Why did I love this book?
Lucky Jim is the hysterical book that made me fall in love with the academic novel. It’s a perfect example of how setting functions as a character. In an academic novel, it’s not enough that a character attends or is employed by a school; the setting of the school must be so integral to the plot and the protagonist’s arc that the story could not be set anywhere else. Lucky Jim’s protagonist is a university lecturer who has fallen into his job and first inwardly, then outwardly, rebels against the provincial, class-bound values of the school and 1950s British society. It’s both socially significant and deeply comical.