Patrick Standish, ``hardly going bald at all'' at 37, reads girlie magazines and is having an affair with the woman next door. His over-accommodating wife Jenny, 28 and still childless seven years after her miscarriage, cozies up to gamy ex-Washington journalist Oswald Hart in an effort to bring her cad of a husband to his senses. The Standishes' sexual and emotional warfare forms the hub of Amis's wobbly satirical lunge through late 1960s London. Besides Patrick, other men having ``difficulties with girls'' include Timothy Valentine, who left his wife to try homosexuality; Simon Giles, pompous manager at the publishing firm where Patrick works; and Stevie and Eric, a gay couple prone to flamboyant arguments. With Swiftian glee, Amis deflates a menagerie of poets, publishers, academics and other snobs, phonies and egomaniacs. Yet on the whole, his satire is a flaccid, tedious affair that could have been set in the '80s as easily as in the '60s. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988 Release date: 01/01/1988 Genre:
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