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London Fields Paperback – 3 Jun 1999

82 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (3 Jun. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099748614
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099748618
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More 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 London.

Product Description


"I love reading novels about the city but this is my favourite. It manages to incorporate the seedy and the middle class Notting Hill side of the capital, all in one glorious unputdownable novel" (Phil Daniels Daily Express)

"Martin Amis's most ambitious, intelligent and nourishing novel to date... Keith Talent is a brilliant comic a fictional minor crook, he is in the major league, lying and cheating on the scale of Greene's Pinkie Brown and Saul Bellow's Rinaldo Cantabile" (Jay McInerney Observer)

"An electrifying writer who likes to shock his fans and share his sharply contemporary concerns... Amis is a maddening master you need to read - the best of his generation" (Mail on Sunday)

"London Fields, its pastoral title savagely inappropriate to its inner-city setting, vibrates, like all Amis's work, with the force fields of sinister, destructive energies. At the core of its surreal fable are four figures locked in lethal alignment" (Peter Kemp Sunday Times)

Book Description

'A true story, a murder story, a love story and a thriller bursting with humour, sex and often dazzling language' Independent

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Eugenia on 23 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
London Fields
My first Amis and after the first couple of chapters I was thrilled. The prose just sparkled and fizzed with an acidity that ,at frst,seemed intoxicating. What could go wrong. Here was a wonderfully implausible plot woven around and about and through the lives of some wonderfully plausible yet implausible characters: the execrable Keith Talent, the enigmatic Nichola Six and the woeful Guy Clinch. And all underwritten by a deeply suspect narrator. But then it was as if the prose, as good as it was, just kept on going and going but the story went nowhere.And without a story even Amis's prose just becomes so much verbiage.

Set in the suppurating sore of the great wen that is London the Dickensian undertow became increasingly obvious. Keith was our new Artful Dodger, Nichola was clearly based on Estella from Great Expectations, beautiful but cold and empty and trained to break men's hearts. Only Amis is not Dickens. In Dickens the acidity is always tempered with humanity but in Amis it just turns sour. It's like drinking vinegar, after a while your tongue curls up and you just don't want anymore because ultimately there is no nourishment in it. By the hundredth page of observing Nicola and Keith and Guy in their macabre deathdance I just began to feel like a voyeur idly watching people I despised just for the sake of being able to despise then further. Like Nichola the book is all front, all show, but ultimately has nothing to say except that its a wicked old world and most of us are fools or knaves to go on believing in it. This we all already know. However if you want to sneer at the undeserving poor , the chavs, the underclass, or call it what you will, then Amis provides a good long peepshow.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Troy Parfitt on 25 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback
Gosh. Where to begin? Well, I've never read anything quite like this novel, which is to say there was no novel to prepare me for this one, not even Amis's other novels, or at least the three I read, which included Money, i.e. London Fields's predecessor. I'd heard London Fields was a complex murder mystery, and it is, but "complex" doesn't begin to hint at how complex, and "murder mystery," well, that could have a million meanings here. So, what is the novel about? On the surface, it's about the lives of a dart throwing lowlife, a femme fatale, and a rich twit, set in West London, but if you look further you see commentary on class and corruption, and I mean human corruption, all those awful feelings we have, all those weird desires, and all that pain - and the strange ways our insides come out, set against a backdrop of sordid, post modern, materially spoilt malaise. It's a dark book (and a dart book). It's a funny book (Amis can assume the role of literacy magician - or clown). And it's a true book (there are Keith Talents, Nicola Sixes, and Guy Clinches everywhere). But it's a bit long, and although Amis can work thousands of sentences into patterns you've never seen before (within convention, he destroys convention), the story is, um, er, nebulous, but maybe life is nebulous, so it's hard to make a criticism here. The book frustrated me at times, but again, I'm not sure it deserves a criticism for that either. I enjoyed Money better, but London Fields is certainly deeper. You may need some perseverance, but by book's end, you will likely think about London Fields and Amis's other novels. London Fields was hard-going at times, but worth it. No one can write like Martin Amis, and I'm now I'm curious to know what they do with the movie. Four stars.

Troy Parfitt is the author of Why China Will Never Rule the World
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Friend on 6 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
Other reviews have given synopses, so I'll skip that...

Firstly, this book is worth reading if you live in London - Amis captures perfectly the bizarre juxtaposition of sleaze against wealth that is everywhere in the city, and the book is wonderfully atmospheric of both of these aspects of London and more.

The wider appeal of the book is surely Amis' writing rather than the plot itself; his astounding use and manipulation of the English language makes 'London Fields' a real tour de force.

Most of all though, the general obvservations of peoples' behaviours, psychologies (particularly with regard to sex), reactions to one another, and the varying viewpoints on life offered here are captivating and, I would say, remove the need for a gripping, suspenseful story; these observations are also often made in an extremely witty way.

However, I also disagree with other reviewers, who claim that "nothing happens" in 'London Fields': this is a highly misleading thing to say about this book - there are several narrative strains which meet excitingly at the end of the novel and I personally found that despite Amis' determination to make the book more about the 'journey to the climax' than the ending itself, there is real tension. I do agree, though, that the plot might not be the main focus of the book.

All in all, I would recommend this book to almost anyone who feels that they might want to read something which is something other than (or more than) just a story and experience the writing of someone with a trully masterful command of the English language.
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