Stanley and the Women

Stanley and the Women

As if it werent terrible enough, Stanley finds himself beset on all sides by women -- neurotic, half-baked, critical or just plain capricious -- and he begins to wonder whether insanity is not something with which all women are intimately acquainted.

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And a misogynism that is wonderfully comic. Amis's male characters in his fiction have suffered much worse. As a corrective if you like, read Amis followup novel The Old Devils.

...Some would believe that getting intensely angry at the perceived slight to one's gender's honor due to the female protagonists in the book being portrayed as neurotic and selfish, is behavior that only helps prove that all women ever are kind, rational, and mentally balanced, and that it is therefore the duty of all novelists to portray their female characters in this way, and if they don't--they have failed as novelists and human beings. When a Chinese or a Russian audience watches a James Bond film where the Chinese or the Russians are the 'baddies'--suppose Group A of the viewers judge the film on the basis of its cinematic qualities and its ability to entertain, while the Group B folks reject it outright on the grounds that it is 'anti-Russian' or 'anti-Chinese', while the more articulate of them even start lecturing earnestly everyone within earshot that "not all Chinese or Russians plot to overthrow the west, this is a very narrow view," and perhaps even give a knowing sneer and say wryly something like: "Oh dear, looks like the film director has never met a normal Chinese person and has become bitter about it"and such. When one is ten years old, it's OK to judge books as 'good' or 'bad' because one likes or dislikes the characters. and aside from this, also every conceivable stereotype must be foiled and subverted, and thus every character should more or less do the opposite of what the biases of the readers and the audience expects them to, otherwise the book or film promotes fascism and ignorance.

This is never about Steve, the disturbed son who appears only peripherally,as a kind of subplot in Stanleys life. Stanley is far more concerned with maintaining the delicate balance between himself and the women in his life,and exonerating himself from any blame in his sons issues.

This also required visits to a female psychiatrist who hated him so much she went out of her way to blame him for the son's illness and whose animosity caused her to lose her objectivity and endanger Steven's recovery. His new wife was helpful, but her mother and sister, who visited frequently, made no effort to conceal their disdain for him and his son.

In zijn weliswaar prachtig doorwrochte schrijfstijl worden we in de wereld van Stanley Duke geplaatst, verkoper van advertentieruimte bij een grote krant en voor de tweede maal getrouwd: een mannetjesputter met het liefst doorlopend een borrel in de hand.

This is Amis's view of how a man from South London lives in the 80's London, emphasizing his relationships with various women: his current wife, his ex-wife, a doctor in charge of treating his son for madness, etc.

For such a depressing topic there sure are plenty of very funny moments and lines.

Sir Kingsley William Amis, CBE was an English novelist, poet, critic, and teacher.

  • English

  • Fiction

  • Rating: 3.30
  • Pages: 304
  • Publish Date: March 4th 2004 by Vintage Classics
  • Isbn10: 0099461048
  • Isbn13: 9780099461043