11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Lionel Asbo: State of England (Hardcover)
Martin Amis contributes this unsettling but ultimately disappointing book to the legion of 'state of the nation' novels written by his generation of writers. Blake Morrison, Philip Hensher, Ian McEwan, Sebastian Faulks have all turned out more comprehensive and compelling portraits than this and yet Amis' work continues to divide readers. There are startling moments of lyrical beauty, there are patches of arresting insight and there is the now familiar Amis inability to sustain Forster's fundamantal maxim for successful fiction- 'only connect.' I felt strangely uninvolved in this 'modern fairy tale': not one of the characters was fully developed & Lionel himself was nothing more than a collection of stereotypical cliches. The Dawn/Desmond relationship jarred continually with its bland suggestion that, despite everything, these two will 'come through.' I really wanted something to be working away at the level of the modern parable but I couldn't find it.
I'm seriously beginning to wonder if reading Martin Amis is any longer worth the effort.
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Initial post: 25 Aug 2012 09:30:49 BDT
The Less Deceived says:
I decided he wasn't worth the effort after I failed to finish The Pregnant Widow. I thought, 'Right, that's it. I've given him the benefit of the doubt for years. I even finished Yellow Dog. But now I'm done' ... To be honest, I wish he'd written (or would write) more criticism and journalism. I still think that's his best work. The War Against Cliche is a brilliant book - as it Visiting Mrs Nabokov. A misspent career.
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