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About the book
  • Published: 25 July 2019
  • ISBN: 9780141194202
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 416
  • RRP: $39.99

Raising A Smile: Selected Non-fiction

Devastatingly witty, offensive and wonderfully irreverent: this new selection of Kingsley Amis's brilliant journalism and assorted non-fiction reveals him at his most cantankerous and astute.

This vast and hugely entertaining collection is vintage Amis from a succession of good years. All of his best non-fiction pieces have been gathered together to reveal Kingsley Amis at his most typically robust and incisive: cutting a swathe through such subjects as writers and writing, 'Abroad', eating and drinking, music, language and education. Ridden hard and fast are such Amis hobby-horses as arts subsidies, literary prizes, and jazz; and among the writers discussed at length are Evelyn Waugh, Anthony Powell, Anthony Burgess and Ian Fleming, as well as Amis's beloved Philip Larkin.

In these pages we can eat out at some of Amis's favourite (and unfavourite) restaurants, we can sample the Amis hangover cure, and we can wince at the horrible truth of Sod the Public: A Consumer's Guide.

  • Pub date: 25 July 2019
  • ISBN: 9780141194202
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 416
  • RRP: $39.99

About the Author

Kingsley Amis

Kingsley Amis has been described as 'the finest English comic novelist of the second half of the twentieth century'. Born in 1922, he wrote over twenty novels, including Lucky Jim (1954), winner of the Somerset Maugham Award for fiction, The Old Devils (1986), which won the Booker Prize, and The Biographer's Moustache (1995). He also published several collections of short stories, poetry and non-fiction. Amis was awarded a CBE in 1981 and received a knighthood in 1990. He died in 1995.

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Praise for Raising A Smile: Selected Non-fiction

“A key figure in postwar British culture, whose importance and influence cannot be measured . . . distinctive and original”

David Lodge

“A genuine comic writer, probably the best after P. G. Wodehouse”

John Mortimer

“Among the English comic masters of the twentieth century”


“A ceaselessly fresh and adorable body of work . . . exasperation made poetry”

Julie Burchill

“Kingsley Amis was a big, humane novelist, interested in all manner of people very unlike himself”

Philip Henshe

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