LUCKY JIM AND BUILDING A NOVEL . . .
Here's Joseph M. Schuster from his essay "Thirty Years of Re-Reading Lucky Jim," in The Millions,
[S]ome of my trips through Lucky Jim have taught me something about how to build a novel: one of the reasons it succeeds is that Amis uses the comic moments more than merely for a laugh but as integral parts of what is really an extremely tight structure that allows us to accept that the unhappy and largely incompetent protagonist we begin with who is able, in only roughly 250 pages, to become the sort of man who deserves the happy ending he comes to, who deserves the good job and good woman he has by the final line that brought me to tears for its profound rightness that first time.
Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis,
which is being reissued
in the United States.
What else is special about Lucky Jim? Here's Schuster again--
Lucky Jim . . . continues to show up on list after list of the best novels of the twentieth century or the funniest novels of all time. In 2005, Time included it on its list of “100 Best English Language Novels” since 1923 (the year of the magazine’s first issue). A decade ago, the late Christopher Hitchens described it as the funniest novel of the previous half-century in an essay he wrote for The Atlantic and, in 2008, when the New York Times polled the editors at its Book Review, asking them to name the funniest novel ever, Lucky Jim got the most votes.
I've owned a copy for a number of years and have re-read it a couple of times. Yes, it's funny. Take the opportunity of Lucky Jim's reissue to find out for yourself . . .