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Download I Want It Now epub

by Kingsley Amis

Download I Want It Now epub
ISBN: 0224013041
ISBN13: 978-0224013048
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Contemporary
Author: Kingsley Amis
Language: English
Publisher: Harcourt Brace & World; First Edition edition (1968)
Pages: 256 pages
ePUB size: 1686 kb
FB2 size: 1923 kb
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 178
Other Formats: lrf lrf txt rtf

In this very funny book, Kingsley Amis satirizes the rich.

Ronnie Appleyard is an up-and-coming television personality who tries to insert himself into the upper crust of 1960s British society. He attempts to use them, but he discovers that they are using him at the same time. He wants their money, but things get complicated when he finds himself in a romantic entanglement. Ronnie's not what I would call a hero. He's self-centered and grasping, but he's more likable than the rest of the book's characters. Amis populates this book with characters who all deserve the skewering that he gives them. At points in the book, I hoped everyone would end up unhappy.

I enjoyed the book quite a bit, but I can't fully endorse it.

First, the book isn't explicit, but a major subplot involves frequent sex. Readers who are sensitive about such things might want to steer clear. Also, the book's attitudes about sex reflect its 1960s context, which makes it sound a little dated. Psychological damage from sexual encounters is treated too lightly and rape is presented in a somewhat cavalier manner.

Second, the plot seemed to mirror the plot of Amis's first book, Lucky Jim (New York Review Books Classics). They contain some similar phrasing about events and similar set pieces. Lucky Jim is far and away better and funnier. If you've never read any Amis, start there.
Kingsley Amis had the talent of introducing us to a group of instantly recognizable specimens of humanity, at first view, highly unlikeable. As this story enfolds, not only does he makes us understand them, he carries off the amazing feat of making us like them. In this book, written in 1968, we meet the hero at a television studio; he is a totally self-absorbed and calculating English talk-show host with no real opinion about anything, other than how to maintain his tenuous hold on success, until he comes upon an impossibly neurotic heiress--a rich, spoiled American brat--and sets out to marry for her money. An improbable love story, and yet...
Amis' has a genius for taking the piss out of everyone and everything, including his own Fat Englishman self. He sees and hears all: the way people speak or, in the case of one particularly obnoxious American, shout.
Few satirical writers anywhere, male or female, possess Amis' remarkable understanding of the complexities and unpredictability of feminine behavior. His women--young and old, loveable and monstrous--are always three-dimensional. In this book, the mixed-up heroine being pursued choses to call herself "Simon;" she is intensely vulnerable and vividly alive, despite her many faults.
Amis examines the rich. He hints at, but cleverly never fully spells out the famous dialogue Scott Fitzgerald had with Hemingway. Fitzgerald told his friend that "The very rich are different from you and me," to which Hemingway replied, "Yes, they have more money." Amis understands precisely what Fitzgerald meant, and what Hemingway never could. In this book the rich, the very rich--be they American, English or Greek--have something more elusive than lots and lots of money: the power to do what they want to do when they want to do it, without fear of hindrance or incrimination. As Fitzgerald pointed out, the rich know that others will always be there to clean up their mess.
If the novel, which jumps back and forth between England and the United States, has a serious fault it is, regrettably, a highly contrived conclusion. Despite that failing, "I Want It Now" is still immensely pleasurable. Fans of the author will be too busy laughing aloud, and nodding their heads in agreement to be truly disappointed.