The Rachel Papers (Vintage Blue) and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
£6.39
  • RRP: £7.99
  • You Save: £1.60 (20%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 13 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
The Rachel Papers (Vintag... has been added to your Basket
Trade in your item
Get a £0.34
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Rachel Papers (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 2 Aug 2007

31 customer reviews

See all 17 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£41.86
Paperback
"Please retry"
£6.39
£2.93 £3.00
£6.39 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 13 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Rachel Papers (Vintage Classics) + Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life
Price For Both: £12.68

Buy the selected items together


Trade In this Item for up to £0.34
Trade in The Rachel Papers (Vintage Classics) for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £0.34, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics (2 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099503875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099503873
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 98,350 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

Review

"Amis has brought off the feat of satirizing his contemporaries while making them both funny and, in a bizarre way, moving" (Peter Ackroyd)

"Scurrilous, shameless and very funny" (Times Literary Supplement)

"Amis's arrogantly assured manner is a formidable weapon, spraying the target with disdainful wit, ingenious obscenity, astute literariness, loathing, lust, anxiety and an all-pervading hyper-self-consciousness" (Observer)

"Extravagantly sexual...highly enjoyable" (Evening Standard)

Book Description

Winner of the Somerset Maugham Award and Martin Amis's celebrated first novel.

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By s k on 9 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Rachel Papers was first published in 1973. As an up-and-coming literary critic, with a famous novelist father and a job on the TLS, Martin Amis's debut novel was always going to set the literati aflutter. The book itself was an assured performance and one that openly signposted the themes Amis would rework over the next forty-years. It may be a defiantly adolescent book, solipsistic and arrogant, over-written and pretentious, but it is also very funny. In fact, its humour redeems it, as there are many flaws, some of which have continued to undermine Amis's oeuvre to this day.

Charles Highway is a nineteen-year-old on the cusp of turning twenty. But before he reaches the 'noisome Brobdingnagian world' of adulthood, he feels a cathartic urge to relate the turmoil of the past few months, a tumultuous period beset by existential terrors. Nevertheless, his primary concern, despite the worries of his Oxford entrance exams and his dysfunctional family, has been the seduction of Rachel Noyes. Their relationship, though, for all its frantic interplay, merely provides Charles with a springboard for his philosophical speculations, puerile rants, and disquisitions on gender. Amusing, yes, but they leave Charles looking increasingly abhorrent, a feeling reiterated by the novel's callous denouement.

As a critic, Amis has always been rather scathing of cliché. The Rachel Papers, however, is strewn with clichés and loose writing. On the very first page we have 'avoids like the plague' followed by the sloppy alliteration of 'haggard hippies' and 'precarious queers getting their caps and crowns'. The novel may be narrated by Charles Highway, and therefore not Martin Amis, but there is rarely much distance between the styles of Amis's narrators and his own acerbic prose.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By goldgreen on 15 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback
An uncannily credible account of a randy, neurotic 19 year old told with great wit and blunt language that will have you laughing out loud and re-reading some sentences in shock. The main character Charles Highway is a self-obsessed, over-analytical English literature loving neurotic from whom we find out his basest emotions and schemes. For some the candour is too much, but it is done to keep the reader engaged in what would otherwise be a petty teenage romance. It is best viewed as an expose on how shallow, emotionally feeble, excitable and incredibly fun the mind of a 19 year old on the brink of adult responsibility and maturity really is. The character is partially based on Martin Amis's experiences as a teenager in London in the late 1960s and he obviously takes delight in mocking his younger self by putting him in perilous, humiliating situations - eg desperately trying to chat up girls at a party, putting a condom on in the dark, worrying about spots. If there is a criticism, it is that all the best drawn characters are male - our hero Charles, his pompous father and his brutish brother-in-law Norman. Rachel is needy, shallow and insubstantial and similarly we get to understand little of his mother and sister. In its favour, Amis uses Charles to vent his own precocious ability at seeing through the pomposity, brutishness and snobbery of those around him and of 1970's home counties/ London society in general.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Jun. 2000
Format: Paperback
I can't believe I'm the first person to review this book!
The books narator, Charles Highway, is the most charasmatic and endearing charactor in a book since Holden Caufield. The story he tells is a simple one concerning a short time in a young mans life when he has his first proper realtionship. The basic storyline - Charles vows to have a sexual relationship with an older women before he reaches 20, and is prepared to use every means possible to impress the girl he finds (Rachel).
The books is funny and witty as well as touching. Don't be put off by the crude lanuage, Martin Amis has some serious things to say and his observations on teenage attidutes are frightingly accurate. This is a very relevent book. If you looking for non stop action, then look else where, but if your looking for a funny and moving novel that won't take long to read (but an age to forget) then I can't recommend this enough. Ignore people who say the book is too high on crude sexual content, this is nessary to accuratly portray teenage attidutes to sex. Amis is a very hard hitting writer who doesn't hold back in what he says, so the easily offened may be, well, offended by this book.
This, as the title of my review says, is the best book I have ever read. I admire Amis for his bravery and his ability to create a charater so flawed and then have you almost weeping for him. If you liked The Catcher In The Rye or A Clockwork Orange, you should love this
P x
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
The Rachel Papers was my first Martin Amis novel and I liked it enough that I would read Amis again, most definitely. People say his subsequent efforts, such as Money and London Fields, are brilliant, and based on this book - published (if my math is right) when the author was 24 - I imagine they are. What a talent to write that well at that age. In terms of style and ability, it reads like a novel penned by someone twice as old.

The story (a narrative told on the day before the protagonist's 20th birthday, recounting the previous pre-university year) revolves around Charles Highway and his "first love" Rachel, though it's unclear if Charles really loves Rachel (or anything, or anyone, besides perhaps William Blake). Charles, you see, isn't a very nice person. He is an exceptionally bright and an exceptionally egomaniacal and shallow 19 year old. He lies, he manipulates; he's cold. But he knows he's not a nice fellow (indeed, he tells you precisely why), so this articulate candour makes for humour, and the book is really funny in places. And it's that can't-see-it-coming humour, the best kind. I particularly liked the line (after some confessional about some inadequacy or personal issue) `My heart really went out to me there.' It's an interesting premise for a first-person narrative; Charles is effectively saying, "I'm a worm, and here's why I'm a worm."

The only problem I had with the book is that it is a sort of literary teen romance - very literary in places, but very teen romance in others. It made me think back to those zit-concerned, first girlfriend days: sneaking around behind parents' backs, thinking "oldsters" were quite lame, and all that jazz - but at times it came across as too teen-edition-Harlequin-romance.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback