Like many others, my first Kingsley Amis was Lucky Jim , which I remember reading in the summer of 1998. I thoroughly enjoyed it and finished it off in one sitting. So I was glad to have the chance to tackle another one.
I was very disappointed with The Old Devils – yes it’s a satire on Welsh mentality and academia but I found the prose so dry and stilted that the humour didn’t even have an affect on me anymore.
Basically the novel revolves a group of ageing friends and their wives who booze around all day, that is until local hero Alun returns to Wales with his wife. What ensues are affairs , meditations on art, how modern life is rubbish and values. Eventually something happens to Alun which changes the lives these men lead.
I really wanted to love this book but I couldn’t. Maybe a second reading in ten years time?