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Success [Kindle Edition]

Martin Amis
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £4.35 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Smooth-talking, sensual and self-deluded, Gregory Riding leads an existence of formidable foppishness, his days and nights a series of effortless, titillating conquests and tireless sex - sister, employers, acquaintances are but co-stars among a cast of thousands to have passed through his busy bed. His foster brother, Terry, has to make do with the leavings as he trawls through life in a miasma of grief, burdened by an unmentionable past and the unlikelihood of ever having a good time in bed. But roles are reversed with both lives dramatically changed, when Success swivels her capricious gaze.

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Review

"Beautifully constructed to make a coherent, powerful and still fairly unusual statement about changing English society" (Evening Standard)

"An instantly recognizable voice, penetrating, loquacious, slightly hysterical, upsetting, rising above the basso pseudo-profundo babble of his competitors like filed fingernails scraping down glass - Martin Amis is a dazzling phrasemaker" (Sunday Times)

"Amis pulls off his literary feat with panache" (James Buchan Spectator)

Book Description

'A terrifying, painfully funny Swiftian exercise in moral disgust' Observer

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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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I'm not an unswerving Amis fan - there are definitely longeurs in many of his longer novels and his use of repetition and stereotyping sometimes fall flat i.m.h.o.- but this is an amazingly tight, verbally dextrous masterpiece. Neither Gregory or Terry's voices are meant to be taken 100% literally, or as giving the direct views of Martin Amis - we're inside their minds, with all the misconceptions, prejudices and self-delusions they're burdened with. The differences between what these two unreliable narrators report about events, places and conversations are pointed and revealing, and while for much of the book we see them as grotesques, this is in fact how they view themselves, the reports of their own inner voices, and they are not static characters but evolve throughout. What I love about this work, apart from Amis's dazzling powers of originality in language, and Gregory's masterclass in snobbery, is that by the (hugely poignant) ending the reader's sympathies and expectations have been completely and expertly warped round. Anyone looking for a comforting, intellectually bankrupt, politically correct read that's chewing gum for the mind need not pick this up - but if you want to cackle out loud and be challenged and amazed by a master of language then get stuck in at once.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amis on top form 27 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Success contains some of the best writing I have ever seen. When I first read it I was immediately launched onto a ten-year Amis Only project, during which I killed time before the next Amis novel by re-reading all his others. You can imagine what that was like when there were only three of them. Yes, I know them all by heart.
Success is a bit dated now, marked by the casual racism and sexism of the 1970s: people just wouldn't say some of the things the characters say, these days. It is abundantly clear that Amis is not approving of these views, by the way. He is singling them out for particular contempt. But that will not stop some readers calling him out for racism and sexism.
It is a kind novel, even a loving one. The satireformatted to the teeth and unforgiving, but ultimately it calls for a compassionate response in the reader. It is also one of the funniest books I have ever read.
I wish he would return to this form and stop trying to be Hitch or his dad all the time. He is a better poet than either.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unqualifed Success 26 May 2014
Format:Paperback
Damn... I wanted to hate this, I really did, but it's brilliant. Having said that I never believed in the Bayswater flat set-up for an instant; two uneducated characters (one even wishes he'd "studied more") routinely come out with unlikely phrases such as "an opulent Brobdingnag" and "Fieldingesque parentage mystery"; and the disgust with human effluvia (a word used powerfully here) is nauseating on occasion. But as a fable of lower middle-class England supplanting increasingly 'tonto' old money, and the empowered violence the new social disorder brings in its wake (Terry kicking the daylights out of a destitute hippy for £10, for example) it's great and ahead of its time. I'm also curious about the 'To Philip' dedication. Hopefully this is Philip Larkin, a pal of MA's dad Kingsley and one of the all-time great English poets, up there with Spenser, Marvell, Wordsworth, Auden and the rest. The constant references to f****ed up; "this seasoned trick the world has of seeming to start all over again" and more suggest that it is. A worthy reference point in a nifty little novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Depressing, nihilistic, but brilliant writing 30 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I suspect that this novel was the inspiration for Brett Easton Ellis's American Psycho and the sneering rat in the movie Naked.
The fantasy-driven fop being the blueprint for Patrick Bateman.
The work is as ever a metaphor for Amis's thesis that money has replaced class as the way we view success in Britain today.
Money is what we want: high class, as our ambition, has been consigned to the bin.
This is a dark, pessimistic novel. I found the details of the killing of the seven-year old girl very disturbing.
The anal rape of a young women was also deeply unpleasant.
Because Amis is such a genius the above events are more poignant.
It took me a few days to shake off the despair invoked particularly of a young girl being brutally killed.
I doubt Amis realises how deeply his words can effect his readers.
Overall however, despite the darkness, it is beautifully written.
Amis is a master of his trade.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Success 3 Sept. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Success is a decent read. Here we can see Amis formulating his distinctive style, and speaking on yobs, morality, class, fear, money, sex, and – yes – incest, themes that appear in his later works. The writing, as usual, is high quality, and Amis penned this novel in his late twenties. Incredible. Something is missing, though. I’m not sure what. Dialogue? Plot? Or maybe it’s that you don’t reach for the highlighter like you do with books like Money, where many paragraphs can be snipped out and framed. But it’s still good reading. Amis working things out is far better than many writers who’ve long had things worked out, such is the depth and uniqueness of his talent.

Troy Parfitt is the author of Why China Will Never Rule the World
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A small Gem.... 26 Jan. 2005
By Morris
Format:Paperback
I read this book a few years ago, and have just picked it up again.
It really is rather good.
London is portrayed wonderfully, its grime, its perculiarities, its downright strangeness (I am currently suffering withdrawal systomes, being based on the Cote d'Azur, so this is especially appealing to me).
The writing is sharp, it's funny, it's just plain good.
Amis disects the British class system with painfully accuracy.
I would recommend the novel 'Money' to anyone who enjoyed 'success'.
I may be going 'tonto'...
As Keith Talent might say... 'Nice Darts'.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Try London Fields/The Information/Money/Yellow Dog..........
EARLY, before the "Talent" was really Formed.......
Published 4 months ago by The Ancient Mariner
2.0 out of 5 stars Success, or the alternative?
I must admit, I never got much past 'The Rachel Papers'. That, I understood: a diffident youth, trying to get up the courage to ask the girl of his dreams out on a date. Read more
Published on 14 July 2013 by Mike Scantlebury
4.0 out of 5 stars Narrative perspective effectively questioned.-
Not read for many a year, but really upsetting when it was first read. 1980?!

We all put up fronts as societal people . Read more
Published on 19 Jan. 2013 by D. E. Pawson
5.0 out of 5 stars An oldie but a greaty
This is one of the funniest and most heartbreaking novels I've ever read. I've read it three times. I've read all of Amis' work, and while I realize that Money, London Fields, and... Read more
Published on 2 July 2011 by William Clifford Smeal
4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful writer
This book is wonderful - everything a modern novel should be - easy to read, fast-paced and edgy. And this from a reader who loves Anne Tyuler's work and not used to sex dribbling... Read more
Published on 26 July 2010 by Pauline Butcher Bird
3.0 out of 5 stars Great prose style but disappointing story.
This was my first experience of Martin Amis's work and I have to say that I really enjoyed the prose style and his love of language. Read more
Published on 8 July 2009 by Script Angel
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Read
This is the first Martin Amis book I have read which I picked up due to being recommended in print by another writer, I must say I have enjoyed this book. Read more
Published on 23 July 2008 by Jen
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifuly written
I just finished reading "success" and I liked it. It is quite dark but not disturbing. I didnt feel any sympathy for any of the characters but unusally enough that didnt matter! Read more
Published on 29 Jun. 2008 by BookGeek
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