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The pregnant widow : inside history
Martin Amis
Adult Fiction AMIS

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Amis revisits themes from his early novels-sex, class resentment, lust, humiliation, obsession-with the grim perceptiveness of experience in this fascinating return to form. It's 1970, and 20-year-old Keith Nearing is spending the summer in Italy with a small group of friends, primary among them on-again/off-again girlfriend Lily and her gorgeous, unfortunately named friend, Scheherazade. The easiness between Keith and Lily begins to crumble as Lily picks up on Keith's perhaps requited attraction to Scheherazade. As Lily torments Keith-at first playfully, and later cruelly-and Keith inches closer to pulling off an all-consuming sexual coup, Amis milks a surprising amount of tension from a fairly wispy plot: will Keith get Scheherazade into the sack? The second half, with its unexpected turns and brutal developments (it is never a good thing to be named "Keith" in an Amis novel), could enjoy an easier conjunction with the first half, but the prose is as brilliant as ever, and the cast is amazingly well done. After the disappointment of Yellow Dog and the relative slimness of The House of Meetings, this smart, meaty novel is a revelation. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

The summer of 1970 leaves its mark on a young man trying to cope with the whirlwind changes brought on by the sexual revolution. Amis's latest tour de force (after House of Meetings and Yellow Dog) revolves around Keith Nearing, a man buffeted by time, memory, and regret. During an Italian holiday, Keith and his friends while away the hours with philosophical conversation and carnal longings, a heady mix with repercussions that last into adulthood. Surrounded by impossibly lovely young women, Keith struggles to make sense of both the English novel and his own desires, a toss-up that frequently ends in a draw. Told primarily in flashback, the narrative alternates between the seminal summer in Italy and Keith's subsequent adulthood experiences. Readers who enjoy a dab of suspense with their literary fiction will relish how Amis gradually teases out story-line resolutions, while those with a taste for symbolism will appreciate how Keith's experiences come to embody the sexual longings of an entire generation. VERDICT Earthy, passionate, literate, and poignant; pick this for your highbrow beach read. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/10.]-Leigh Anne Vrabel, Carnegie Lib. of Pittsburgh (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Keith Nearing
Age: 20
Spending the summer in Italy with a small group of friends, including his girlfriend; finds himself attracted to Scheherazade, his girlfriend's best friend.
College student

Age: 20
Keith's girlfriend; jealous of her best friend whom Keith is attracted to; spending the summer in Italy with her friends, including Keith.
College student

Lily's best friend; spending the summer in Italy with her friends.
College student

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