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The Rachel Papers (Vintage Blue) by [Amis, Martin]
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The Rachel Papers (Vintage Blue) Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Length: 236 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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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" (Time Literary Supplement)

"Extravagantly sexual-highly enjoyable" (Evening Standard)

"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)

Review

"Scurrilous, shameless and very funny." -- "Times Literary Supplement"
"Amis has brought off the feat of satirizing his contemporaries while making them both funny and, in a bizarre way, moving." -- Peter Ackroyd
"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"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 589 KB
  • Print Length: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (23 Dec. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099503875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099503873
  • ASIN: B004GKMTNG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #28,221 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
A semi-pornographic "Catcher in the Rye" without charm or emotional tug. It's unclear whether the pretentious style is to be regarded as an achievement or an aberration. As full of pus, vomit and other bodily fluids as "Viz", but nothing like as funny.
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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.
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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
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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.
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