William Boyd Robert Towers - Essay

Robert Towers

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Boyd's first novel, A Good Man in Africa …, won three distinguished British literary prizes: the Whitbread, the Somerset Maugham, and the John Llewellyn Rhys awards—a reception that must have seemed dazzling to Boyd and that makes at least one American reader wonder about the state of the competition in England. A Good Man in Africa is cleverly and intricately constructed, its various strands pulled together and knotted with aplomb; it is also sexy, nasty, and intermittently funny. But the book seems to me so heavily imitative, in tone and farcical incident, of the early novels of Kingsley Amis that it might well be called Lucky Jim Goes to Africa or One Fat Englishman in Nkongsamba. Boyd...

(The entire section is 672 words.)