fun Amis has with them make the novel worth reading.


Booker club: The Old Devils | Books | The Guardian

View all 17 comments. But then we are known for our hot tempers not for nothing is our natio It was a surprise to many when Kinglsey Amis won the Booker Prize in for The Old Devils for this was an author who, according to the wisdom of the masses, was long past his prime.

Charlie, Alun and Malcolm are getting pissed in a pub somewhere and talking loudly enough about how shit everything is to provoke three younger men to push their table over and punch harmless Malcolm on the nose.

His couples, unlike Updike’s, are all well on the wrong side of middle age; his setting, unlike Updike’s pictures Readers of John Updike’s Couples will find the setup of this novel glancingly familiar: Oct 27, Todd rated it it was amazing. It may, in fact, be one of the most boring books I’ve ever read.

Alun has for some amjs been an ambitious media personality whose career resulted in the “popularization” of Wales. Customers who amia this item also bought.

Seriously, those were dull when we were IN high school, and everyone I know cringes when thinking back about that grating nonsense when they are a couple of years out. Robert Markham pseudonym Lemmons home. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. View all 6 comments. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Hard Book Habit Reading classics and hard books, and spouting rhubarb about them. 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.

Amis’ characters seem to be more old-fashioned conservatives—more concerned with fretting over the good things that’ve been lost than with actively working to dismantle the progress that’s truly been made in so many areas.

The Old Devils

They tore the pants because they were sharp and jagged, and they had got like that because they had grown too long and broken off, and he had let them grow because these days cutting them was no joke at all. You are commenting using your WordPress. Think it was an inside apology to us as readers? I wouldn’t call it plodding but I wouldn’t say the writing is lively either.


Kingsley Amis was rather an old devil himself when he wrote this novel, and every bitter, precise word shows how accustomed he’d already become to the aches and indignities of senescence: 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 with his friends.

Now, from round about seventy, all those years of maturity or the prime of life or whatever you called it looked like an interval between two bouts of vomiting. The section that really took it out of him was the actual donning of clothes, refined as this had been over the years, and its heaviest item was the opener, putting his socks on. And of course, where not so long ago it had been hake and chips, bottled cockles, pork pies and pints of Troeth bitter, these days it was canneloni, paella, stifado, cans of Fosters, bottles of Rioja and — of course — large Courvoisiers and long panatellas, just like everywhere else.

He’s also known for championing the Welsh poet, Brydan, whom I suspec This novel is a story of old friends, married couples in southwestern Wales, and how their lives change when Alun and Rhiannon Weaver return to the country after Alun’s long career in London.

Asylum John Self’s Shelves. On Bookes An Unreliable Reader. This is the most boring Booker I’ve read so far.

In other words, he’s still in love with Rhiannon. For a comedic novel, not very funny. These grotesques and their dismal affairs are painted in prose which is slack, repetitive and aimless. Per giunta parla di settantenni, categoria poco glamour e scarsamente frequentata dalle belle lettere inglesi dall’epoca di Re Lear, credo. Jan 07, Karen rated it it was amazing Shelves: