Wednesday, 16 May 2007


AUTHOR: Martin Amis


DATE READ: May 2007

NOTES: I chose to read this book as it was included in the recent Guardian list as one of the books best evoking the 1980s. And it had been sitting unread on a bookshelf for ages….
It’s the story of John Self as he weaves his way through life, revelling in money, sex, alcohol and pornography. From a background in advertising he is caught up in plans to make a film in US but gradually falls foul of a financial scam and his world gradually falls apart. Very exuberant language – including some very evocative invented names for actors, fast food etc. Martin Amis appears as a character – this is done in a clever and intriguing way and not as an ego trip.
There are lots of literary references eg Otello the opera (Self get the plot wrong!) and a car called Iago. Reference to Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984 also very funny. Most characters are venal and untrustworthy and the whole book is a mixture of darkness and hilarity.

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