The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis

Pregnant Widow by Martin AmisIt’s the summer of 1970. The author has cleverly recreated the era of the Swinging Sixties. This novel is a brilliant form of social commentary, describing traditional versus literal leftist values, flower power, free love, free thinking, experimentation, alternative hippy lifestyles, it is a story with a Sixties slant.

Keith Nearings is the impulsive twenty year old whose powerful desires for sexual gratification drive him to engaging romantically with three impressionable female lovers. Heightened passions, emotional turbulence, misguided perceptions of love come to the fore, all amidst the backdrop of Italian culture, architecture and panoramic beauty.

Keith is an overtly passionate lover. His lust for love-making seems fuelled by adrenaline and he is totally ego driven. Alas like many young adult Keith pushes his luck too far. His lack of foresight and maturity leads to unintended consequences that highlight his inexperience. Keith is one who succumbs readily to temptation.

This is a humorous, interesting, romantic and light-hearted read!


December 2011


Anita was alone in the Shipley Reading Group in her liking of this novel. The other 10 members were unanimous in their dislike. Comments like “boring”, “tedious”, “this is just soft pornography”, “the writer doesn’t seem to think much of women apart from wanting them for sex”, “this is just self indulgence on the author’s part” and “pretentious” summed up the majority viewpoint. We voted this 10 to 1 as “The Worst Book We Have Read in 2011.” Will we get to announce our decision at an Awards Ceremony in some grand hotel in London?


  • Pretentious, too many literary quotes, patronising use of Latin and Greek and obsessed with sex. 2/10
  • Boring load of rubbish. 2/10
  • Pretentious, self regarding with unbelievable characters. 2/10
  • Pretentious, narcissistic, boring people. Didn’t understand the novel. 1/10

Burley Library Readers Group


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