8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Omnipotent and hung-over.,
This review is from: London Fields (Paperback)
It often feels that Martin Amis, like some irascible Olympian, is a presence in his own novels, playing with the fate of the characters who inhabit them. And never moreso than here, where we are effectively told about the end at the beginning and asked occasional questions along the way about how we think it’s all going to get there. His characters are a cocktail of the characteristics of the late twentieth-century British urban society that they are intended represent: variously class ridden, educated and uneducated, knowing and ignorant, active and impotent. The tragic plot is primarily a diverting context in which to pit them against one another. Amis’ mastery of the English language at its plastic and elastic best, his command over his own powers of description and evocation, is at times quite simply breath taking. “London Fields” is probably his best balanced tour-de-force as the characters manage to remain firmly centre stage of all the knowing game-play that surrounds them. Indeed for all of the sparking intelligence of Amis’ prose and the loose kinetic energy of his plot, it is the characters of Nicola Six and Keith Talent that will stay with you long after you have closed the book. To create memorable characters is always an accomplishment but to breathe life into two that will linger on like avatars in the readers afterthoughts would seem to justify Amis’ exaulted reputation. Read it and weep.