Towards the end of of The Folks That Live On The Hill, Kingsley Amis describes an old devil's difficulties with novels. Freddie finds it hard to concentrate. One immediately feels a certain sympathy. In an essay published recently, Amis suggested that books should always disclose the author's date of birth 'so you could avoid anyone born after about 1945'. By the same token, perhaps his own more recent novels should contain a warning that they are only likely to be appreciated by readers born before that date. There can be no doubting Amis's technical skills, which have been praised widely and loudly. His style is idiosyncratic and he writes with great precision. He can be very funny indeed. But for the post-1945 reader, the problem is that he appears to be writing about a world other
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