Age has done everything except mellow the characters in Kingsley Amis'sThe Old Devils, which turns its humane and ironic gaze on a group of Welsh married couples who have been spending their golden years when all of a sudden the evening starts starting after breakfast nattering, complaining, reminiscing, and, above all, drinking. This more or less orderly social world is thrown off-kilter, however, when two old friends unexpectedly return from England: Alun Weaver, now a celebrated man of Welsh letters, and his entrancing wife, Rhiannon. Long-dormant rivalries and romances are rudely awakened, as life at the Bible and Crown, the local pub, is changed irrevocably. Considered by Martin Amis to be Kingsley Amis's greatest achievement a book that stands comparison with any English novel of the [twentieth] century The Old Devilsconfronts the attrition of ageing with rare candor, sympathy, and moral intelligence.
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October 01, 2012
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