The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 15 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

The year is 1970, and the youth of Europe are in the chaotic, ecstatic throes of the sexual revolution. Though blindly dedicated to the cause, its nubile foot soldiers have yet to realize this disturbing truth: that between the death of one social order and the birth of another, there exists a state of terrifying purgatory—or, as Alexander Herzen put it, a pregnant widow.

Keith Nearing is stuck in an exquisite limbo. Twenty years old and on vacation from college, Keith and an assortment of his peers are spending the long, hot summer in a castle in Italy. The tragicomedy of manners that ensues will have an indelible effect on all its participants, and we witness, too, how it shapes Keith’s subsequent love life for decades to come. Bitingly funny, full of wit and pathos, The Pregnant Widow is a trenchant portrait of young lives being carried away on a sea of change.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Martin Amis

See more books from this Author
Martin Amis is the best-selling author of several books, including London Fields, Money, The Information, and, most recently, Experience. He lives in London.
 
Published April 30, 2010 by Vintage. 385 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Pregnant Widow

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

Martin Amis’s novel concerns three students from the University of London, one male, two female, who stay at a castle in Italy in 1970 during the opening skirmishes of the sexual revolution.

May 21 2010 | Read Full Review of The Pregnant Widow

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

One of the more illuminating definitions of what a novel is comes from Randall Jarrell: "A novel is a prose work of some length that has something wrong with it."

Mar 26 2011 | Read Full Review of The Pregnant Widow

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

Amis, meanwhile, seemed to fit the sexual revolution into a wider sense of a world turning upside down, a sense that coarse, yobbish ways – ways that he was, as a good satirist, half in love with – were displacing high-minded talk about "felt life" and other literary-moral nostrums.

Feb 06 2010 | Read Full Review of The Pregnant Widow

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

For at least the past decade Martin Amis has seemed intent on making the most distinctive comic voice in contemporary British fiction – his own – do the most unlikely things.

Jan 31 2010 | Read Full Review of The Pregnant Widow

NPR

See more reviews from this publication

And something in him responded to this, as if he sensed the proximity of a beloved beast, moist and leathery in the spiced darkness.Then they all filed out into it — past the female mannequins in the boutique windows, and into the swirling oestrus, the pitiless verdict, the mortifying unanimity o...

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Pregnant Widow

Examiner

So, save for the vulgarity throughout, it isn’t as raunchy as you might expect.) Amis addresses the revolution itself with occasional references to the unwritten manifesto, or with little meditative asides like, “What do you do in a revolution?

Jul 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Pregnant Widow

Financial Times

See more reviews from this publication

, by Fred Pearce, Eden Project Books RRP£12.99.

Jun 25 2010 | Read Full Review of The Pregnant Widow

AV Club

See more reviews from this publication

In these segments, Amis drops anchor with philosophical weight, with Nearing musing “Why love anyone, when everyone could vanish?” But these are only intervals, restrained, and perhaps part of the autobiography that never was.

Jun 17 2010 | Read Full Review of The Pregnant Widow

Entertainment Weekly

What have the Keiths of this world ever done to Martin Amis?

May 19 2010 | Read Full Review of The Pregnant Widow

The Washington Post

The sexual antics in the Italian castle play out as he's cramming through a syllabus of English novels, particularly those great comedies of manners by Jane Austen, in which a similarly privileged group of young people strategize about their potential attachments.

May 12 2010 | Read Full Review of The Pregnant Widow

The Telegraph

Beyond that, there are graceful nods to Amis’s father – when someone says they read something “in an English novel”, it is in one of Kingsley's – and, with huge comedy, Keith is spending his entire summer reading through the English novel, understanding it in his own way.

Feb 05 2010 | Read Full Review of The Pregnant Widow

The Telegraph

The Pregnant Woman is a deeply autobiographical novel in which Martin Amis returns to the 1970s and the sexual revolution of his youth.

Feb 07 2010 | Read Full Review of The Pregnant Widow

London Review of Books

‘Swiftly and surreally’ they are surrounded ‘by a swarm of young men’, whooping, pleading, cackling – and all aflicker, like a telekinetic card trick of kings and knaves, shuffling and riffling and fanning out under the street-lamps … The energy coming off them was on the level … of an East Asian...

| Read Full Review of The Pregnant Widow

New York Magazine

A sexy novel about sex—and sex alone—has reenergized him, just when his fans were giving up hope.

May 07 2010 | Read Full Review of The Pregnant Widow

The Sunday Times

So he stops playing pinball in the .

Jan 26 2010 | Read Full Review of The Pregnant Widow

Reader Rating for The Pregnant Widow
55%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 51 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×