The Pregnant Widow, Paperback Book
1 out of 5 (1 rating)


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 on holiday and struggling to twist feminism towards his own ends.

Torn between three women, his scheming doesn't come off quite as he expects.


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This is the first Amis book I have read, and I was completely baffled by it. The characters are shallow and unlikeable, and frankly quite ridiculous. The main protaganists are the age of 21, and as a 21-year-old myself I can tell you that this is not how they think or behave, regardless of what era they are set in. The entire book had a more than surreal quality to it, which unfortunately was just not to my taste - 90% of the book is set on a summer holiday in Italy spent perving over the girls. Once the novelty of this concept wears off it really gets very dull. I wasn't alive during the sexual/Feminist revolution, and can't claim to have any interest in it either, so perhaps this just wasn't my cup of tea. But putting my political and historical opinions aside, I just didn't enjoy the book. I found myself completely detached from the book, and found myself wanting to read on just so I could get to the end quicker and read something else. I couldn't help but feel that Amis was just trying to be too clever for his own good, and I didn't understand it on any level. Not my idea of fun in a book. Having said all of that, I wouldn't hesitate to try another Martin Amis out of sheer curiosity. I'm glad I read it from the point of view of it being one of those "books to read before you die", but having ticked the box I wouldn't be interested in reading it again.

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