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No-one can hold a candle to Martin Amis Daily Mail

About the Author

Martin Amis is the author of ten novels, the memoir Experience, two collections of stories and six collections of non-fiction. He lives in New York.

Reviews

Amis's latest is a pitch-black comedy about literary envy and the declining state of literary culture. (Mar.)

Richard Tull, a fortyish book reviewer and failed novelist, is driven to distraction by the effortless and unmerited success of fellow Oxonian Gwyn Barry. While Barry's simpleminded novels become overnight best sellers, Tull's dense experimental manuscripts send a succession of literary agents to the hospital with migraine. Tull finally decides it's payback time, and this novel chronicles his slapstick attempts to annihilate his friend. Amis pads the narrative with irrelevant and sometimes erroneous scientific data, presumably to justify the book's title. (In one astronomical digression, he gives the speed of light as 186,000 miles per hour.) In general, however, this is a wonderfully cantankerous send-up of the British literary scene, similar to David Lodge's satire on academia, Small World (1984). Although the book has been greeted as a roman à clef in Great Britain, no special knowledge is required to enjoy its comedy. Recommended for most fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/94.]‘Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles

"A book of brilliant energies, a comedy of enraged passions. Amis's writing shares the grandeur of the big American writers" -- Malcolm Bradbury * The Times * "Any other writer would kill to reach this high style. Amis can stroll the heights at his leisure - the writing is on fire" -- Allison Pearson "Martin Amis is an iconic figure. He cracks out memorable sentences like a ringmaster in the circus of the grotesque. He is the good-looking bad guy of late-twentieth-century Eng Lit - faster on the phrase than any of the other inky cowboys on the streets" -- Melvyn Bragg "Amis has made previous incursions into the grubby end of Ladbroke Grove and the infection of urban self-pity. But he's never been quite so funny about it" * Independent * "Young men adore Martin Amis and older ones envy him. Many imitate him. Many want to be him. He can be cool and raw, smart and cool. He's sexy, but that's not all. Now we want the Information" -- Nicci Gerrard * Observer *

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