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About the book
  • Published: 1 June 2011
  • ISBN: 9780099488736
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • RRP: $19.99

The Pregnant Widow

Amis on top form. An intoxicating comedy about youth, the 1970s, the sexual revolution and its aftermath.

An Italian poolside, Summer, 1970. Sex is very much on everyone’s mind. The girls are acting like boys and the boys are going on acting like boys. Keith Nearing – a bookish twenty year old, in that much disputed territory between five foot six and five foot seven – is struggling to twist feminism towards his own ends. Torn between three women, his scheming doesn’t come off quite as he expects.

And now in the twenty first century, as Keith reflects on that summer holiday, the aftershocks of the sexual revolution finally catch up with him.

The Pregnant Widow is gloriously risqué and ferociously funny. It is Martin Amis at his fearless best.

  • Pub date: 1 June 2011
  • ISBN: 9780099488736
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Martin Amis

Martin Amis is the author of fourteen novels, the memoir Experience, two collections of stories and six collections of non-fiction. He lives in New York.

Also by Martin Amis

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Praise for The Pregnant Widow

“Amis employs his trademark derisive wit”

Marie Claire

“Sumptuous... Moving and humane, The Pregnant Widow also captivates by the accumstomed wit and elegance of its style. Amis just writes so well and so freshly... Amis is consistently bold, visual and accurate... I love this novel and it warmed when I read it a second time. It is beautifully achieved, cunningly relaxed, and reveals considerable emotional depth... The Man Booker Prize would be no more than its due”

Philip Hensher, Daily Telegraph

“This is a fine and hilarious book... Mr Amis has always been a stimulating writer, and someone who gives a distinctive colouring to certain times in our lives. "The Pregnant Widow" is Amis at his absolute and unique best”

The Economist

“Amis writes thrillingly well... [The Pregnant Widow] delivers fantastic enjoyment... It is funny, clever and knowing”

Sam Leith, Daily Mail

“This is Amis' finest novel for a long time. It is close to a masterpiece... read it: it is hilarious, often wonderfully perceptive, uncompromisingly ambitious and written by a great master of the English language”

Justin Cartwright, Financial Times

“Amis is a powerful writer”

Doug Johnstone, Independent on Sunday

“There is something witty or striking on almost every page”

Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

“Martin Amis's new novel shows a regathering of his artistic energies”

Christopher Taylor, Guardian

“The buzzing sense of fresh, limitless erotic licence is captured brilliantly ... he is beginning to write with Old Master assurance on the important subjects ... if Amis keeps writing like this about death, he can still prove everyone wrong'”

Aravind Adiga, The Times

“Is this the return to the form we have all been waiting for? In short - yes, it is”

Tom Chatfield, Prospect

“A compelling read”

The Week

“Wordy, but you're carried along in a slightly titillating way”

Bella Freud, The Observer

“One of the funniest books I've read in a long time”

Mariella Frostrup, Psychologies

“He's a forceful comic stylist”

Jenny Turner, London Review of Books

“This novel dares to take risks... The Pregnant Widow, for all its faults, remains a marvel of unsparing satire of wasted lives, wasted opportunity”

Ian Thomson, The Tablet

“I love him. He provokes and is cruel but he does it in such a brilliant, hilarious way. I've read pretty much all his books... his writing is spare, so its impact is all the greater”

Andrew Lincoln

“The Pregnant Widow is replete with ambitious aphorisms, drunkenly swaying between brilliance and extraordinary silliness.”

Andrew Tate, Third Way

“I always relish the witty inventiveness of Amis's style”

David Lodge, Guardian Summer Reading

“I don't think you can ever be disappointed with an Amis novel”

David Miliband, Daily Telegraph Summer Reads

“Humane, rueful and wonderfully resourceful in its wit”

Philip Hensher, Spectator, Christmas roundup

“Hugely entertaining”

Frances Wilson, Daily Telegraph Review, Christmas roundup

“This book has that rare and wonderful quality of taking the reader into a charmed confidence he's not quite sure he deserves, but that he (in my case) wouldn't miss for the world”

Richard Ford, Guardian, Christmas roundup

“Amazing... very well written.”

Marianne Faithfull, The Word

“The force of the well-chosen word promises great things of the whole. But does the whole deliver what's promised? Well in this instance, it does.”

Nicholas Lezard, Guardian

“Amis is back... and turns in his usual bravura performance”


“A breezy sex comedy”

Anthony Cummins, The Times

“The more I read, the more I found myself enjoying it. It's funny in the way the early novels were, but to the mix has been added a kind of middle-aged melancholy...Also, don't let anyone tell you that Martin Amis can't do women characters - Gloria Beautyman is a brilliant creation. It's a novel about the sexual revolution, youth and age, and also offers a radical reinterpretation of Jane Austen. It's witty and poignant, and it has a killer last line.”

Independent on Sunday

“The author's inimitable style and distinctive flair for description and metaphor still stand up proud...This is a simultaneously serious and entertaining novel about a seemingly sunny revolution that still casts long shadows.”

Emma Hagestadt, Independent

“There is a sort of reverse bathos operating in Amis in which he slips from the empty epic to the comic sublime. At such moments, and there are plenty... no one better understands the cosmic joke that is humanity. Nor is anyone as funny telling it”

Andrew Anthony, Observer

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