Despite buying THREE brand new books this week, I have finally started on my Classics Club list. Hurray! I decided to start with Kingsley Amis and Take A Girl Like You.
I had previously listened to Lucky Jim on the iPlayer and loved it. It was so funny and Jim just kept getting into all this horrendous scrapes. This one though? So far, I am underwhelmed.
The writing and the characterisation is excellent. The main character is an attractive young woman called Jenny Bunn, who has moved to the south to teach and get away from the memories of a boyfriend who ended things with her because she wouldn’t sleep with him. She takes her virginity very seriously, and is a very refreshing and innocent character despite the fact that she is constantly being sexually harassed by men who assume they are in with a chance because they find her attractive.
However, I am finding the book very slow, and I haven’t laughed once. I am a bit frustrated with it, and I think that is partly because Jenny’s circumstances are very frustrating. She lives as a paying guest in a house that would have driven me mad in my twenties. Essentially the owners are surrogate parents and Jenny has no autonomy whatsoever. I also find her relationships with men, and some other women, very frustrating. They give her decision to not have sex so much emphasis and Jenny is constantly having to explain herself in the face of terribly patronising comments. So maybe when I am finding it difficult I am empathising with Jenny rather than struggling with the writing.
I shall keep plodding on anyway, and try not to sacrifice reading it in favour of my shiny new hardbacks. Hopefully it will streak away from the post very soon.