Quotes from Lucky Jim

Kingsley Amis ·  251 pages

Rating: (21.3K votes)


“If you can't annoy somebody, there is little point in writing.”
― Kingsley Amis, quote from Lucky Jim


“Dixon was alive again. Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way; not for him the slow, gracious wandering from the halls of sleep, but a summary, forcible ejection. He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of morning. The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he'd somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad.”
― Kingsley Amis, quote from Lucky Jim


“... all his faces were designed to express rage or loathing. Now that something had happened which really deserved a face, he had none to celebrate it with. As a kind of token, he made his Sex Life in Ancient Rome face.”
― Kingsley Amis, quote from Lucky Jim


“Nice things are nicer than nasty ones.”
― Kingsley Amis, quote from Lucky Jim


“Doing what you wanted to do was the only training, and the only preliminary, needed for doing more of what you wanted to do.”
― Kingsley Amis, quote from Lucky Jim



“You'll find that marriage is a good short cut to the truth. No, not quite that. A way of doubling back to the truth. Another thing you'll find is that the years of illusion aren't those of adolescence, as the grown-ups try to tell us; they're the ones immediately after it, say the middle twenties, the false maturity if you like, when you first get thoroughly embroiled in things and lose your head. Your age, by the way, Jim. That's when you first realize that sex is important to other people besides yourself. A discovery like that can't help knocking you off balance for a time.”
― Kingsley Amis, quote from Lucky Jim


“How wrong people always were when they said: 'It's better to know the worst than go on not knowing either way.' No; they had it exactly the wrong way round. Tell me the truth, doctor, I'd sooner know. But only if the truth is what I want to hear.”
― Kingsley Amis, quote from Lucky Jim


“He thought how much he liked her and had in common with her, and how much she'd like and have in common with him if she only knew him.”
― Kingsley Amis, quote from Lucky Jim


“A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he'd somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad.”
― Kingsley Amis, quote from Lucky Jim


“For the first time he really felt that it was no use trying to save those who fundamentally would rather not be saved.”
― Kingsley Amis, quote from Lucky Jim



“There was no excuse which didn't consist of inexcusable.”
― Kingsley Amis, quote from Lucky Jim


“For a moment he felt like devoting the next ten years to working his way to a position as art critic on purpose to review Bertrand's work unfavorably.”
― Kingsley Amis, quote from Lucky Jim


“Yes. Your attitude measures up to the two requirements of love. You want to go to bed with her and can't, and you don't know her very well. Ignorance of the other person topped up with deprivation, Jim. You fit the formula all right, and what's more you want to go on fitting it. The old hopeless passion, isn't it?”
― Kingsley Amis, quote from Lucky Jim


“Why couldn’t they leave him alone? Why couldn’t every single one of them without exception whatsoever just go right away from where he was and leave him alone?”
― Kingsley Amis, quote from Lucky Jim


“He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of morning. The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he’d somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad.”
― Kingsley Amis, quote from Lucky Jim



“See that car?’ It was Welch’s, parked slightly nearer one kerb than the other”
― Kingsley Amis, quote from Lucky Jim


“To write things down as luck wasn't the same as writing them off as non-existent or in some way beneath consideration.”
― Kingsley Amis, quote from Lucky Jim


About the author

Kingsley Amis
Born place: in Clapham, Wandsworth, London, England, The United Kingdom
Born date April 16, 1922
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