Stanley and the Women (Magill's Literary Annual 1986)
Kingsley Amis’ seventeenth novel, Stanley and the Women, has already become a cause célèbre. Its wicked satirical thrust and misogynistic sentiments allegedly provoked feminist editors of various publishing houses to try unsuccessfully to stop its publication in the United States. Whatever the truth of these allegations, the emergence of the novel was delayed, and the American edition appeared a year later than its British counterpart. There is substance to this furor, for the antifeminine slant of Stanley and the Women will continue to generate controversy, grievously offending those readers who harbor strong ideological convictions—feminist, leftist, or liberal. Like most satirical works which incline toward corrosive and subversive irony, Stanley and the Women is often unfair, uncharitable, and intolerant; it is also outrageously funny.
Stanley and the Women begins where Jake’s Thing (1978) ends. In Amis’ earlier novel, Jake Richardson, whose sexual drive has diminished almost to the point of nonexistence, submits religiously to the manifold “cures” of psychotherapists and sexologists. At the end of his travail, and after nearly three hundred pages of unrelenting exposure of the incompetence and stupidity of professional therapists and the institutions that sustain them, Jake discovers...
(The entire section is 1996 words.)
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Bibliography (Masterplots II: British and Commonwealth Fiction Series)
Sources for Further Study
Adams, Phoebe. Review in The Atlantic. CCLVI (November, 1985), p. 143.
Booklist. LXXXI, July, 1985, p. 1474.
Fromberg, Susan. Review in The New York Times Book Review. XC (September 22, 1985), p. 9.
Gardner, Philip. Kingsley Amis, 1981.
Gray, Paul. Review in Time. CXXVI (September 30, 1985), p. 74.
Los Angeles Times. September 25, 1985, V, p. 8.
The New Yorker. LXI, October 21, 1985, p. 149.
Newsweek. CV, February 4, 1985, p. 80.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXVIII, July 26, 1985, p. 155.
Sunday Times (London). Review. May 20, 1984, p. 45.
The Times Literary Supplement. Review. May 25, 1984, p. 571.
The Wall Street Journal. CCVI, September 23, 1985, p. 28.
Washington Post Book World. XV, September 1, 1985, p. 3.
(The entire section is 90 words.)