The Old Devils

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First-edition cover

The Old Devils is a novel by Kingsley Amis, first published in 1986.[1] The novel won the Booker Prize.[2] It was adapted for television by Andrew Davies for the BBC in 1992, starring John Stride, Bernard Hepton, James Grout and Ray Smith (it was the latter's last screen appearance before his death).[3][4]

Alun Weaver, a writer of modest celebrity, returns to his native Wales with his wife, Rhiannon, sometime girlfriend of Weaver's old acquaintance Peter Thomas. Alun begins associating with a group of former friends, including Peter, all of whom have continued to live locally while he was away. While drinking in the house of another acquaintance, Alun drops dead, leaving the rest of the group to pick up the pieces of their brief reunion.

The Old Devils is considered to be Amis's masterpiece by his son, Martin Amis, who wrote in his memoir, "it stands comparison with any English novel of the century."[5]


  1. ^ Jordison, Sam (16 February 2010). "Booker club: The Old Devils". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  2. ^ Zachary Leader (12 March 2009). The Life of Kingsley Amis. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 737. ISBN 978-0-307-49645-4.
  3. ^ "The Old Devils: Love, Lust and Litre Bottles". BBC. BBC. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  4. ^ The New Criterion. Foundation for Cultural Review. 2007. p. 9.
  5. ^ Amis, Martin. Experience: A Memoir, 2000, p. 258