Monday, 7 January 2013
Published in 1974, Kingsley Amis's short novel doesn't feel terribly dated. It is a description of purgatory, although purgatory placed the living side of death. Hell is definitely the other people with whom each of the five characters has to share Tuppenny-Hapenny Cottage. In a very short book Kinglsey Amis manages to address or at least touch upon old age, resignation, malice, language, dementia, homosexuality, loneliness, disappointment, the generation gap, doctor-patient relations, mortality, and a little (actually quite a lot) more malice. And it is very, very funny, in that way which makes you question the moral heft of your own sense of humour. A clever, wise, witty, acerbic book.