The Pregnant Widow

The Pregnant Widow

by Martin Amis
3.1 27

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Overview

The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis

The year is 1970, and the youth of Europe are in the chaotic, ecstatic throes of the sexual revolution. Though blindly dedicated to the cause, its nubile foot soldiers have yet to realize this disturbing truth: that between the death of one social order and the birth of another, there exists a state of terrifying purgatory—or, as Alexander Herzen put it, a pregnant widow.

Keith Nearing is stuck in an exquisite limbo. Twenty years old and on vacation from college, Keith and an assortment of his peers are spending the long, hot summer in a castle in Italy. The tragicomedy of manners that ensues will have an indelible effect on all its participants, and we witness, too, how it shapes Keith’s subsequent love life for decades to come. Bitingly funny, full of wit and pathos, The Pregnant Widow is a trenchant portrait of young lives being carried away on a sea of change.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400044528
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/11/2010
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Martin Amis is the author of eleven previous novels, the memoir Experience, and two collections of stories and six of nonfiction, most recently The Second Plane. He lives in London.

Hometown:

Oxford, England

Date of Birth:

August 25, 1949

Place of Birth:

Oxford, England

Education:

B.A., Exeter College, Oxford

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The Pregnant Widow 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
MollFrith More than 1 year ago
Through his protagonist/narrator Keith Nearing, Amis explores the sexual revolution of the late 1960s/early 1970s. Ensconced for the summer in an Italian castle with his girlfriend, Lily, her friend, ridiculously named Scheherezade, and visited by a dwarf count, Gloria (a Scottish tease of a dominatrix with a religious bent), a gay couple, and various other characters, Keith learns what it means when the rules of the game are in flux. Truthfully, after a short while, I got tired of hearing about Keith's maneuvering to get into Scheherezade's pants, his Victorian novel fantasies about Gloria, his boredom with the loving but obsessive Lily, and his concerns that someone else would get into Scheherezade's pants before he did. I lived through this period (although, admittedly, I didn't run in a similar crowd), yet I found the novel awfully tedious. There was also a meanness to it that certainly rang true of the times but was nevertheless ugly. There were moments of humor, but I suspect that The Pregnant Widow will most appeal to die-hard Amis fans.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
Recently I read Amis' Success and enjoyed it, so I looked forward to The Pregnant Widow. I might have created high expectations, but I never imagined that a book with lots of sex could be such a slog. This novel is just plain boring. As another Brit, Simon Cowell, might say "Sorry."
BHenricksen More than 1 year ago
Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Graydon Carter speaks of the disappointment many readers have felt over Martin Amis's fiction in the wake of his brilliant beginnings. Carter claims that with "The Pregnant Widow" Amis has recovered at least a few of his old chops. I disagree. While the characters and situations of this novel remind us of books like "The Rachel Papers" and "Dead Babies," the brilliant wit and the general outlandishness are lacking. In their place is an undertone of ennui. The story, set in or around 1970, features twenty-somethings vacationing in an Italian castle, ever so thrilled to be part of the sexual revolution. Since the narrator is an older man looking back, you might expect either some sharp satire or serious meditation. You'd be disappointed. Amis's subtitle, "Inside History," has intellectual pretensions, but alas, they aren't realized either.
bookfanNY More than 1 year ago
This is certainly the best written boring book I have ever read. Be prepared for the excruciating details of life in a luxurious European setting as lived by a small group of vacationing wealthy, pampered American youths obsessed with--what else--sex and seduction, tantalizing themselves, but alas, not the reader.
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