The Green Man

The Green Man Maurice Allington landlord of the Green Man Inn is the sole witness to the ghostly existence of Dr Thomas Underhill a notorious seventeenth century sexual deviant and practitioner of the black arts

  • Title: The Green Man
  • Author: Kingsley Amis
  • ISBN: 9780224617406
  • Page: 168
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Maurice Allington, landlord of the Green Man Inn, is the sole witness to the ghostly existence of Dr Thomas Underhill, a notorious seventeenth century sexual deviant and practitioner of the black arts A desire to vindicate his sanity leads Allington to uncover the key to Underhill s satanic secrets.

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    1. “I have no novelists, finding theirs a puny and piffling art, one that, even at its best, can render truthfully no more than a few minor parts of the total world it pretends to take as its field of reference.” So declares Mr. Maurice Allington while scanning the books of his personal library in the study of his rustic country inn, The Green Man. And what manner of narrator did Kingsley Amis create to tell his novel’s story? Maurice is a fifty-three-year-old self-centered boozehound, an acc [...]

    2. The range of good writing by Kingsley Amis (father of the living author, Martin) is amazing. He wrote poetry, short stories and novels that have been classified as travel, humor, alternate history, dystopian, science fiction and spy. His Lucky Jim is one of the funniest novels I have read.The Green Man is horror, his Stephen King. The main character runs an historic British wayside inn, The Green Man. He lives there with his second wife and pre-teen age daughter from his first marriage. His elde [...]

    3. The end of the sixties of the last century… What may that mean? It means the sexual revolution, an increased interest in occult subjects and mysticism and desire to change the state of mind with all sorts of psychotropic stuffs. Kingsley Amis was the one who decided to pack all those signs of new epistemological era in a single rather thin novel, staying on the funny side of things.“Anyway, Underhill, or rather his ghost, turned up quite a few times at a window in what’s now part of the di [...]

    4. There are two apparitions in this ghost story of a novel; one explained and one not. And there is the obligatory Amis political incorrectness; some intended and some not. I read this elder Amis because:a) I like to see who he's skewering;b) I want reassurance that, by comparison, I do not drink too much; andc) his dialogue never disappoints, like this snippet between our protagonist and the local rector:'You don't imagine it's a coincidence, do you, that this was the great age of masochism, chie [...]

    5. The novel is set in and around an inn between London and Cambridge called "The Green Man", owned by Maurice Allington, a 53-year-old man. The inn and its name date back to the 14th century. The inn is haunted by its 17th-century owner, Thomas Underhill, a Cambridge scholar who dabbled in the occult. Underhill was associated with two unsolved murders, including that of his wife.Allington has some problems, one of which is a drinking problem that causes hallucinations. Allington tries to arrange a [...]

    6. Maurice Allington is a fifty something, twice married, inn keeper/hotelier. For Maurice, life is a high speed, roller-coaster ride of juggling his various commitments - in this case 'commitment' equates to womanizing, drinking heavily, running his period inn The Green Man, and embellishing his establishment with tales of the resident ghost. On top of this he needs to find time to appease the boredom of his teenage daughter oh, yes, and did I mention more whisky and women.In case I haven't made i [...]

    7. I think this book is a perfect ghost story, with everything that is supposed to be there, there, per tradition. Maurice Allington owns The Green Man, an Inn which has been in existence for 190 years on the same site near Fareham, 40 miles from London. The Inn was fully restored in 1961, but the best part of staying at the Inn is it has a genuine history of ghosts. He bought it because of the stories he was told about the ghosts appearing to guests. He himself is not a believer - yet.I will let M [...]

    8. Maurice Allington is not the kind of guy you want to get mixed up with—he may be the well-known proprietor of the inn The Green Man, but he drinks far too much, ignores his wife and daughter, and spends his free time propositioning his friend’s wife. When he starts seeing things around the inn, we have to wonder if his drinking has finally addled his wits, for Maurice certainly doesn’t believe in the ghosts that he advertises to lure guests.I remember a TV show based on this book, which I [...]

    9. This is the fifth book I’ve read by Kingsley Amis, and with each new foray I am increasingly convinced that I shall have to read them all. I love Amis’ personality so much that it does not seem to matter at all what he’s on about, so long as he’s on. Say anything you want about Amis’ private life, or his politics, but you cannot deny the unbridled hilarity of his comic portraits, nor the arsenal of his wit. His is the voice of the brilliant man stuck at a boring party, or under the sup [...]

    10. As all sensible writers ought to be, Amis here appears to be terrified of death, and he knew that the comic novel is the ideal form to broach the subject without being pretentious or morose. In The Green Man he unexpectedly throws in a good ghost story too. Which adds to the charm and puts a new twist on the whole sardonic British realism thing that Kingsley is best known for. It's an interesting move, because he moves from genuine everyday Godless terror and self-disgust to schlock horror, thou [...]

    11. For whatever reason, Kingsley Amis and I seem to genuinely click. At least I think so based upon the level of enjoyment I got from this unusual little book. There is a genuine quality to his literary voice, which when combined with his certain sense of humour, very much reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut (who I love). I am a sucker for ghost stories, but this is a ghost story with many differences. The feel is entirely unique, as is the imagery. I can't wait to get my hands on more from this fantastic [...]

    12. Two men seperated by the thin but impermeable barrier known as time:- Hello, who are you?- I'm Kingley Amis, who are you?- I'm Peter. I'm a writer.- Really? Me too.- Wow, what a coincidence. - Yes, isn't life funny like that sometime? Fate must have brought us together for some reason.- Perhaps. Sometimes events in the past and present align to make events and stories overlap. This means that sometimes people in the present witness echoes from the past, kind of like ghosts. Sometimes the echo ca [...]

    13. Published by a classics edition and read very much like a classic. And no matter how much I try, classic horror just doesn't do it for me. Mind you, this is more of a contemporary classic, meaning unlike prudish M.R. James or long winded Algernon Blackwood, this actually has sex (quite a lot of it) and dialogue and some action, but it's still just sounengaging, slow and stodgy. Maurice, the main protagonist, isn't an overwhelmingly likeable fellow. He neglects his teenage daughter and his second [...]

    14. Okay novel that loses something by being a bit dated and having a ghost story that lacks much suspense. The fact that we never really like the main character doesn't help. I'm not sure if the things about threesomes, lesbianism, and adultery were still considered edgy in 1969, but they lack any excitement today except to the most prudish.The entire thing just seemed somewhat tepid to me.

    15. Kingsley Amis' sole horror novel, "The Green Man," had long been on my list of "must read" books, for the simple reason that it has been highly recommended by three sources that I trust. British critic David Pringle chose it for inclusion in his overview volume "Modern Fantasy: The 100 Best Novels," as did Michael Moorcock in "Fantasy: The 100 Best Books" AND Brian Aldiss in "Horror: 100 Best Books." As it turns out, all of this praise is not misplaced, and Amis' 1969 novel of modern-day satire [...]

    16. This book is mental. It's a ghost story but not in the slightest bit scary. It's also a kind of weird folklorish and boozy story with extramarital affairs. It reminded me of wicker man in a way It's not really my kind of book, but there was something so odd about it that I was intrigued lots of nice writing and a lot of whisky.we are reading this for reading group- so shall report bacck.Reading group gave it a 2.5 out of five on average

    17. What a macabre novel, a horror story unlike I've ever read.I first heard about this novel from PD James' semi-autobiography/memoir, 'Time To Be In Earnest,' which I recently read. She mentions 'The Green Man' as an excellent horror story, so I looked it up, found ONE copy only in my entire library system and borrowed it. Here goesIt's the story of Maurice Allington, a known 'womanizer,' yet married with daughter, son, wife (second wife) and owner of an inn and restaurant in rural England. Mauric [...]

    18. This was an amusing middle-aged man's lament on growing older, wrapped inside of a ghost story. (Or is it the other way around?) It was an interesting academic and philosophical exploration of mortality and life after death until a little more than halfway through the book. At that point, the ghost story picks up steam- and, though still philosophical- becomes more of a "physical" conflict with supernatural occult and pagan forces. Once I was beyond the halfway mark, I couldn't put it down. Amis [...]

    19. At times a ghost story, at others a sex farce, and at yet others an occult mystery. Overall enjoyable, as long as you can resolve the fact that the protagonist is an arrogant alcoholic jerk. I also laughed out loud a few times, especially when the main character derided novelists; you know the character isn't a front for the author when that happens!

    20. I'm a big fan of that style of particular British writing where the authors are hellbent on proper grammar and word usage. It's like a completely different language than the one I muddle about in. Martin Amis wrote in his memoir about heading up to his old man's house every Sunday and have the old bastard reading Martin's newspaper articles and telling how how he used the inferior, vulgar and utterly punishable newspaper meaning of a word, which has slowly taken over to become the word's only me [...]

    21. I know the feeling. Kingsley seems to be trying to resolve some (health) threat that has triggered fears of his impending death (26 years later) here. He has done this before, but within a ghost story, that is a different path altogether for Amis, and he pulls it off moderately well I must admit. A Stephen King best-seller it is not, and thank God Almighty for that. Now dying is one thing, it must come to us all (and why we are not paralysed by this prospect is a mystery to Amis's character here [...]

    22. OK it’s a Kingsley Amis book so let’s see if the usual character check list applies:• Central character drinks a bit too much – in this case a lot too much• Central character is somewhat of a philanderer• Central character is a self centered curmudgeon – OK certainly self centered this time• Central character is at least a bit of an autobiographical version of the authorYes ineed all those boxes are ticked, but what genre is Amis going to experiment with this time? As he does lik [...]

    23. Parts of this reminded me of "Goodfellas". In goodfellas particularly right near the climax of the movie Henry is running around doing increasing amounts of coke and dealing with everything from cooking a nice dinner to getting a lucky hat to having sex with his mistress. Similarly here, with booze instead of coke, this man's world is falling apart and ghosts are appearing but just in the thick of it he will jump back to plotting about how to arrange a threesome with his wife and mistress.Lot's [...]

    24. Nope. Wordy and boring. The narrator is very dislikeable (womaniser, alcholic, hypochondriac) but that didn't put me off - the nasty people should be the most interesting. It was trying to be a ghost story and none of it was frightening at all. I've been trying to work out why and there were simply no surprises, no changes in pacing, no increase in atmosphere - the narrator ate his dinner and talked with a ghost and chased away a green man in the same style. Spooky rating - .5 (simply for the fa [...]

    25. Not what I expected. I love his dry sense of humor and delicious inappropriateness. The main character is equal parts cad and hero, a feat only Amis could accomplish. Don't usually go in for the supernatural stuff, but it was funny. Didn't end for me quite as light as it started. Lucky Jim is still my favorite of his, possibly in my top ten. If you've liked others from Amis and you're up for something a tad bit raunchy, this could be the ticket.

    26. Lots of detail on alcoholism and infidelity of the swinging-sixties variety, and a not-so-subtle parallel in character between the historical villain and the anti-hero protagonist. Amis defined his family of characters very well within their close environment. I think it was intended to be comedic, but I found the language a bit high-handed to be funny, and there was rather too much device packed into a short book.

    27. Imagine sitting by the fire listening to M.R. James as played by a soused Oliver Reed telling you this creepy-as-all-hell ghost story that he keeps mixing up with the Wicker Man and that three way that didn't quite work out. It's just too weird not to like. And spoilers--if this guy was such an awful misogynist, why does his wife get the last word and the girl?

    28. Lots of fun to be had with this one; a straight-out Gothic from the 80-proof pen of Mr Amis, who may himself have had too much fun here. More at Konichiwa Witches.home.earthlink/~cumulo-nim

    29. Weird and funny and thought-provoking. Also short, so a perfect choice for the "too busy to read" person (not speaking of myself).

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