Lucky Jim Background

Lucky Jim Background

Lucky Jim is a novel written by Kingsley Amins in 1954. The novel mainly revolves around the story of Jim Dixon, who is a history lecturer at a university in England. He is a middle-class man who is grammar school-educated who has just started out in the history department at the university where he is teaching and he tries his best to impress the Head of Department, Professor Welch. Jim Dixon struggles with an on-again off-again "girlfriend" by the name of Margaret Peel who uses emotional blackmail to keep him in the relationship. Jim later meets Christine, who is the girlfriend of Professor Welch's son, Bertrand. However, after Bertrand treats her badly, Christine and Jim kiss. Jim later delivers a public lecture but turns up drunk and mocks Professor Welch, who terminates his employment. However, Christine's uncle offers Jim an assistant job in London and Christine agrees to pursue a relationship with Jim. The two walk past the Welchs on the street, with Jim having the last laugh.

The book was written by the author to explore the lives of academics and how they attempt to build their careers by establishing good relationships with their fellow peers. The author also wrote the book to indicate how academics do not always lead the most straightforward lives and may decide upon a different path once into their career. This can be seen by way of Jim's actions of becoming drunk and losing his job as a lecturer.

The book was received well by critics and fans alike. In fact, Helen Dunmore of The Times commented that the book was 'a flawless comic novel' and 'The Guardian' newspaper stated that Lucky Jim was 'a brilliantly and preposterously funny book'.

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