BOOKS: Love Beats Bad Poetry

With a cutting cultural comedy, Kingsley Amis returns to form

Richard Vaisey, 46, lectures on Russian literature at the London Institute of Slavonic Studies and lives well beyond his professional means, thanks to the money inherited by his wife Cordelia. He has lived with her for 10 years, and in that time he has almost stopped noticing her theatrical gestures and her peculiar style of speech: "Never having cared to ask her about it, Richard had had fantasies of an Andorran nanny, a childhood in a posh Albanian household that had left no other mark, before concluding that Cordelia just spoke Cordelian, a pronunciational idiolect." When friends mock the way she...

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